IMAGE OF Suzzane Young

Suzanne Marcia Marcel Young, Ph.D.

Graduate Coordinator; MS and Certificates Coordinator; Chemistry Senior Research Coordinator; Honors College Liaison; Coordinator of Chemistry 1 & 2; First Generation Working Group; Assistant Teaching Professor

Pronouns
she/her
College
College of Sciences
Department
Chemistry
Phone
(978) 934-6649
Office
Olney Hall, Room 216c

Expertise

Analytical Chemist with a very eclectic collection of experiences in space chemistry, geochemistry, biochemistry, and archaeological chemistry

Research Interests

Chemical Signatures of Biohabitability on other planets; Analytical Isotopic techniques; Mass Spectrometry; Archaeometry

Education

Ph.D.: Harvard University, Thesis: Amino acid Metabolic Mechanisms and the Stable Isotope Chemistry Investigation of Ancient Diets
M.A.: Archaeology/Archaeometry, Harvard University, including Material Science (course work at MIT)
M.A.: Chemistry, Brandeis University, specialty in Organometallic Synthesis and Spectroscopy
A.B.: Chemistry and Mathematics, Regis College, Magna cum laude

Biosketch

I am an Analytical Chemist with a very eclectic collection of experiences that dip into space chemistry, geochemistry, biochemistry, and archaeological chemistry. Currently, I teach Honors Chemistry, Introductory Chemistries, and host the Senior Thesis Research Seminar. In the classroom, I am caring and enthusiastic. With loads of experience as wide ranging as working for NASA, managing archaeometry labs, working in a mass spectrometry company, I always fill classes with real world connections to a diversity of majors and interests. I host very active classes and strive to be a warm and welcoming learning environment to all. 

Introductory Chemistry courses are, in fact, my very favorite courses to teach because it is the closest to my real life in research. While I was studying Applied Analytical Material Sciences at Harvard and MIT, I began tinkering with all our equipment. I have always loved fabulous analytical equipment (toys) and all they can do - the fabulous questions they can answer.

I managed the Archaeometry Laboratories at Harvard University - running research, training all who needed to use the equipment and maintaining and repairing it. And I wrote some instrumental portions of a book about the equipment in service of archaeological questions: I helped a team design, build, and operate miniaturized electroanalytical equipment that went to Mars on the Phoenix Lander Mission. Because I was a rare individual who spoke both science and engineering and who understood both cultures as well, I was made Tactical SPI (Science Plan Integrator) during operations, for which I was later awarded the mission’s NASA Achievement Award “For outstanding performance in the planning for the execution of the science for the Phoenix Mission." This entailed working with all the hopes and dreams of the science team - nine instrument teams - and four themed science teams - making sure the plan laid fit all parameters, didn't break the space craft, didn't overrun data, didn't take more power than we had, and followed all flight rules. Once that was achieved, as well as total team buy-in, I then worked with the engineering team teaching them total plan and priorities every day. The fantastic thing about this NASA mission, is that every bit of what I teach in introductory chemistry is applied in answering enormous questions with analytical equipment and experimental design. So as a fun applications culmination of students’ knowledge in their course, we may delve into NASA missions and how it all comes together. We breathe some real application fun into the course from all fields. And we breath some humanity into the course as well. It is an explicit personal goal to show chemistry is wide ranging, diverse, and have always equitable classrooms. And I love helping students at all levels blossom into their own research adventures! If you are interested in more about my work for NASA, NASA required me to write this blog.

Selected Awards and Honors

UML Teaching Excellence Award from the Provost (May, 2021)

NASA Achievement Award “For outstanding performance in the planning for the execution of the science for the Phoenix Mission” (July, 2009)

Selected Publications

Two articles made the cover of Science, issue 325.

M. H. Hecht, S. P. Kounaves, R. C. Quinn, S. J. West, S. M. M. Young, D. W. Ming, D. C. Catling, B. C. Clark, W. V. Boynton, J. Hoffman, L. P. DeFlores, K. Gospodinova, J. Kapit, and P. H. Smith, Detection of Perchlorate and the Soluble Chemistry of Martian Soil at the Phoenix Lander Site, Science, 2009, 325, 64-67.

W. V. Boynton, D. W. Ming, S. P. Kounaves, S. M. M. Young, R. E. Arvidson, M. H. Hecht, J. Hoffman, P. B. Niles, D. K. Hamara, R. C. Quinn, P. H. Smith, B. Sutter, D. C. Catling, and R. V. Morris, Evidence for Calcium Carbonate at the Mars Phoenix Landing Site, Science, 2009, 325, 61-64.

