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News Release

Date: February 16, 2007
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Steve Simon, 301-251-7952

Montgomery College Hosts Spectrum Lecture on ‘Evolution of Oxygen on Earth’
University of Maryland's Alan J. Kaufman Will Talk at Germantown Campus, Feb. 28

Dr. Alan J. Kaufman, from the University of Maryland, will speak at Montgomery College-Germantown on Wednesday, February 28, as part of the college's 2007 Spectrum Lecture Series. His talk entitled "Evolution of Oxygen on Earth: Evidence from Sulfur Isotopes" will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Globe Hall, which is located in the High Technology and Science Center, 20200 Observation Drive, Germantown, Md. This event is free and open to the public.

Like all Spectrum Lectures, Kaufman's presentation is designed for a non-scientific audience, enabling scientists, students, and the community to learn about ground-breaking advancements in science. Kaufman will discuss irregular sulfur isotopes (two or more forms of a chemical element) found in sediment from the earliest era of earth's history and how they are believed to record the changes in atmospheric oxygen. Many of his studies are focused on shale and carbonate found in 2,500 million-year-old rocks of northwestern Australia. The understanding of the changes in oxygen during these early periods may help to uncover the early history of the earth.

Dr. Alan J. Kaufman received bachelor's degrees in geology and English at Louisiana State University in 1982. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in biochemistry at Indiana University. He was a research scientist at Harvard University for seven years before starting at the University of Maryland in 1997. His research, which has been featured in more than 60 publications, including national and international journals, focuses on understanding changes in the isotopic compositions of oceans through time.

For more information, visit To request accommodations for physical disability, please contact Dr. Susan Bontems, assistant professor of chemistry at 301-353-7740 or

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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