Vera Kolb's Homepage
dedicated to
Teaching and Research
University of Wisconsin - Parkside
Department of Chemistry


Biography: Features Vitae with complete publication and presentation list. Email:
I teach Organic Chemistry Lecture and Laboratory, Advanced Organic Lecture and Laboratory, Independent Study and Senior Thesis courses on a regular basis. I teach occasionally Special Topics, such as Green Chemistry.

Astrobiology at Parkside:

Astrobiology My desire is to develop an extensive, content-rich, scientifically rigorous and up-to-date, web site containing selected astrobiology modules, relevant to the most current NASA missions and goals.  These modules will be used to enrich various undergraduate chemistry courses I teach at Parkside. The students will learn about the new and emerging field of astrobiology, and its links to chemistry. I hope that my web site will reach UW-Parkside students and interested science instructors from UW-Parkside, and hopefully other institutions in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

I have received my training in exobiology (now called astrobiology)  in 1992-1994 at the NASA NSCORT (NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training) in San Diego where I  worked with Stanley Miller and Leslie Orgel. In 1995 I worked over the summer with Gustaf Arrhenius, also from NASA NSCORT. Upon my return to UW-Parkside I continued working in the field of prebiotic chemistry. Inspired by my NASA NSCORT experience, I see as one of my missions the education of students and my peers about the field of astrobiology.
Research Projects
Educational Projects
Teaching Materials
NASA Outreach

Organic Chemistry Projects:

Eco-pharmacology (pdf)

This is a brief description or titles of the new projects, for which there are opportunities for Independent Study, Chem. 499 and/or Senior Thesis, Chem. 497.

New publications:

Green Chemistry (pdf)
Green Chemistry Student Project: Thiamine (pdf)
Green Chemistry Student Project: Solid State Reactions (pdf)
Diversity Project  (pdf)
Pictures from Stanley Miller's Laboratory (click on the picture to enlarge). VelaKolb01.jpg (302177 bytes) in Stanley Miller's  lab with the  Miller apparatus VelaKolb03.jpg (240200 bytes) in Stanley Miller's lab with the Miller apparatus VeraKolb02.jpg (263522 bytes) in Stanley Miller's lab with the Miller apparatus

Astrobiology Links


Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium:

  NASA Astrobiology:
  Newsroom: Glycine and Alanine on Mars  (pdf)

Current Research Projects


Research Projects for CHEM 499 (Independent Study)

  Research Projects for CHEM 401 (Advanced Organic Laboratory)
  Philosophy and the Origins of Life

Current Educational Projects


Special Topics for CHEM 321 & 322 (Organic Chemistry I & II)

  Laboratory Experiments for CHEM 323 (Organic Chemistry Laboratory)
  Teaching Module on Planetary Protection (SENCER Project)

SoTL Projects: Wisconsin Teaching Scholar and SENCER; - Complex thinking as needed in Green Chemistry;

Innovative thinking as required for design of novel green reactions;

Teaching Materials

  Historical and Cultural Entries into Astrobiology  (professional development)
  History of Ideas on Life (online quiz)
  Suggested References in Astrobiology

NASA Outreach Projects

  Outreach Projects from NASA
  Chemical Signatures for Life in Extreme Environments

Astrobiology at Parkside Photos

  Student Research Associates
  Student Poster Presentations
  SENCER Summer Institute 2005

Pictures from the Lab