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Chemistry of the Environment, Third Edition

Thomas G. Spiro University of Washington
Kathleen Purvis-Roberts Claremont McKenna, Pitzer and Scripps Colleges
William M. Stigliani University of Northern Iowa
Harry B. Gray California Institute of Technology

Chemistry of the Environment, 3rd Edition, is a concise, clear and current account of today's environmental issues and the science one needs to understand them.

Print Book, ISBN 978-1-891389-70-2, US $118
eBook, eISBN 978-1-938787-47-8, US $88
Publish date: 2011
638 pages, hard copy


Chemistry of the Environment, 3rd Edition, is a concise, clear and current account of today’s environmental issues and the science one needs to understand them. This intermediate-level text, which recommends General Chemistry as a prerequisite, systematically lays out themes of sustainability, atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biospheres, while stressing the interconnectedness of environmental problems and solutions.  The completely revised third edition explains the natural chemical cycles, and how humans affect them. It also analyzes strategies for ameliorating human impacts. This stimulating new text uses concise, straightforward language and an accessible narrative style to inform quantitative thinking.


List of Adoptions
Resources for Adopting Professors
PDF of Frontmatter (Table of Contents, Preface)

Table of Contents


Ch1. Sustainability and Chemistry

Ch2. Green Chemistry


Ch3. Air Pollution

Ch4. Nitrogen Oxides, Ozone and Gasoline

Ch5. Stratospheric Ozone Shield

Ch6. Climate Change


Ch7. Energy Flows and Supplies

Ch8. Fossil Fuels

Ch9. Nuclear Energy

Ch10. Renewable Energy

Ch11. Energy Utilization


Ch12. Water Resources

Ch13. Water as Solvent; Acids and Bases

Ch14. Water and Lithosphere

Ch15. Aquatic Life and Oxidation/Reduction

Ch16. Water Pollution and Treatment


Ch17. Nitrogen and Food Produduction

Ch18. Pest Control

Ch19. Toxic Chemicals

Appendix A

Appendix B



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“No other text in environmental chemistry so nicely balances breadth, depth and readability.”
-Professor A.D. Anbar, Arizona State University

“The authors provide clear and concise explanations and do a good job of integrating calculations throughout the book. This book is useful both for students learning to apply chemical concepts to understand the environment and for instructors seeking a distinct perspective and important data on the environment.”
-Professor Keith Kuwata, Macalester College

“I very much congratulate the authors. This is by far the best environmental chemistry text that I have read.”
-Professor John Perona, University of California at Santa Barbara

“Spiro, Purvis-Roberts and Stigliani write in a clear and engaging style. They organize the material in a logical and compelling manner, emphasizing the many cross-connections among environmental topics. The bottom line is that this is the environmental chemistry book that we have all been waiting for!”
-From Foreword by Harry Gray, California Institute of Technology

“This comprehensive new edition is well written and balanced…Summing up: Recommended for all undergraduate students and general readers.”

Thomas G. Spiro

Thomas G. Spiro University of Washington

Thomas G. Spiro is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Washington. He received the B. S. from UCLA and the Ph.D. from MIT, and did postdoctoral work in Copenhagen. He joined the faculty of Princeton University in 1963, and served as chair of the chemistry department from 1980 to 1989, relocating to the University of Washington in 2007. He is the recipient of the ICPP Eraldo Antonini Lifetime Achievment Award (2010), the ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry (2004), Biophysical Society Founders Award (2004), the Wellcome Visiting Professorship in the Basic Medical Sciences, at the University of British Columbia (1999) in1999, and the Bomem-Michelson Award in Molecular Spectroscopy (1986).

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Kathleen Purvis-Roberts

Kathleen Purvis-Roberts Claremont McKenna, Pitzer and Scripps Colleges

Kathleen Purvis-Roberts is a Professor of Chemistry at the W.M. Keck Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges. She earned her B.S. from Westmont College and her Ph.D. from Princeton University, where she worked with Steven Bernasek. From there, she did her postdoctoral work at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. She joined the faculty of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges in 2001. She is the recipient of the Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award (2013) and the Jefferson Science Fellowship (2016–2017).

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William M. Stigliani

William M. Stigliani University of Northern Iowa

William M. Stigliani is Professor of Chemistry, and develops curricula and teaches sustainability courses at the University of Northern Iowa.

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Harry B. Gray

Harry B. Gray California Institute of Technology

Harry Barkus Gray is the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and the Founding Director of the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology. His main research interests center on inorganic spectroscopy, photochemistry, and bioinorganic chemistry, with emphasis on understanding electron transfer in proteins. For his contributions to chemistry, which include over 700 papers and 17 books, he has received the National Medal of Science from President Ronald Reagan (1986); the Linderstrøm-Lang Prize (1991); the Basolo Medal (1994); the Gibbs Medal (1994); the Chandler Medal (1999); the Harvey Prize (2000); the Nichols Medal (2003); the National Academy of Sciences Award in Chemical Sciences (2003); the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry (2004); the Wolf Prize in Chemistry (2004); the City of Florence Prize in Molecular Sciences (2006); six national awards from the American Chemical Society, including the Priestley Medal (1991); and 16 honorary doctorates. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Philosophical Society; an honorary member of the Italian Chemical Society; a foreign member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters; the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; and the Royal Society of Great Britain. He was California Scientist of the Year in 1988.

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