Geraldine L. Richmond

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Geraldine Richmond
Born (1953-01-17) January 17, 1953 (age 70)
Salina, Kansas
Nationality United States United States
Fields Chemistry and physics
Institutions University of Oregon
Education Kansas State University (B.S.); University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D.)
Notable awards National Medal of Science; Davisson-Germer Prize; Garvan-Olin Medal

Geraldine Lee Richmond (born January 17, 1953 in Salina, Kansas)[1] is an American chemist and physical chemist.[2]

Richmond is currently the Presidential Chair in Science and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oregon. She received her BS in chemistry in 1975 from Kansas State University and her PhD in 1980 at UC Berkeley in physical chemistry. From 1980 to 1985 she was an Assistant Professor of chemistry at Bryn Mawr College. Since 1985, Richmond has been at the University of Oregon, first, from 1985 to 1991, as an Associate Professor of Chemistry, and since 1991 as a Professor. Until 1995 she was director of the Chemical Physics Institute. From 1998 to 2001 she was the Knight Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and between 2002-2013, the Richard M. and Patricia H. Noyes Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oregon.[3] Richmond was appointed by Governor Kitzhaber to the Oregon State Board of Higher Education from 1999-2003 and reappointed by Governor Kulongoski from 2004-2006.

In 2014, Richmond was elected president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for a term beginning in February 2015.[4] In 2014, she was appointed by Secretary John Kerry to serve as the Science Envoy for the Lower Mekong River Countries.[5] She was appointed by President Obama to the National Science Board for a term of 2012-2016.[6]

Richmond is the Director and co-Founder of COACh,[7] a grassroots organization founded in 1997 and based at the University of Oregon that is working to increase the number and success of women scientists in the U.S. and internationally. Geri Richmond also started a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the University of Oregon in 1987 and it is the longest running REU program in the United States. In the 28 years of the REU program, it has hosted over 350 undergraduates from across the country with 90% continuing onto graduate school.[8]

Richmond's scientific research area encompasses the chemical and physical processes that occur in complex surfaces and boundary layers. Some ongoing projects in her laboratory include:

  • Understanding how water molecules hydrogen bond at a water surface and how this hydrogen bonding, which is so strong at a water surface, is perturbed by the presence of surfactants, organic adsorbates or electrolytes in the bulk solution.
  • Probing how water behaves near hydrophobic surfaces. These studies examine water in contact with a variety of liquid, solid and monolayer surfaces as we seek to understand some of the most fundamental interactions that underpin many environmental, chemical and biological processes on our planet.
  • Examining important environmental processes at liquid surfaces. A wide range of projects are ongoing in this area including monitoring the adsorption of contaminants on water surfaces, studying how atmospheric gases adsorb and react on water surfaces, exploring how acids and ions in aqueous solutions alter the surface adsorptive and reactive properties at the air/water and oil/water interfaces.
  • Characterizing the electron-hole dynamics at the surface of photoactive materials as we seek to develop high efficiency solar conversion materials for solar cell applications.
  • Studying the structure and dynamics of thin film growth at mineral/water interfaces. The information that we seek from these studies is important for a number of environmental, material science and energy related challenges today.
  • Exploring how biomolecules adsorb and assemble at liquid surfaces and the role that water plays in the surface behavior of these molecules.


  • 2015: National Medal of Science[9][10]
  • 2014 Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award of the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh
  • 2013: Davisson-Germer Prize for "elegant elucidation of the molecular structure and organization of liquid-liquid and liquid-air interfaces using nonlinear optical spectroscopies"[11]
  • 2013 Charles L. Parsons Award of the American Chemical Society "For distinguished public service to chemistry through advocacy for higher education, wise counsel and leadership in national science policy, and tireless advocacy for women chemists."[12]
  • 2011: Member, National Academy of Sciences
  • 2011 Fellow, American Chemical Society
  • 2011 Joel Henry Hildebrand Award of the American Chemical Society "For pioneering applications of nonlinear optical spectroscopies and modeling of liquid surfaces and the resulting new understanding of water structure and bonding at liquid interfaces."[13]
  • 2008 Bomem-Michaelson Award
  • 2008 Fellow, Association for Women in Science
  • 2006: Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2006 Francis P. Garvan-Olin Medal of the American Chemical Society
  • 2006 Council on Chemical Research Diversity Award
  • 2004 Spiers Medal of the UK Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 2004: Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 2001 Oregon Outstanding Scientist Award, Oregon Academy of Science
  • 1997 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Engineering Mentoring
  • 1997 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Engineering Mentoring, White House
  • 1992: Fellow, American Physical Society
  • 1989 Coblentz Society Spectroscopy Award


  1. "Array of Contemporary American Physicists: Geraldine Richmond". American Institute of Physics. 2015. Retrieved 2013-09-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Geraldine (Geri) Richmond" (PDF). 2015-11-01. Retrieved 2015-12-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Geri Richmond". Retrieved 2015-12-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Geraldine Richmond Chosen to Serve as AAAS President-Elect". AAAS - The World's Largest General Scientific Society. Retrieved 2015-12-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Announcement of U.S. Science Envoys". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2015-12-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "National Science Board". National Science Board. Retrieved 2015-12-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "COACh". COACh. Retrieved 2015-12-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Homepage | REU". Retrieved 2015-12-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "President Obama honors nation's leading scientists and innovators | NSF - National Science Foundation". Retrieved December 23, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "NSTMF". NSTMF. Retrieved December 23, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "APS Physics | DAMOP | Recipient". Retrieved 2015-12-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "2013 National Award Recipient Citations". American Chemical Society. Retrieved 2015-12-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "ACS 2011 National Award Winners". American Chemical Society. Retrieved 2015-12-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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