Dr. Gail A. Steehler
Professor of Chemistry

You'll find web-based materials for all the courses I'm teaching this semester available through Blackboard . In recent years I have taught a wide variety of courses, and I'm branching out even more lately. Here are descriptions of courses I've taught in the past couple of years, or will be teaching soon.

  • Chem 101 is a single semester in chemistry for non-science majors. We use the ACS textbook Chemistry in Context, which emphasizes chemistry that an informed citizen needs to know--air and water quality issues, energy, drugs, etc. I greatly enjoy teaching this course and have even contributed several experiments I developed here at Roanoke College for our Chem 101 students to the recently revised Laboratory Manual for Chemistry in Context. .
  • Chem 111 & 112 are our general chemistry sequence primarily meant for science majors. We try very hard to emphasize understanding rather than memorizing. We work to make chemistry concrete and current. I do lots of demos in class and we are constantly undating the laboratory. At Roanoke College we emphasize the hands-on use of instrumentation by students. In Chem 111 & 112 our students get hands-on experience with IR, 1H NMR, 13C NMR, GC, HPLC, GC-MS, AA, and UV-Vis. For the past two years, I've taught Chem 112H, a one-semester version of general chemistry for our best prepared students.
  • Chem 460 is Advanced Inorganic Chemistry. We look at structure, bonding, and reactivity of inorganic molecules. In the lab portion of the course, I emphasize techniques such as the use of Schlenk line and glove bags that students don't see in other courses. Likewise, we try to use characterization techniques that are a bit different, such as variable temperature NMR. Most experiments include synthetic, characterization, and computer modeling components. The thing I like best about teaching this class is seeing the face of a student when it suddenly all makes sense, the arbitrary lines separating inorganic from physical from analytical from biochemistry disappear and it all just makes sense.
  • Hnrs 301 Women, Gender, and Science. In this course, we study the contributions of women scientists across several centuries, viewing each in the context of her time. We look at science in general: how its done, by whom, and whether it is just another product of western culture. Finally we study gender itself from the perspective of science. How are we different from each other and why?
  • IL 177 We're Moving to Mars was taught in May 2003. What would it take to establish a permanent colony of Mars and why would we want to do that? This course will be a mix of chemistry, physics, biology, astronomy, geoscience, economics, politics, psychology, and sociology. And we'll do it all in three weeks. That's why we call May our INTENSIVE learning term!
  • INQ 110 Freshman Seminar - People and the Planet. Students will be able to analyze environmental issues for societal impacts, scientific cause and effect, and political possibilities. Students will be able to...
    Describe the effect of climate change on past civilizations, describe the societal effects of contemporary environmental problems, interpret data on climate, explain planetary processes that affect climate, describe economic and political factors that influence responses to environmental challenges.

Recently my research activity has strayed from straight inorganic chemistry. We strongly encourage students to work on research projects, with or without credit, throughout their undergraduate career. You can read more about some things I've been doing lately.

I love to do chemistry outreach programs in local schools. I strongly believe that we need to capture the minds of children and help them see science as exciting. This is an important area of professional service for me and I also sometimes take college students along.

RC Student Separates New Compounds

RC Student Separates New Compounds

“This is going to put me at an advantage, not only for graduate school, but jobs, as I’ll be coming in with 3 years of research experience.”

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Upcoming EPIC Events

04/04/14, 3:30 pm, Dr. Weiss

04/11/14, 4:00 pm, Ms. Soublo

04/11/14, Poster Session

04/17/14, Dr. Anderson

See EPiC Calendar for more events.