Members of the Grassian group participated in several outreach activities

Outreach – Grassian Group

Professor Grassian and her group are involved in a range of activities related to teaching and outreach.  Mentoring and training the next generation of future scientist are important to  all group members. Research focus areas of the Grassian group (environment, climate, health, nanoscience) are of broad interest to a variety of active learners that includes elementary school/middle school/junior high school students and their parents, high school students and retirees. Grassian group members have opportunities to give talks, interact, demonstrate and teach about their research and its benefits to society.




Teaching, Curriculum Development and Mentoring – VH Grassian

Professor Grassian teaches a wide range of courses at UC San Diego. In academic year 2016/2017, she will be teaching courses in Chemistry & Biochemistry and Nanoengineering including:

CHEM 171. Environmental Chemistry I An introduction to chemical concerns in nature with emphases on atmospheric issues like air pollution, chlorofluorocarbons and the ozone hole, greenhouse effects and climate change, impacts of radioactive waste, sustainable resource usage, and risks and benefits of energy sources. Students may not receive credit for both Chem 149A and Chem 171. Prerequisites: Chem 6C or 6CH.

New Course in Nanoengineering

Title: Environmental Nanotechnology, Sustainable Nanotechnology and NanotoxicityThis course covers the implications of nanoscience and nanotechnology on environmental processes and human health as well as sustainable design, development and use of nanotechnologies. Given that the development of nanotechnology-based consumer products is predicted to grow substantially in the next 10 years and beyond, it is clear that there will be issues and questions that need to be addressed related to the potential impact this technology will have on the environment, living organism, and human health. Sustainable nanotechnology requires the understanding of how nanomaterials enter, migrate and undergo transformations as they move through various environmental and toxicological behavior. Therefore, an understanding of fundamental properties of nanomaterials and their role in nanomaterial environmental processes and health are critical. In particular, this course will focus on fundamental properties of nanomaterials as well as the environmental applications and implications; life cycle implications; characterization in biological and environmental media; environmental and biological interactions; fate, reactivity, biological uptake and nanotoxicity.  


Professor Grassian has taught a wide range of classes at the University of Iowa that crosses departments and colleges including:

Chemistry Courses: 4:007 - General Chemistry I, 4:14  - Principles of Chemistry II, 4:16 - Principles of Chemistry Laboratory (now combined as 4:12), 4:131 - Physical Chemistry I, 4:132 - Physical Chemistry II, 4:238 - Surface Chemistry and Heterogeneous Processes, 4:242 - Statistical Mechanics, 4:191 Graduate Chemistry Orientation

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Courses:  52:195  Surface Analysis: Contemporary Topics: Chem & Biochem Engr taken by graduate students in engineering.

Environmental Sciences Courses: 159:010/100 – Environmental Sciences Seminar  (taken by undergraduate environmental sciences B.S. majors).

Additionally, at the University of Iowa, Professor Grassian has mentored over one hundred students in her laboratory including twenty two students who have received their PhDs under her guidance. Two of her Ph.D. students received distinguished dissertation awards from the Graduate College.  She has mentored and worked with nearly thirty postdoctoral and visiting scientists. Many of her students have gone on to develop research programs in the chemistry of environmental interfaces as well as in energy at academic institutions and national laboratories. Some students have gone into industry and have specialized in instrumentation development. In 2008, Professor Grassian received the Outstanding Graduate Student Mentor Award in recognition of her engagement and efforts as a mentor to students.


Professor Grassian has also been involved in several curriculum initiatives including the development of the chemical sciences track of the B.S. degree program in environmental science and has advised other faculty on developing similar programs at their institutions.  She has directed two NSF-funded REU programs including the interdisciplinary program on Environmental Systems through the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.  Because of these initiatives and her excellence in scholarship, she has been the recipient of the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence in 2006.