Our Faculty

Karen Caldwell

Assistant Professor
Department Co-chair

Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

Chemistry and Physical Sciences

  • @Pleasantville
    Costello House 101B


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.


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

BA, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, 1977

Awards and Honors

Dyson Society of Fellows, May 2008 - Inducted
Middle Atlantic Region, Amer. Chem. Soc., May 1997 - Certificate
Westchester Chemical Society, May 1997 - Certificate
Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, February 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


Remediating Interior Building Surfaces Contaminated by Methamphetamine

Intellectual Property

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

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