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Associate Professorkate
Division Head, Sustainability Studies
Faculty Advisor, Coastal Environmental Studies
Ph.D. Cornell University, 1999
chemistry education research, sustainable and green chemistry
Department of Chemistry
Google Scholar Profile



Research Interests

Katherine Aubrecht is a chemist whose research and teaching interests include: the development of learning materials and curricula connecting chemistry to issues of sustainability, context-based approaches in chemistry education, fostering and assessing student transfer of chemistry concepts, biodegradable and biorenewable polymers, and environmentally benign synthetic methodology. She earned a B. A. in Chemistry from Reed College and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Cornell University.

Selected Publications

Aubrecht, K. B. Teaching Relevant Climate Change Topics in Undergraduate Chemistry Courses: Motivations, Student Misconceptions, and Resources, Curr. Opin. Green Sustain. Chem. 2018, 13, 44-49. (DOI:

Aubrecht, K. B.; Padwa, L.; Shen, X.; Bazargan, G. Development and Implementation of a Series of Laboratory Field Trips for Advanced High School Students To Connect Chemistry to Sustainability. J. Chem. Educ. 2015, 92, 631-637. (DOI: 10.1021/ed500630f)

Yang, R.; Su, Y. Aubrecht, K. B.; Wang, X.; Ma, H.; Grubbs, R. B.; Hsiao, B. S.; Chu, B. Thiol Functionalized Chitin Nanofibers for As(III) Adsorption. Polymer 2015, 60, 9-17. (DOI:10.1016/j.polymer.2015.01.025)

Yang, R.; Aubrecht, K. B.; Ma, H. Wang, R.; Grubbs, R. B.; Hsiao, B. S.; Chu, B. Thiol-modified Cellulose Nanofibrous Composite Membranes for Chromium (VI) and Lead (II) Adsorption. Polymer 2014, 55, 1167-1176. (DOI:10.1016/j.polymer.2014.01.043)

Cai, Y.; Aubrecht, K. B.; Grubbs, R. B. Thermally-induced Changes in Amphiphilicity Drive Reversible Restructuring of Assemblies of ABC Triblock Copolymers with Statistical Polyether Blocks. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2011,133, 1058.(DOI: 10.1021/ja109262h)

Robert, J. L.; Aubrecht, K. B. Ring Opening Polymerization of Lactide to Form a Biodegradable Polymer: an Organic Chemistry Laboratory. J. Chem. Ed. 2008, 85, 258. (DOI: 10.1021/ed085p258)

Wiberg, K. B.; Hintz, W.; Jarret, R. M.; Aubrecht, K. B. Conformational Preferences for 1,2- and 1,4- Difluorocyclohexane. J. Org. Chem. 2005, 70, 8381. (DOI: 10.1021/jo051049w)

Aubrecht, K. B.; Grubbs, R. B. Synthesis and Characterization of Thermoresponsive Amphiphilic Block Copolymers Incorporating a Poly(Ethylene oxide-stat-Propylene oxide) Block. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 2005, 43, 5156. (DOI: 10.1002/pola.21007)

Aubrecht, K. B.; Hillmyer, M. A.; Tolman, W. B. Polymerization of D,L-Lactide by Monomeric Sn(II) Alkoxide complexes. Macromolecules 2002, 35, 644. (DOI: 10.1021/ma011873w)

Other Professional Activities

ACS Committee on the Environment (CEI) Award for Incorporation of Sustainability into Chemistry Education (2016)

With support from NSF TUES (Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science) program, developed inquiry-based learning materials and a project-based lab for three undergraduate chemistry courses that focus on sustainability.

With support from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation’s Special Grant Program in the Chemical Sciences, developed a series of hands-on workshops for high school students that link chemistry content to issues of sustainability. These workshops are offered through the Institute for STEM Education at Stony Brook University.

Courses Taught

Chemistry in Technology and the Environment/Chemistry for Environmental Scientists/Chemistry in Society (CHE 310/ENV 320/CHE 591), Chemistry for Environmental Scientists Laboratory (ENV 321), Chemistry, Life, Environment (CHE 115/ENV 115), Tools of Chemistry (CHE 385), Integrative, Collaborative, Systems Studies (SBC 401), General Chemistry (CHE 131-S), Organic Chemistry (CHE 321-S), General Chemistry Laboratory (CHE 133-S)

SoMAS Photo Competition 2020

The SoMAS photo competition is an annual event where students (graduate and undergraduate), faculty and staff share their pictures with the SoMAS community and the general public. This year we have changed our categories to better represent our SoMAS diversity and...

Celebrating the Class of 2020 – SoMAS Convocation

Congratulations to our graduates!  The annual SoMAS Convocation occurred virtually for the first time on Friday, May 22, 2020 on the SoMAS website, Facebook and YouTube. Students gathered with their friends and family and SoMAS faculty, staff, and fellow students to...


Welcome!Welcome to SoMAS! If you are a marine science, atmospheric science, or sustainability studies student, you have made a wise choice in choosing a field that is about understanding and protecting Earth resources. The world needs you, literally! Read More from the Dean

SoMAS Convocation 2018

Congratulations to our graduates!  The annual SoMAS Convocation occurred on Friday, May 18, 2018 at the Student Activities Center auditorium. Students gathered with their friends and family and SoMAS faculty and staff to celebrate the completion of their journey at...

Highlights From Our Recent Graduates

This Friday, the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences will celebrate our graduating students at Convocation, where 101 undergraduate and 36 graduate students will have their degrees conferred.  Profiles for a few of our graduating students are highlighted below....

SoMAS Shines at Earthstock

SoMAS had great, enthusiastic participation at Earthstock this year.  Thank you to everyone at SoMAS who helped with the event in some way: Interim Dean Larry Swanson kicked the week off with his lecture, “Dredging Stony Brook Harbor,” at the Three Village Historical...

Stony Brook Students Wield Science on Behalf of Sustainability

Photo above: Algae-scrubber team includes, from left, Christina Giordanella, Elisabeth Van Roijen, Shauna Wright and Associate Professor Kate Aubrecht. From Stony Brook Students Wield Science on Behalf of Sustainability by Glenn Jochum on SBU Happenings, April 16,...

SoMAS Helps Earthstock 2018 Combine Traditions and Innovations

Photo above: Mark Lang cavorts with the dancing sand shrimp. From Earthstock 2018 to Combine Traditions and Innovations by Glenn Jochum on SBU Happenings, April 11, 2018 Earthstock, Stony Brook’s annual celebration of Earth Day, kicks off Monday, April 16,  featuring...

Retrospective Banquet 2017

Interim Dean Larry Swanson thanks everyone who joined us at our Retrospective Event: This wonderful event brought us all together to reminisce, reflect, and look hopefully to the future." Many thanks to our colleagues who helped put the evening together. They include:...

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