UA Student to Attend U.N. Climate Change Talks in Peru

  • November 11th, 2014
Catherine King
Catherine King

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The American Chemical Society selected eight students nationwide, including a University of Alabama senior, as representatives to attend the upcoming United Nations climate-change conference in Lima, Peru.

Catherine King, a Huntsville native studying chemical engineering and chemistry at UA, is scheduled to attend the first week of the Dec. 1-12 conference where representatives from more than 190 nations will gather to forge an international climate change agreement.

King’s role will include interviewing world leaders and blogging about the talks she will attend in an attempt to prompt others to take additional interest in climate change.

“I don’t look at climate change in a political way but more in a fact-based way,” said King. “My writing is going to try to make information from the conference relatable and understandable to people who don’t deal with it on an everyday basis.”

King and her fellow students’ writings will post at

King, who conducts research on campus alongside Drs. Gabriela Gurau and Julia Shamshina, employees of the UA-based start-up company, 525 Solutions, says she was encouraged to apply for the ACS slot by Dr. Robin Rogers, a UA chemistry professor.

During the sessions, officially known as the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the students will also participate in U.N. events and discuss how the known science of climate change may be incorporated into international policy, according to the society’s website. They will use social networking, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to reach a broad audience.

Joining King will be students from York College of Pennsylvania, Aquinas College, Baylor, Augustana College, Duke, Minot State University, and Hamilton College.

The students will be joined by faculty members from York College of Pennsylvania and Moravian College.

In her UA research, King, a graduate of Huntsville’s Bob Jones High School, studies ways chitin, a naturally occurring compound found in the shells of shrimp, other crustaceans and insects, can be used in medical applications, including in a new type of bandage that releases medication through the wearer’s skin.


Catherine King,


Chris Bryant, UA media relations, 205/348-8323,

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.