Welcome to the Chemistry Department

Students! Please Note: There are new regulations about repeating courses.  Students will only be allowed to take a course 3 times for
either a grade or a W.


Chemistry moleculesDr. Steven Fawl

Dr. Fawl graduated from University of California, Davis, in 1985, with a Ph.D. in Chemistry, and began teaching at Napa Valley College in 1984.  He has a wide variety of interests both in and out of science.  He does research in Molecular Phylogenetics and is currently working on methods for calculating the entropy of biological polymers.  In his spare time he builds furniture, writes extensively on a variety of topics that include chemistry, theology, and fantasy adventures, and creates 3D images for use in chemistry, landscaping, and interior design.  He is well known for his ability to do complex math in is head.

His email is and his web page can be found here.

Dr. Forest Quinlan

Dr. Quinlan holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from
UC Davis.  Although he spent a couple of years as a post-doctural fellow, he has returned to his "essence of being" - teaching.  He began teaching at Napa Valley college in 2008.

His email is: and his web page can be found here.

Dr. Ken Cerreta

Dr. Cerreta holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, a M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland and a B.A. in Chemistry from Marist College.  He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco.  Dr. Cerreta has conducted research at academic institutions and in the pharmaceutical industry.  His experience includes teaching at the high school, undergraduate, graduate and medical school levels.  Dr. Cerreta is also certified by the United States Golf Teachers Federation as a teaching professional and he teaches golf during the Summer session.

His email is

Dr. Mani Subramanian

Mani Subramanian has a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry with emphasis in natural products synthesis.  He has been teaching Chemistry 110 and Chemistry 111 at Napa Valley College for the past four years.  In addition, he has been teaching Organic and Bio-Organic Chemistry at Solano College and the College of Marin for the past six years.  Mani is a recipient of a Fulbright grant, has extensive industrial experience and three commercial U.S. patents.  Recently he has been advertised by the College of Marin in the January 9th SF Chronicle, and January 13th Marin Independent Journal, as the featured Chemistry instructor at College of Marin.

His email is

Classes Offered:

Introduction to Chemistry (CHEM 110)

The first course in chemistry for students preparing for biological or health sciences, for more advanced chemistry courses, or for those desiring to learn about chemistry in the everyday world for general education.  Laboratory is included.  Prerequisite: Math 90.  CSU and UC transferrable. 4 units.

Introduction to Organic & Biological Chemistry (CHEM 111)

An introduction to the important principles, compounds and reactions of organic and biological chemistry with an emphasis on biochemical behavior of the molecules.  Laboratory includes an introduction to the basic techniques of organicf and biological chemistry.  For students pursuing nursing and allied health careers who need a year of chemistry that includes an introduction to organic and biological chemistry.  CHEM 110 (or CHEM 120) and CHEM 111 will fulfill that requirement.  Prerequisite: CHEM 110 or 120.  CSU transferrable.  4 units.

General Chemistry 1 (CHEM 120)

An introduction to principles of chemistry, with an emphasis on mathematical applications.  Topics include atomic structure, stoichiometry, bonding, molecular structure, colligative properties, gas behavior, phase changes and spontaneity.  Prerequisites: High school chemistry or its equivalent or CHEM 110 and two years of High School algebra or college equivalent.  CSU and UC transferrable.  5 units.

General Chemistry 2 (CHEM 121)

A continuation of CHEM 120.  Topics include solutions, acid-base and redox equilibria, thermodynamics, kinetics, pH, buffers, solubility product, complex ions, electrochemistry, biochemistry and nuclear chemistry.  Prerequisite: CHEM 120.  CSU and UC transferrable.  5 units.

Organic Chemistry 1 (CHEM 240)

The first course of a two-semester sequence designed for pre-professional programs such as chemistry, chemical engineering, medicine and biology.  Introduction to organic synthetic pathways, mechanisms, and spectroscopy.  Lab work includes qualitative analysis of organic compounds, extraction, separation and identification of compounds using spectral methods and synthetic chemical techniques.  Prerequisite: CHEM 121.  CSU and UC transferrable.  4 units.

Organic Chemistry 2 (CHEM 241)

A continuation of CHEM 240.  Includes some biochemical topics.  Lab work incudes simple and multi-step synthesis and spectral identification.  Prerequisite: CHEM 240.  CSU and UC transferrable.  4 units.

Quantitative Analysis (CHEM 242)

A laboratory intensive course with topics in acid-base, redox, complexion, and precipitatioin equilibria.  Laboratory work includes volumetric, gravimetric and selected instrumental analysis.  Prerequisites: CHEM 120 and 121.  CSU and UC transferrable.  4 units.

Independent Study in Chemistry (CHEM 199)

This course provides students the opportunity to study an area of special interest in chemistry.  Projects include: developing a chemical analysis procedure, preparation of a computer project involving a chemical systems emulation or problem-solving technique, research paper on a topic of chemical interest, development of problem-solving skills.  Credit/No Credit grading.  Repeatabale for credit 3 times.  Prerequisites: CHEM 120 & submission of a written proposal to be assessed by two full-time chemistry instructors.  CSU and UC transferrable.  1-3 units.

Selected Topics in Chemistry (CHEM 298)

Topics in chemistry not covered by regular catalog offerings.  Course content and unit credit to be determined in relation to community/student needs and/or available staff.  May be offered as a seminar, lecture, or lecture/laboratory class.  CSU transferrable.  1-3 units.