From drug analysis to industrial product management, chemists’ duties vary widely, and are vital as well. This news from University of Findlay chemistry instructor Kathleen Grine, and her husband, UF chemistry lab manager/instructor Patrick Grine, was shared with Boy Scouts of America, Black Swamp Area Council members recently as part of a merit badge program.
“We are grateful that they (the Grines) took the time to do this for us,” said Bluffton University chemistry professor Daniel Berger, Ph.D., who is a registered counselor for the Boy Scouts chemistry merit badge program that is being offered at Camp Berry this summer as a four-week class. “Any scout from any troop in camp can earn the badge, and we’ve had a number of troops represented in the past three weeks,” Berger explained.
The Grines visited the camp, located south of Findlay, where they spoke about their own careers and shared interesting information about the field itself. The couple said they met while working for an environmental cleanup company, where they worked in the lab testing the most efficient and cost-effective ways to mitigate water and ground contaminants.
Patrick also worked at a different company as a research chemist, where his job included conceiving ideas for products such as fire retardants and water treatment additives; at a refractories company as an analytical chemist charged with improving testing methods; and as a lab supervisor for a pharmaceutical company.
Acquiring a decent job as a chemist usually requires a master’s degree, Kathleen explained. Patrick’s original bachelor’s degree was in biology and Kathleen’s was in chemistry. Patrick, while working full time, went back for his bachelor’s, then master’s degree in chemistry to be eligible for promotions and salary increases.
Kathleen noted chemistry degree holders can also transition into other fields, such as radiology, veterinary medicine and law enforcement, the latter of which relies upon forensic scientists to solve crimes.