Professor of Chemistry
B.S. Grove City College (1975); Ph.D. Texas A&M University (1980)
Mailing Address:
    Arlene Courtney
    Department of Chemistry
    Western Oregon University
    345 N. Monmouth Ave.
    Monmouth, Oregon 97361
Office: Natural Science, NS 112

Phone:  503-838-8207 (Office); 503-838-8072 (Fax)



Time      Monday          Tuesday        Wednesday      Thursday        Friday    
8:00 AM Ch 336 Ch 338 Ch 336 Ch 338 Ch 336
9:00 AM Office   Office    
10:00 AM Office   Office    
11:00 AM          
12:00 PM Ch 407W       Research
1:00 PM   Ch 338 Office Ch 338  
2:00 PM New Building   GS 203H    
3:00 PM Design Meeting   Recording    
4:00 PM     Time    
5:00 PM GS 203H   GS 203H    
6:00 PM        
7:00 PM          
8:00 PM          
9:00 PM          


Ch 334, 335, 336 Organic Chemistry

Ch 320 Introduction to Forensic Science

Ch 350 Chemical Literature

GS 361 Energy and Resources in Perspective

Ch 371 Environmental Chemistry

Ch 407 Seminar

Ch 412 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

Ch 462 Experimental Chemistry

GS 407/507 The Dummy's Guide to Generating Multimedia Classroom Presentations

GS 507 Information Searching For Science Teachers

GS 203H Search for Order (Honor's General Science)

Biographical Information

Hi! Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I have been teaching chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at Western for twenty years. I hold the rank of Professor.

I began my academic career as an undergraduate student at Grove City College, a small 2000 student school. I graduated with a B.S. degree in Chemistry (Cum Laude) in 1975. In addition to studying chemistry at GCC, I spent a lot of time on the athletic fields playing field hockey, volleyball and basketball and was a member of the marching and symphonic bands. My senior research project sparked an interest in learning more about chemistry so I decided to go on to graduate school. I earned a Ph.D. degree in Inorganic Chemistry specializing in organometallic chemistry from Texas A&M University in 1980. During my graduate school career, I worked on a number of different projects involving the synthesis of organometallic compounds of platinum, palladium, and lanthanide metals. I spent a lot of time working in the glove box as many of my compounds were air sensitive; some spontaneously combusting on exposure to air! I also did computer molecular modelling (we programmed mainframes using punch cards and tape in those days!) and a lot of carbon-13 spectroscopy. My dissertation project explored the syntheses of macrocyclic polystannanes (organotin compounds) and the mechanisms by which lithium organostannanes react with organic halides to form these types of compounds. With degree in hand, I moved on to Colorado State University where I was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. John K. Stille. During my two years at CSU, my research work focused on the palladium-catalyzed reactions of organotin reagents with organic compounds.

I started my academic teaching career as an Assistant Professor in 1982 at Murray State University in Kentucky where I taught chemistry majors' general chemistry and graduate courses in organic, inorganic and organometallic chemistry. I moved west joining the Western faculty in 1988. I was promoted to Associate Professor in 1990 and attained my current rank of Professor in 1996. I became Head of the Department of Earth and Physical Sciences in 1992. I served in that capacity until becoming the Chairman of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in 1996, a position I held for six years. Over the years, I have taught a wide range of chemistry courses at WOU including general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, advanced inorganic chemistry, environmental chemistry, chemical literature, experimental chemistry, forensic science and the senior seminar. I have also taught information technology and multimedia authoring workshops for teachers. This year, I will be teaching a new environmentally-related course "Energy and Resources in Perspective" during the Spring term and a week-long workshop on generating virtual field trips for pre-service and current teachers in June.

My research interests have been quite varied and have included the use of organozirconium reagents in organic synthesis, bioremediation of organic compounds in the environment, applications of FT-IR in the instructional laboratory and the use of the polymerase chain reaction in canine deafness studies. My newest projects involve the development of multimedia documentaries about energy resources. These projects have taken me to a number of "exotic" locations such as Iceland, Nova Scotia, Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia. I also am studying the use of a project based curriculum for teaching science to non-science majors. We are on the third year of an experimental curriculum in which student generated video documentaries are the vehicle through which students learn about science.

Away from the university, my passion is training dogs for agility, obedience and pointing breed hunting tests and field trials. In my spare time, I teach obedience and agility classes and judge obedience, rally and agility trials. I am a member of a number of dog organizations including Luckiamute Dog Training Club (an AKC club), the Willamette Agility Group, Mutty Paws Dog Training Club (a UKC club), Monterey Bay English Setter Club, and the English Setter Association of America.

My "family" consists of 5 dogs - one English Setter, three Border Collies and one rescue mixed breed.

As time permits, I enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and camping.

Western Oregon University

Copyright 1997 Western Oregon University

Direct suggestions, comments, and questions about this page to Arlene Courtney,