Spencer Steinberg

Spencer Steinberg

Chair and Professor

Chemistry and Biochemistry
CHE 210
Mail Code

Expert Areas

Environmental Organic Chemistry


Post Doctoral Studies, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, 1982-1984. 
Ph.D., Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, 1982. 
B.A. (Summa Cum Laude), Chemistry, Revelle College, University of California, San Diego, 1978. 

Current Research Projects

Sorption of Volatile Organic Compounds on Desert Soil

The effect of organic matter, moisture and surface modification by surfactants on sorption of various volatile compounds by soil is being investigated along with a variety of soil preservation methods. This project is presently funded through DOE.

Characterization of Organic Matter in Lake Mead

Aquatic humic substances play an important role in environmental transport of hydrophobic organic chemicals and trace elements.  In addition, they form a variety of disinfection by products that may have health implications. The molecular weight, chemical and spectroscopic properties of aquatic humic materials in lake mead are being investigated.  This project is presently funded by the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

Colloidally Mediated Transport of Actinides in Groundwater

Stable colloidal material in groundwater may represent a vehicle for enhanced transport of radio-nuclides. This study examined the capacity of colloids for sorption of actinides and investigates the composition and size of colloidal material. This project was approved by the Department of Energy for funding in January of 1997. 

Advisor Status

Dr. Steinberg has served as research advisor for six MS students.

Mary Turner (anticipated 2001): Analysis of Sorption of VOCs on desert soil using SPME.

Jun Liu 2000: A High Performance Liquid Chromatography System with Fenton’s Reagent for Detection of Gas Phase Hydrogen Peroxide.

Lin Hong Jing: 2000:  Simultaneous Measurement of Monoaromatic Hydrocarbons and Aldehydes in Ambient Air.

Ngoc Tran 1999: Simultaneous Measurement of Monoaromatic Hydrocarbons and Dicarboxylic Acids in Ambient Air.

Wen Kai Ma: Sorption of VOCs by Soil. Graduated July 1996.

Parvez Eavazi: Analysis of Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonates. Graduated July 1996.

Frezewd Haile-Meskel: Collidal Interactions of Thorium. Graduated May 1996.