Biography of Professor J. Charles Templeton

J. Charles Templeton

A native of New York state, I grew up on a farm outside the town of East Aurora (near Buffalo), and later moved to Mt. Lebanon, PA, where I completed my high school education. I received a B.A. degree in Chemistry from the College of Wooster, Wooster, OH in 1965 and an M.A. degree in Chemistry from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT in 1967. Following that, I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Colorado (Boulder) with specialization in inorganic chemistry in 1970 and joined the Whitman Faculty in the fall of that year. At Whitman I have taught courses in Inorganic, Analytical, Physical and General Chemistry. I was honored by my colleagues in 1987 as the recipient of the Lange Award for Distinguished Science Teaching. I have served on a variety of college committees, and as Chair of the Department of Chemistry. I served as Faculty Liaison for the construction of the new addition to the Hall of Science (completed Fall 2002) and the renovation of the existing building (completed Fall 2003).

I live a busy life outside of Whitman as well! My wife and I have two adult daughters, one of whom is married and is the mother of our grandson and twin granddaughters. Visits with them are a high point in our lives! In addition to family, my interests include cross country skiing, hiking, camping, vocal music, computers, carpentry, photography, and international travel. Our travels have taken my wife and me to Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Zimbabwe, France, and China. We are also actively involved in the life of Pioneer United Methodist Church, especially as members of the chancel choir and hand bell choir, and with the numerous Whitman students who worship there.

My research work over the years has included synthesis, kinetic, and spectroscopic studies of transition metal complexes; mass spectrometric studies of inorganic compounds; and applications of microcomputers to laboratory instrumentation. My most recent research work has been in the area of soil chemistry, specifically the chemical modification of clay minerals for use in remediation of contaminated soils and in environmental cleanup. I was on sabbatical leave during the 1996-97 academic year at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Adelaide, South Australia, continuing my research in soil chemistry. As a recent Affiliate Staff Scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA, I collaborated with a clay mineralogist on staff there. A publication reporting our work is: J. E. Amonette and J. C. Templeton, “Improvements in The Quantitative Assay of Nonrefractory Minerals for Fe(II) and Total Fe Using 1,10-Phenanthroline”, Clays and Clay Minerals, 1998, 46, 51-62.

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