2014-2016:  Currently on Leave of Absence

Fall 2011

FYS 191, Crossroads of the 21st Century

Our society finds itself at a number of critical crossroads.  How we proceed will affect our own health, the health of the environment, and may redefine what it means to be human.  We will take an interdisciplinary study of:  (1) the future of food and its sources (2) the future of energy generation and consumption, and (3) what it means to be human in an era of highly advanced engineering and technological abilities.

Chemistry 252, Environmental Chemistry (1 section)

This course focuses on two major portions of environmental chemistry.  1)  The study the chemical principles and how they relate to problems, and their solutions, in our natural environment, and 2) The chemistry of important environmental systems of our world.

We discuss how human activity has affected the environment and how new research, new technologies, lifestyle choices and even public policies can reverse the effects that are already evident.  One aim of this course is  to balance the qualitative with the quantitative.

At the end of this course students will have developed a working scientific literacy with regards to the environment and important environmental issues.  That is, they may not know it all, but they will be able to read about the important environmental issues and critically evaluate common arguments.   I do not intend to create a class full of environmentalists, nor do I hope that all the students will all think the same as I do at the end of this course.  I do expect them to see the natural world from a more informed perspective.

In discussing natural systems, we use the lens of a chemist to learn how these systems in our environment work.  Some topics include, atmospheric chemistry, biogeochemical cycling of elements in the environment, the global water cycle, and water as an ecological medium.

Spring 2012

Chemistry 122, General Chemistry II (1 section):

This course is the second half of an introduction to the fundamental principles of chemistry.  Specifically, we focus on the macroscopic nature of chemistry by studying important aspects of chemical reactions such as equilibrium and  kinetics as well as specific types of reactions such as precipitation/dissolution and acid/base reactions.  The course concludes with a more in depth study of thermodynamics followed by electrochemistry.

Chemistry 311, Introductory Physical Chemistry  (1 section):

This course covers an entire year of Physical Chemistry in one term.  We cover topics in thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, spectroscopy and kinetics.