Nate Boland
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

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My interest in analytical, environmental, and aquatic chemistry began early. In high school, I worked as a summer intern at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute working in a biogeochemistry lab that studied the interplay between marsh ecosystems and nutrient pollution in the coastal estuaries of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I continued my career in chemistry at Colby College in Waterville, Maine where I earned a B.A. in Chemistry. My undergraduate honors thesis research project developed a flow injection analysis technique for quantifying sub-nanomolar superoxide concentrations. Superoxide is a reactive oxygen species that plays a significant role in redox cycling in sunlit natural waters.

After Colby, I joined the South Louisiana Teach For America corps because I was compelled by a sense of responsibility to serve students who, through no fault of their own, had fewer opportunities to succeed academically. I taught high school chemistry at Scotlandville Magnet High School in Baton Rouge for three years (two with Teach For America and an additional year on my own). My time at Scotlandville was an immensely rewarding experience and continues to motivate me to provide opportunities for underserved students. While at Scotlandville, I discovered my passion for teaching. I knew that I wanted to become a professor at a liberal arts college where teaching and research scholarship were priorities, so I left Scotlandville to attend graduate school in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. There I studied Environmental Chemistry with Dr. Alan Stone. My graduate research examined kinetics and mechanisms of reactions that are relevant to the mobilization of heavy metals in soils. In particular, I developed and deployed capillary electrophoresis methods for examining the dynamics of nickel-chelating agent speciation. Immediately after defending my doctoral dissertation, I moved to Washington to be a visiting assistant professor of analytical chemistry at University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.

In 2012, I joined the faculty in the Chemistry Department at Whitman as an Assistant Professor of Analytical Chemistry. I teach General Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis and Chemical Equilibrium. Here, my research goals are to develop structure-reactivity relationships to predict the dynamics of metal and chelating agent speciation in soils and develop capillary electrophoresis methods to explore the kinetics and mechanism of governing reactions.

When not teaching or in the lab, I enjoy spending time with my wife, two sons, and dog. Whenever I can find the time, I also like to run, hike and travel.



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