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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Oct. 28: Leonard A. Ford Lectureship

Visiting professor William Arnold to discuss how certain chemicals affect the environment.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Media Relations News Release, 10-11-2013

Mankato, Minn. –William Arnold, professor of civil engineering at the University of Minnesota, will deliver two lectures at Minnesota State University, Mankato on Monday, Oct. 28 as part of the 24th annual Leonard A. Ford Lectureship.

Both lectures are free and open to the public. Arnold will give a general talk at 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium titled “From Triclosan to Dioxins: How your hand soap leads to an unanticipated environmental problem.”

The lecture will discuss pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) that often find their way into the sewage system. Arnold will describe how the small fraction of chemicals that are not treated removed by wastewater treatment plants are released into the environment and may have adverse effects. Arnold will also discuss how sediment cores serve as a record of contaminant release and why the use of triclosan in consumer products merits additional scrutiny.

Prior to his Oct. 28 evening lecture, Arnold will give a technical talk at 10 a.m. in the Trafton Science Center (Room TR C124) that is titled “Abiotic Transformations of Pesticides in Prairie Potholes.”

In his 10 a.m. technical talk, Arnold will discuss why the prairie pothole region in central North America is one the most extensively altered ecosystems on earth. He will describe how agricultural drainage over the last 150 years has resulted in severe loss of native prairie wetlands and how remaining prairie pothole lakes continue to be threatened by nonpoint source pesticide pollution from agriculture.

Arnold is currently a Joseph T. and Rose S. Ling Professor and associate department head for the Department of Civil Engineering in the University of Minnesota’s College of Science & Engineering. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994, Arnold earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Yale University in 1995. He earned a doctorate in environmental engineering from The Johns Hopkins University for Environmental Engineering in 1999.

The event is being sponsored by the Chemistry and Geology Department in Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology.

For more information, contact Christine Cords at 507-389-1963 or send an email to

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,409 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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