Karen Caldwell

Karen Caldwell

Assistant Professor
Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
Chemistry and Physical Sciences
Costello House


Faculty Bio

Research has the overall goal of determining the best way to remediate clandestine methamphetamine labs (“Clan Labs”). After the discovery of a Clan Lab, removal of the gross quantities of hazardous materials is carried out by first responders. Afterwards, cleanup (remediation) must be carried out by property owners. Remediation costs can range anywhere from $30,000.00 to $300,000.00. Sometimes, demolition is chosen, rather than remediation. An understanding of the physico-chemical factors that are important for effective cleansing of interior building surfaces is desired, especially if such understanding ultimately leads to lower costs of remediation. This project requires a manifold approach. Reproducible methods for applying to and then recovering materials from typical surfaces found in buildings are being developed. The chemistry of effective cleansing agents is also being explored. Methamphetamine model compounds (surrogates) are used in these studies. Since 2015, five Pace undergraduate students have participated in the project.

Awards and Honors

  • Dyson Society of Fellows, 2008, Inducted
  • Middle Atlantic Region, Amer. Chem. Soc., 1997, Certificate
  • Westchester Chemical Society, 1997, Certificate
  • Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, 1993, Certificate
  • Sigma Xi, 1983, Elected Member
  • Who's Who, 1982, Who's Who in American Colleges & Universities
  • Eastman Kodak, 1979, Fellow
  • Exxon Foundation, 1979, Fellow
  • Oracle Society (Ithaca College Honor Society), 1977, Elected Member
  • National Science Foundation, 1977, Predoctoral Fellow


PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1983
Organic Chemistry

BA, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, 1977

Research and Creative Works

Research Interest

Remediating Interior Building Surfaces Contaminated by Methamphetamine

Courses Taught

Past Courses

CHE 101: Introduction to Chemistry I
CHE 111: General Chemistry I
CHE 113: Prin of Chem for the Hlth Prof
CHE 223: Organic Chemistry I
CHE 223: Organic Chemistry I (Lab)
CHE 223: Organic Chemistry I (Lecture)
CHE 223: Organic Chemistry I Recitation
CHE 224: Organic Chemistry II
CHE 224: Organic Chemistry II (Lab)
CHE 224: Organic Chemistry II (Lecture)
CHE 224: Orgnc Chmstry II Recitation
CHE 330: Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
CHE 333: Advanced Organic Chemistry
CHE 392: Chemistry Seminar I
CHE 395: Independent Study in Chemistry
CHE 480: Research in Chemistry
CHE 491: Chemistry Internship I
CHE 492: Chemistry Seminar II

Professional Contributions and Service

Intellectual Property

Patent: Process for Preparation of Thin Metallic Foils and Organic Thin-Film-Metal Structures [Non-Provisional] , United States