Outreach and Education


Overview: In addition to research, the Berry Research group is involved in a broad range of education, outreach, and community building activities:

Teaching: John Berry regularly teaches courses on inorganic chemistry and crystallography, and a biannual summer short course on magnetochemistry and Mössbauer spectroscopy. His 2008 publication with Gordon Bain provides a good introduction to practical aspects of magnetic susceptibility measurements.

New Lab Development: The UW – Madison CHEM 311 laboratory course now uses an experiment that was designed in the Berry lab. You can read about it in the Journal of Chemical Education. Additionally, the Berry lab developed a new experiment for high school students visiting the UW – Madison campus through the PEOPLE program.

3D Educational Tools: Structural chemistry requires strong 3D visualization skills, and we have created libraries of 3D models designed to aid students in the development of these skills. All of our models are available through the Sketchfab website. A set of general chemistry models are described in our open access Journal of Chemical Education article. We have also created a set of models for teaching crystallography concepts, as described in our open access Journal of Applied Crystallography article. If you have an idea for an educational model or animation that you would like us to make, please reach out to either Michael Aristov (aristov@wisc.edu) or Prof. John Berry (Berry@chem.wisc.edu).

Research Network: The Berry lab is a member of the NSF Center for Selective C–H Functionalization, and there are several education/outreach activities that are available via the Center. In particular, John Berry has been involved in the Network for Diversity in Chemical Research since its inception as an informal mentor for up-and-coming faculty members throughout the country.

Public Engagement: Communication of science to the public is an important part of the social contract of our country. John Berry is a Fellow of the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy, through which he has been involved in a number of outreach activities aimed at communicating science to the public. Students in the Berry lab are encouraged to write a thesis chapter that is written for a general audience through the WISL. Students who have done so thus far are:

Michael Roy (2021)

Jill Chipman (2019)

Amanda Corcos (2016)

David (Wes) Brogden (2015)

Eugenia Turov (2012)

Amanda Long (2011)


Related to our project on ammonia oxidation catalysis, John Berry presented a public lecture in the science outreach series “Wednesday Night at the Lab”. You can watch the lecture (with some unfortunate initial audio glitches) on YouTube.

Instrumentation: John Berry currently serves as co-director of the Paul Bender Chemistry Instrument Center, which is a campus Research Core Facility within the Department of Chemistry. He is generally available for consultation on instrument capabilities within the department and on campus.