The lab activity will be integrated into the class whenever possible. The focus will be on practicing safe lab technique and developing the scientific skills of asking questions and working out procedures to answer them.
Lab will continue to develop facility with techniques of chemical exploration. The main project this semester will be to develop a lab research topic, do background research, develop a series of experiments, perform them and analyze results.
The lab will initially focus on basic organic lab techniques such as separations, distillations, column chromatography, extractions, and synthesis. Characterization will involve doing NMR and interpreting NMR and IR spectra.
The lab will initially focus on basic organic lab techniques such as separations, distillations, column chromatography, extractions, and synthesis. The primary project will be an experimental research project of the studentís choosing which will be presented at the end of the semester. NMR and IR spectroscopy will be used as part of the project.
In southern Vermont, two mountain ranges with very different geologic histories, biota and chemical composition are arrayed roughly parallel to each other in north-south ranges with the Vermont Valley intervening. The western Taconic Mountains are underlain by extensive limestone deposits which tend to buffer the pH of Taconic ponds while the eastern Green Mountains sit on a granitic base with little buffering capacity. As a result, the pH of ponds in the Taconic mountains has been about 8 (slightly alkaline) while ponds in the Green Mountains have averaged an acidic pH of about 4.6 (probably due to both natural and man-made causes). Preliminary data suggest that chemical differences other than pH also exist among the ponds of the two mountain ranges. How have the different chemical profiles affected the organisms in these ponds? In addition to learning the chemistry and biology necessary to begin to understand these different ponds, students will have an opportunity to do research on a particular question of their own.