News & Resources

Featured Faculty: Scott Carr, Environmental Chemistry

Posted by Paul Wiemerslage | Dec 02, 2015

Although many people think of “environmental issues” as large scale effects they can see or physically describe, the causes of these effects are often chemical in nature.  Scott Carr, Professor of Chemistry at Anderson University (Indiana), enables students to enter a new level of understanding of environmental problems through his unique course, Environmental Chemistry, offered each year at Au Sable’s Great Lakes Campus (Michigan) during Summer Session II (July-August). In Scott, students find a rare combination of expert teaching skill, personal concern for every individual, and depth of scientific expertise. A widely published expert on ionization chemistry, chemistry of gases, and chemical instrumentation, Scott takes a subject potentially intimidating to most students and shows them how to understand both its theoretical foundations and its visible effects in ways that genuinely engage their interest.

Scott’s ability to provide students with an effective introduction to the role of chemistry in the environment stems from his own education, as well as his experience in multiple aspects of chemistry teaching and research. After receiving his BS in Chemistry from Taylor University (Indiana), Scott earned his PhD in Analytical Chemistry at Miami University (Ohio), and then taught at Trinity Christian College in Illinois before joining the faculty at Anderson. Scott’s skill in making a course like Environmental Chemistry a pleasure rather than an ordeal is appreciated by all of his students. As one student noted, “The course brought together many issues that affect everyone in the world, such as water treatment, water pollution, air pollution, heavy metals and how they affect us. It was a very relevant course! [Scott] gave us real world examples and took us out to sites where the topics he was teaching were exemplified.”

Scott teaches his students skills that matter (and matter to employers) through classroom- and field-based inquiries into the chemistry of the environment, including sampling methods for testing chemical composition of air, water, and soil; analysis of chemical data; and interpretation of chemical data relative to assessment of hazards and risks to human health. Students in Environmental Chemistry leave Scott’s course with new appreciation of the chemical nature of God’s creation, and the skills to investigate and understand some of its basic chemical attributes.

Scott’s genuine care and concern for others is evident from the first time you meet him.  He remarks,“Au Sable Institute has captured a piece of my heart.  If offers a sanctuary of shalom inviting those who pass under it's gates to find more than a sense of peace, but also an opportunity to find place and purpose.  Teaching in this environment strips away many of the accouterments that accompany our current state of more virtual higher-level learning and allows the students, faculty and staff to get to the actual essence of education by being immersed in their studies and feeling the pulse of their topics. Au Sable is a touchstone of honest understanding.”