Teaching and current events

What I like most about teaching ‘Atmospheric Chemistry’ (this semester again at McGill) is the fact that current examples are always at hand: Discussing biogenic aerosols? A dust storm is never far away! Temperature inversions and increased pollutant concentrations in the PBL? Just look to the South-Western US!

In a nutshell – when talking about atmospheric processes, these examples make the taught material relevant and important for students. And in the best of cases they bring these events to class for further discussion, such as recently during a Sudden Stratospheric Warming event (including the opportunity to discuss and rectify some serious mistakes in the article).

Teaching in the current context at its best (and I have not even talked about research papers that are published every week and warrant a discussion in class!)

Some more teaching

In addition to teaching labs at Bishop’s University (this semester Analytical Chemistry and Physical Chemistry), I will be teaching “Atmospheric Chemistry” at McGill University (ATOC/CHEM 219).

Check out the ad: ATOC219 Course Advertisement (and spread the word, if you like!)

Lab move in the near future

Lab renovations are starting on the 4th floor of the Chemistry building and the research group I am part of will move soon. With the help of all lab members I compile inventory lists of our instrumentation (including space and power requirements) to make sure we have enough space, power, outlets, network jacks,…. in the new lab. A tedious task!

Lecture preparations

Although I have not started my new job at Concordia University yet, I am already busy preparing the lectures I will be teaching in the fall term (and balancing the whole thing with my paternity leave). I will be teaching 2 sections of an introductory analytical chemistry course and 1 section of intermediate analytical chemistry.Fortunately, I have lots of material available thanks to the generosity of previous instructors, who have provided me with a good framework including problems. That is a great help, now that I conceptually lay out the courses myself and prepare the individual lectures.

10 days in Vienna

The first 10 days in Vienna are over and I have already given two talks – both went very well. Apart from that I will be visiting the Vienna University of Technology once more next Tuesday for some more exchanges concerning atmospheric chemistry research and I am very much looking forward to it.

I have also finished my poster for EGU starting in a week – all there is left is printing the poster. I have found a cheap place to print, so no major obstacles a head. No wait … I still need to sit down and put a detailed schedule together. With 3 AGU meetings under my belt it should not be too difficult. Loads of interesting stuff though – I have to be careful, what I choose and what will be left out.

I am also in touch with quite a few students concerning the lecture. The final is coming up (shortly after my return) and I currently answer questions by email before some additional office hours a few days before the exam. So far I can keep up and I answer questions within 24 hours.

Been to Dresden – Won an Award

I went to Dresden last week (with a short visit to my hometown Vienna as well) to participate in the 35th German Food Chemistry Day, held at the TU Dresden. The main reason, why I was there, was for the award ceremony, because I have received the Bruno-Rossmann Prize from the German Chemical Society/Food Chemistry Section. It was quite a pleasant surprise (I submitted the paperwork ages ago) and a very nice ceremony, if a tad long.

Part of the trip was also a boat tour on the Elbe river including a banquet and I got to see Dresden quite a bit. I have also met a professor, who I collaborated with in the past, who happend to be on sabbatical in Dresden (what a coincidence). We had a really nice chat over some good German beer.

Now it’s back to work – measurements, data analysis,… – and it is fun too.