Instrumentation to Support the Revision of Analytical Chemistry for Today's Students: Aqueous Systems with Environmental Significance

Project Details


This project details the development of a new course in quantitative analysis that is designed to capture the imagination and interest of chemistry majors and of larger numbers of students of environmental and biological sciences. The revised course will improve students' preparation for independent research opportunities with faculty mentors.

The project is to implement work from 'The Chemistry of Water' (NSF DUE 9156123). The primary object is to enable students to: 1) receive training in analytical chemistry that is current, level-appropriate, and of the highest quality; 2) see how their own laboratory results relate to an ongoing scientific investigation and thus how scientific knowledge advances through collation of independent data sources; 3) gain mastery over the internet's power to facilitate the sharing of data; and 4) work on assignments that take account of their varied learning styles. Successful innovations and modifications will be shared with the larger community of chemical and environmental educators.

A working group of faculty members from the Departments of Chemistry, Marine and Coastal Sciences, Environmental Sciences, and Biochemistry has devised means to obtain for students a set of oceanographic samples with research significance. Students will analyze these samples in many different ways and compare their results with those obtained by active research scientists. New experiments will be designed by project investigators knowledgeable in instrumental chemical oceanography (NSF BES 9402540); trace element analyses (NSF OCE 9601668; NSF EAR 9316242); and analytical techniques related to phytoplankton pigmentation (NSF OCE 9402540). The organization of the group laboratory activities will be based partly on the ideas of P.M. Treichel and colleagues (NSF DUE 9450615) and will also be influenced by experience gained in connection with a course on the Greenhouse Effect (NSF DUE 9354742), and a program recently begun at Rutgers for Institution-Wide Reform of Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (NSF DUE 9850071).

The proposed innovations will affect a diverse group of undergraduates. Current enrollment demographics indicate that an appropriate audience is being and will be reached. (e.g., Fall 1998: 50% male, 50% female; 10-15% latino; 5-10% African-American). The revised course will rely on the use of the web for distribution of course materials and for transfer of data among students and from the web site for Rutgers' Long-term Ecosystem Observatory.

Effective start/end date7/15/996/30/04


  • National Science Foundation: $100,000.00


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