Pete Palmer, Ph.D. (SFSU)

Professor, Chemistry Department, San Francisco State University

Pete Palmer received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Michigan State University. He has worked a lab technician in an environmental testing laboratory, a research scientist at Proctor & Gamble, and a Mass Spectrometry group leader at NASA Ames Research Center. He is currently a Professor in the Chemistry Department at SFSU, Co-Director of SFSU’s Mass Spectrometry Facility, and also serves as a science advisor for the FDA. His group’s research focuses on the use of smaller, faster, and more powerful instrumentation for monitoring trace level contaminants in environmental samples and consumer products.



Pete’s group is monitoring lead in East Oakland in collaboration with local high school students, measuring toxic organics in air samples in the Bayview Hunters Point district of SF, and assessing pesticide contamination on artifacts belonging to several CA tribes. He has pioneered the use of XRF for rapid screening of toxic elements in consumer products and received the 2005 Jefferson Award for community service in applying chemical analysis to serve the public interest.