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8: About the Author - Lisa Nichols

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    This resource is the result of an academic sabbatical leave in the 2015-2016 academic year. The goal of the project was twofold: a) to create a free electronic laboratory resource for students, b) to show greater step-by-step detail for organic chemistry lab techniques than is usually shown in print textbooks, so that students could come to lab with greater confidence.

    Lisa Nichols (Figure 1) obtained a Bachelor's of Science degree in chemistry from California State University, Chico in 2001 and a Master's degree in organic chemistry from Stanford University in 2003. At the time of the second edition (2017) she had taught chemistry full-time for 14 years at Butte Community College (in Oroville, northern California, near C.S.U. Chico), with an emphasis on teaching majors-level organic chemistry.

    Figure 1: Author running a chromatography column for this project.

    Lisa Nichols would like to express gratitude to the many people who made this project possible and/or enhanced the final product:

    • The administration and LTPA committee at Butte College that selected her to receive the sabbatical. •
    • Special thanks to Dr. David Ball, Professor Emeritus at C.S.U. Chico, who was the primary editor for this textbook. Dr. Ball was always willing to discuss best practices and was also a source of occasional supplies. • Special thanks to the secondary editors of this textbook: Dr. Carolynn Arpin, Dr. Christopher Nichols (faculty at C.S.U. Chico), Dr. Michael Lodewyk, and Dr. Kristin Milinkevich (faculty at Butte College). •
    • Dave Carr and Rusty Bogart (staff at Butte College) who were often asked to take pictures when both hands were needed in the photograph. Some of Mr. Carr's best work is shown in Figure 2.
    • Occasional photography assistance: Dr. Elizabeth Wannenmacher, Martin Wallace (faculty at Butte College), Dr. Monica So, and Jana Burgess-Henry (faculty at C.S.U. Chico).
    • Discussion of physics-related phenomena: Dr. Robert White (faculty at Butte College).
    • Advice on publishing and multimedia: Jerry Garcia and Peter Dahl (staff at Butte College).
    • Advice on online curricular materials: Matt Evans and Mark Blaser (faculty at Shasta College).
    • For help on improving the accessibility of the textbook: Suzanne Wakim (faculty at Butte College).


    This resource is a PDF of an organic chemistry laboratory textbook designed for the undergraduate organic chemistry student who has never before taken a college-level organic chemistry course. It can also be used for students engaging in upper division courses or independent research who wish to have a refresher in basic laboratory techniques. This resource was not designed with graduate students in mind, and therefore may not be all inclusive in laboratory techniques experienced at that level.

    One of the main goals of this project was to provide a free, yet quality resource for organic chemistry students. With that in mind, the author Lisa Nichols welcomes feedback on typos, errors, or differences in opinion that readers come across. Please send comments to:

    It was not practical to show every conceivable iteration of every lab technique, and focus was placed on what was considered to be the most commonly encountered methods. Consideration was made to what materials are likely available in teaching labs. For example, a balloon technique was presented for inert atmospheric work as it was thought that gas manifolds are less common in academic labs.

    Copyright Issues

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

    In other words, you are allowed to copy and distribute the material under the following terms:

    • Attribution: Please give appropriate credit to the author, for example in the following way: From: Organic Chemistry Laboratory Techniques, Nichols, 2017
    • Non-Commercial: This work may not be used for commercial purposes, or those primarily intended for monetary compensation. An exception is that the author allows for reproduction of this text in print format either at cost, or with small profit margins by academic bookstores.
    • No Derivatives: This work is not intended to be remixed, transformed, or built upon. However, the author allows for the following exceptions: a) Photograph screenshots and paragraphs from the text can be used in student or instructor presentations, lectures, and handouts with appropriate credit, b) The final chapter on technique summaries may be removed in print copies.


    • Lisa Nichols (Butte Community College). Organic Chemistry Laboratory Techniques is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Complete text is available online.

    This page titled 8: About the Author - Lisa Nichols is shared under a CC BY-NC-ND license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Lisa Nichols via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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