American Chemical Society
Chicago ACS Masthead image   

Friday, December 13, 2013

Holiday Party/Meeting

Joint with the Chicago Chemists' Club and Iota Sigma Pi

A Chemist's Adventures Working on Water Quality in Guyana

Alan La Pointe

Alan La Pointe

Vice President of Environmental Quality,
Animal Health

John G. Shedd Aquarium


Fountain Blue Banquets
2300 Mannheim Road
Des Plaines, IL  60018


Members & their guests:
Students, Retirees & Unemployed:


Map & Directions

Free parking

Cost:  $35.00 for members of ACS and their guests, $37.00 for non-members, and $20 for students, retired, or unemployed

This is the Chicago Section ACS/Chicago Chemists Club/Iota Sigma Pi Annual Holiday party/meeting.   At this event, everyone is a chemist (either practicing or honorary).   Come join in the celebration with all your fellow chemists.   In addition to our technical program, Santa will be bringing gifts!   ENJOY!

We are asking you to also bring a gift!!!   Please bring some canned food or other non-perishable food items (in non-glass containers) that we, as the ACS, can donate to a charity for needy people in the Chicagoland area.   We are also collecting toys for those less fortunate than us.  See details on page 4 of the December Chemical Bulletin.  Let's share our good fortune in the spirit of the season. THANKS!!

Dinner reservations are required and should be received in the Section Office via phone (847-391-9091), email (, or web by noon on Tuesday, December 10.   PLEASE HONOR YOUR RESERVATIONS.  The Section must pay for all food orders.  No-shows will be billed.  Seating will be available for those who wish to attend only the meeting.

  Please REGISTER HERE with our newer mechanism or  here  with our traditional mechanism

5:30 - 6:30 PM · Job Club
6:00 - 7:00 PM · Social Hour, cash bar
7:00 - 8:00 PM · Dinner
8:00 - PM · General Meeting

Topic:  “A Chemist's Adventures Working on Water Quality Issues in Guyana”

Abstract:  For the past several years, Shedd Aquarium has been conducting fish biodiversity, water quality, and arapaima research in Guyana, South America. Learn about strategies and methods for gaining baseline values and temporal monitoring of the unique aquatic habitats found in the North Rupununi, District 9. This presentation will give an overview of the country and region and all current projects being conducted. Nonetheless, the focus will be on the water quality baseline analysis and stories of the challenges of working in a remote area of the world and of the people who live in the region.

Mr. LaPointe’s work with the Shedd Aquarium is a wonderful example of an alternative career in chemistry! The talk will be interesting, informative and entertaining.

Biography:  An expert in environmental quality and water resources, Allen La Pointe serves as Vice President of Environmental Quality for Shedd Aquarium where he is responsible for maintaining and monitoring the environmental quality in all of Shedd’s animal habitats. As part of Shedd’s world class animal care team, La Pointe and his staff of water quality specialists work to replicate the precise conditions of each animal’s home in the wild.

La Pointe began his career at Shedd in 1997 as the aquarium’s chemist; since then, he has played an integral role in the development of life support systems and environments for Caribbean Reef, Amazon Rising, Wild Reef, and the Abbott Oceanarium. A member of Shedd’s sustainability steering committee, La Pointe is responsible for approving the use of every chemical at the aquarium and has reduced chemical use in the Environmental Quality Laboratory by 60% through the strategic purchase of an ion chromatograph.

La Pointe is researching water quality in region 9 of Guyana, South America. His work in Guyana is part of a larger project to conduct rapid fish assessments on the Rupununi and Rewa river systems. Likewise, La Pointe is working on water quality conditions in relation to arapaima migration patterns in the same region. Arapaima are the second largest freshwater fish in the world and are endangered in most of their historic range.

La Pointe is an appointed member of Lt. Governor Sheila Simon’s Science Advisory Committee, which advises Simon on her efforts to reduce flood damage in the state and protect Illinois’ rivers from potential threats. He is also a member of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Great Chicago’s Blue Ribbon Panel for user charges, and serves on the Aquality Board of Directors. La Pointe received his Bachelor of Science degree in Aquatic Zoology at Southern Illinois University and his M.B.A. at the University of Phoenix. In his spare time, he is an avid hunter, fisherman, and opera patron.

Map and Directions

Parking:  Free



Sell Tickets Online through Eventbrite




Last updated 12/4/13
Copyright © 2009-2013, Chicago Section, The American Chemical Society
Webs by Wizardcraft