Martha Black

Laboratory Instructor in Chemistry

Teaching this semester

CHEM 2050/ENVS 2255/EOS 2325. Environmental Chemistry, L1

Focuses on two key processes that influence human and wildlife exposure to potentially harmful substances, chemical speciation and transformation. Equilibrium principles as applied to acid-base, complexation, precipitation, and dissolution reactions are used to explore organic and inorganic compound speciation in natural and polluted waters; quantitative approaches are emphasized. Weekly laboratory sections are concerned with the detection and quantification of organic and inorganic compounds in air, water, and soils/sediments.

CHEM 2520. Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy, L1

Development and principles of quantum chemistry with applications to atomic structure, chemical bonding, chemical reactivity, and molecular spectroscopy. Lectures and four hours of laboratory work per week. Mathematics 1800 is recommended. Note: Chemistry 2510 is not a prerequisite for Chemistry 2520 .

Teaching next semester

CHEM 2510. Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics, L1

Thermodynamics and its application to chemical changes and equilibria that occur in the gaseous, solid, and liquid states. The behavior of systems at equilibrium and chemical kinetics are related to molecular properties by means of statistical mechanics and the laws of thermodynamics. Lectures and four hours of laboratory work per week. Mathematics 1800 is recommended.

Martha Black joined Bowdoin College in 2005 as a Laboratory Instructor for the laboratory associated with Chemistry 210.  She is an experienced chemical engineer, having worked for more than fifteen years in a wide range of industries such as agrochemicals, plastics, environmental technology, and electronic component manufacturing.  During this time, she worked in a variety of environments encompassing laboratory bench-scale development through large-scale manufacturing.  She is looking forward to the opportunity to work with students and apply her industrial experience in an academic setting.

Mrs. Black lives in Brunswick with her husband and four children.  In her "spare" time, she enjoys working with elementary students in the Destination Imagination program, jogging, and fieldhockey.


  • M.S. Chemical Engineering Practice, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Cambridge, MA, 1988
  • B.S. Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Cambridge, MA, 1987