Kevin Johnson, PhD

Professor & Director of Undergraduate Research & Summer Learning
UC Box 
Strain 107
Areas I Teach 

Course Information

At Pacific University, all faculty teach a variety of different courses. Typically, we do not use graduate teaching assistants, which means that your classes will be taught by professors and that you will have plenty of opportunities to get to know the faculty in your discipline.

Below I have listed some of the courses that I teach. We are always developing and trying out new classes, so the list may change now and then.

General Chemistry I and II, Lecture and Lab

Physical Chemistry Lecture and Lab

Chemistry for non-scientists

Special Topics, including:

Theory and Practical Applications of High Field NMR

Surface Chemistry

Computational Chemistry

I teach lecture courses using small-group guided-inquiry methods, in which I lecture less, and student do more problem solving in the classroom. I have also received grant funding to implemented project-based laboratory experiments as part of all my laboratory courses.


PhD in Physical Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.

BS Chemistry with Distinction and Departmental Honors, Stanford University, Calif.


Over my faculty career, exclusively at undergraduate institutions, I have maintained an active research program that provides meaningful and rewarding research experiences for undergraduate students. I believe that an in-depth undergraduate research or creative experience provides students essential skills and confidence in building expertise. To date I have mentored 38 undergraduate students.

By training I am an experimental physical chemist, and have published in the field of surface chemistry, using atomic resolution microscopy and spectroscopic techniques to investigate the role of surface structure on chemical reactivity. Early in my faculty career I mentored students in projects related to this research. Recently my research focus has shifted to using computational tools to investigate the effects of molecular structure on the properties of individual molecules, as well as structural effects that modulate the aggregate properties of large collections of molecules. The latter direction in my research I initiated while on sabbatical as a visiting scientist in the laboratory of Prof. Geraldine Richmond in the University of Oregon Chemistry Department, with whom I have an ongoing collaboration. Prof. Richmond and I coauthored a paper with a University of Oregon graduate student on the adsorption of sulfur dioxide at aqueous surfaces. (see my CV for paper references)

Here’s a video of a research presentation I gave to Pacific University faculty and students in the Fall of 2011.



Kevin Carr

Pacific University College of Education Professor Kevin Carr and College of Arts & Sciences Professor Kevin Johnson were awarded funding for their research into the effectiveness and retention of K-12 science and mathematics teachers in Oregon.

Internships and undergraduate research are two of the ways you can gain valuable practice in your chosen area of study.

Kevin Johnson

Pacific University Chemistry Professor and School of Natural Sciences Director Dr. Kevin E. Johnson has received a Fulbright International Education Administrators award.

Kevin Johnson, chemistry professor and director of the School of Natural Sciences within Pacific University's College of Arts & Sciences, has been awarded an American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund grant in the amount of $65,000.


The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust out of Vancouver, Wash., has granted Pacific University a $30,000 grant to help fund a new position in the Biology Department