Dr. Kriz's Research
My current areas of interest are:
- Development of Instructional Methods in Organic Laboratory and Organic Spectroscopy in the Undergraduate Curriculum.
- I have long been interested in developing new methods and experiments for the undergraduate and upper-division organic laboratories. Areas of particular concentration for me recently have been experiments that involve NMR (proton, carbon, 2D), FT-IR, GC-MS, and HPLC. I have a continuing interest in the development of new microscale and macroscale organic chemistry teaching methods and in the improvement of established experiments.
- Isolation and Identification of Natural Products.
- Preliminary research on the isolation and characterization of the organic constituents of the South American lenga tree (Nothofagus pumilio) is an ongoing area of activity. The purpose of this research is to identify organic substituents that may pose interesting and challenging problems in isolation, characterization and structure proof, particularly involving the use of NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. In addition, information about the organic constituents should provide useful information about the growth characteristics and soil conditions in the lenga forests. To date, our work has focused on the characterization of a series of tricyclic molecules that include three-, five-, and seven-membered fused rings (decahydrocyclopropanazulenes). An example of a compound that contains these ring systems is (+)-globulol:
- Applications of Green Chemistry in the Undergraduate Curriculum
- As a greater awareness of the environmental implications of chemical processes spreads throughout the general public, there is increasing attention being paid to methods of teaching chemistry in a manner that pays attention to such important issues as reduced use of toxic solvents, reduced use of energy and natural resources, and reduced levels of toxic wastes that are generated. I am interested in finding ways of teaching laboratory classes in a more environmentally responsible fashion, while still designing curricula that teach the techniques that are necessary for the development of well-prepared future science professionals.
- Liberal Arts Chemistry: Chemistry in a Social and Historical Context
- I have been working on new approaches to the teaching of liberal arts chemistry courses. I believe that it is more meaningful for students in this audience to spend their time discussing what chemists do, how they think, the historical context in which chemists work, and some important questions in chemistry for which a general audience should have some appreciation. Recent work has focused on student projects that combine elements of library research, oral and written presentation, small group activities, and peer- and self-evaluation, as well as discussion of topics based on important historical figures in chemistry or on important milestones in the development of chemistry. An objective is to develop a course that is more relevant to the needs of prospective elementary and high school teachers and that is consistent with the principles outlined National Science Education Standards.
- Writing Undergraduate Textbooks for Organic Chemistry and Spectroscopy.
- I am currently involved in an on-going project as co-author of a series of organic chemistry textbooks. Included among the titles are Introduction to Organic Laboratory Techniques: A Contemporary Approach (1976, 1982, 1988), Introduction to Organic Laboratory Techniques: A Microscale Approach (1990, 1995, 1999), Introduction to Organic Laboratory Techniques: A Small Scale Approach (1998, 2005), Microscale and Macroscale Techniques in the Organic Laboratory (2002), and Introduction to Spectroscopy: A Guide for Students of Organic Chemistry (1979, 1996, 2001). At this time, a fourth edition of the microscale laboratory textbook is being prepared, and a manuscript for a lecture textbook in organic chemistry is undergoing development.