S. P. Kounaves, M. H. Hecht, J. Kapit, K. Gospodinova, L. DeFlores, R. C. Quinn, W. V. Boynton, B. C. Clark, D. C. Catling, P. Hredzak, D. W. Ming, Q. Moore, J. Shusterman, S. Stroble, S. J. West, and S. M. M. Young, Wet Chemistry Experiments on the 2007 Phoenix Mars Scout Lander: Data Analysis and Results J. Geophys. Res., 2010, 115, E00E10, doi:10.1029/2009JE003424

C. R. Stoker, A. Zent, D. C. Catling, S. Douglas, J. Marshall, D. Archer, B. C. Clark, S. P. Kounaves, M. Lemmon, R. C. Quinn, N. Renno, P. H. Smith, and S. Young, Habitability of the Phoenix Landing Site J. Geophys. Res., 2010, 115, E00E20, doi:10.1029/2009JE003421

"Effects of the Phoenix Lander Descent Thruster Plume on the Martian Surface" D. H. Plemmons, B. C. Clark, S. P. Kounaves, L. L. Peach, N. O. Renno, L. Tamppari, and S. M. M. Young, J. Geophys. Res., 113, E00A11, doi:10.1029/2007JE003059.

A. Hoehn, K. L. Lynch, J. Clawson, J. B. Freeman, J. Kapit, S. M. M. Young, S. P. Kounaves, and I. I. Brown, Microbial Detection Array (MDA) - Unambiguous Detection of Microbial Metabolic Activity in Astrobiology Applications, SAE Proceedings, ICES 2007, International Conference On Environmental Systems, Proceedings, Chicago, IL, USA, 2007SAE Document No. 2007-01-3190

Books Published

A.M. Pollard, C.M. Batt, B, Stern, S.M.M. Young Analytical Chemistry in Archaeology Cambridge University Press. (2007). ISBN 978-0521655729

S.M.M. Young, A.M. Pollard, P. Budd, R. Ixer. (eds.) Metals in Antiquity, Archaeopress of British Archaeological Reports. (1999). ISBN 1 84171 0083.

Selected Presentations

Plenary Speaker on Mission to Mars: Robots Exploring Chemistry at Scifest Africa: Creating a Culture of Curiosity & Learning in Africa. March, 2012 (South Africa).

Host of a Talkshop of Mars Chemistry. And Science Instructor in a Science Cafe. This was a major science education event, and, while there, I also spoke at Witswatersrrand University and University of Rhodes Chemistry Departments, as well.

Invited Speaker on Adventures in Amino Acids: from Dietary Studies to Astrobiology. Victoria College, University of Toronto. June, 2012.

Plenary Speaker on Methods of Bio-habitability Assessment at NH Astronomy Association Annual meeting, November, 2011.

Plenary Speaker on Discoveries of NASA’s Mars Explorer and the Implications for Bio-habitability at Northern Division Meeting of NEACT. (New England Association of Chemistry Teachers.) October, 2010.

Plenary Speaker on Chemistry in Space – real chemistry in the NASA initiatives at Sigma Xi Chemistry National Honor Society meeting, April, 2010.

Chairman and organizer of Space Exploration of Analytics at Eastern Analytical Symposium, November, 2009.

Co-lecturer of the short course Chemistry in Space at Eastern Analytical Symposium, November, 2009.

Plenary Speaker The Oscillating History in the Exploration of the Red Planet at the joint meeting of American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers, October, 2009.

S.M.M. Young Bio-habitability Indicators on Polar Mars found by the 2007 Phoenix Mars Scout Mission at the joint meeting of American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers, October, 2009.

S. M. M. Young, Exploring Biohabitability off Earth. Presented at Lunar and Planetary Sciences Conference, 2009.

Co-Chairman of Phoenix: Soil, Chemistry, and Habitability at Lunar and Planetary Sciences Conference, 2009.

S. M. M. Young, C. Stoker M. Hetch. Polar Mars Biohabitability Assessment of the Wet Chemistry Analysis of Evaporites, Red-Ox Couples and Dissolved Sulfates on the 2007 Phoenix Mars Scout Mission. Presented at Lunar and Planetary Sciences Conference, 2009.

Co-Chairman of S.M.M. Young. Metals in Antiquity Harvard-Bradford International Symposium at Harvard University - 175 in attendance. (September 1997)

C.C. Mattusch, H. Lie, S.M.M. Young. The Fire of Hephaistos (Roman Colossal Bronze Statues). Exhibit in The Fogg Museum during 1996 International Bronze Conference in Boston. (Exhibit began June, 1996, showed at the Fogg Museum for 9 months, then travelled within USA and Canada.)

Co-Chairman of S.M.M. Young. Theory and Practice in Isotopic Dietary Studies (Symposium convened within World Archaeological Congress of 1999 in South Africa).

S.M.M. Young. Chairman of “Metals and Technology” in Archaeometry ‘98 (Budapest)

Selected Intellectual Property

A.M. Pollard, C.M. Batt, B, Stern, S.M.M. Young Analytical Chemistry in Archaeology Cambridge University Press. (2007). ISBN 978-0521655729

S.M.M. Young, A.M. Pollard, P. Budd, R. Ixer. (eds.) Metals in Antiquity, Archaeopress of British Archaeological Reports. (1999). ISBN 1 84171 0083.