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Professor of Law Donna Christie

Of the 95,331 miles of coast under the purview of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, only about 700 miles (0.75% of the total) of sandy shoreline has been deemed "undeveloped" by the Department of Interior.

The concentration of population on the coast's developed areas (the other 99.25%) has risen to more than 750 people per square mile. Intense industrial and recreational use have threatened the fragile balance of the coastal ecosystems.

The body of law that has evolved to tackle the toughest questions of policy for those crucial ecosystems around the world is, not unlike the oceans and their shorelines, both ever-changing and exceedingly complex.

Donna Christie, Florida State professor of law, is vitally interested in making sure that the sustainable seas remain just that—areas of economic productivity, natural beauty and cauldrons of life over the long haul.

Though she is a leader in domestic law on the subject, the co-author of leading student texts in the field such as Ocean Law in a Nutshell and Coastal and Ocean Law (1994, 1999, West Publishing), Christie is also a force in the international law community.

"I go from working on Florida ocean policy and beach access issues to coastal management work in Belize and Australia to international fisheries and maritime boundaries issues. I can't pass up an interesting project in any of these areas" says Christie, whose passion for combining environment and the law was whetted during a post-doc appointment to the Marine Policy Center at the famed Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts.

"The law is fascinating," Christie says, "and if I'm lucky, my work may end up actually helping to preserve the coasts and seas." -P.A.S.

Donna Christie, Elizabeth C. and Clyde W. Atkinson Professor of Law and Associate Dean for International Programs, is known for her work on ocean and coastal management. She teaches a variety of courses in domestic and international law as it pertains to the environment. Christie, a cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia College of Law, directs the Summer Law Programs in Barbardos and has served as director of the Policy Studies Clinic and associate dean for academic affairs.


Professor of chemistry Joseph Schlenoff

In the early 19th century, the Swede Jöns Jakob Berzelius, one of the founders of modern chemistry, first coined the word "polymer" to denote a large molecule formed by joining single identical molecules into chains.

Two centuries later, Joseph B. Schlenoff, professor of chemistry and associate director of the Center for Materials Research and Technology (MARTECH) at Florida State, is raising the bar on polymer science to a height that might leave Berzelius dizzy.

Schlenoff and his team are engaged in multi-disciplinary research centered on the use of novel structures made from polyelectrolytes—charged, water-soluble macromolecules found in products from shampoos to water treatment chemicals. The substances are formed into multilayer films with exceptional thinness and durability by a computer-controlled robot developed by MARTECH research scientists.

The multilayers are used primarily in the areas of membrane transport, corrosion protection, and biological interface. All three areas have in common the ways in which substances either pass through or are blocked by the films.

When used as membranes, the films become selective for various gasses and ions, hence their effectiveness as powerful filters. And even though they contain water, the multilayers are equally effective at preventing corrosion.

Perhaps one of the most compelling manifestations of Schlenoff's research is the way in which multilayers are used to modify surfaces to control protein adsorption—a key in understanding and manipulating biological systems.

Aside from the obvious practical applications of his research, the work also provides a much-needed bridge between two disparate areas of endeavor.

"At its core, polymer science offers many opportunities to explore the connections between basic and applied chemistry," Schlenoff says.—P.A.S.




Joseph B. Schlenoff (Ph.D. University of Massachusetts) is Professor of Chemistry and Associate Director of MARTECH, a multi-disciplinary research facility encompassing a wide range of activities within the areas of physics, chemistry, engineering, and related fields and serving as a center for the promotion of education and research at the frontiers of materials science. Schlenoff is an acclaimed researcher in the field of polymer science.