The Chemistry Department maintains a complement of modern instrumentation for bulk and trace analysis that is used and operated by students under faculty supervision. The environmental chemistry lab is located in a recently renovated lab space that facilitates independent research projects. Additional lab spaces, separate from teaching laboratories, are available for student research in all areas of chemistry. A variety of scientific journals and software are maintained by the department and the College. A number of scholarships and honors are awarded to students each year by the department.
The study of chemistry in the modern age makes use of a wide variety of instruments from simple and rugged spectrometers and pH meters to sophisticated instruments that rely on computer interfaces for the collection and analysis of data. A wide variety of instrumentation can be found throughout the chemistry department. The major instruments in the department are identified below. It is the goal of the chemistry department for students to use major instrumentation frequently in teaching laboratories and undergraduate research projects.
Often environmental work requires a lab space with some specialized equipment. The environmental chemistry lab has a variety of field equipment for the collection and transportation of samples. To prevent contamination of environmental samples, the environmental chemistry lab contains a refrigerator that is reserved for sample storage. When doing trace analysis, special measures must be taken when preparing standards and solutions. To ensure research grade water, the environmental chemistry lab has a water polishing system.
The department provides space for students to work on independent research projects under the guidance of a supervising faculty member. Undergraduate research space is separate from the department's teaching laboratories. Recent projects include molecular orbital calculations, 2D-NMR, magnetic susceptibility from NMR, biodiesel synthesis, stream water quality monitoring, and the environmental fate of various chemicals including bisphenol-A and plant growth regulators. Students working on research projects are encouraged to present their findings at regional scientific meetings. Interested in a research project? Contact individual faculty members directly about how you can get started.