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Jeff Butikofer 

Jeff Butikofer Associate Professor of Chemistry
Office: Baker-Hebron 102
Phone: 563-425-5265

If you're reading this, I would think there is better than fair chance you're interested in the sciences and Upper Iowa University. You're in the right spot because that's where my interests lie as well. My faculty position at Upper Iowa allows me to share my passion for learning about the universe with students on a daily basis. Keep exploring - you'll learn a little more about my interests below and the interests of other faculty members on their pages. Be sure and come for a visit if you haven't done so or are not here already to get to know us a little better.


B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics: Upper Iowa University
Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry: University of Wyoming

Courses in which I hope to see you

  • PHY 109 Introduction to Astronomy Laboratory
  • PHY 110 Introduction to Astronomy
  • CHEM 115 Environmental Chemistry
  • HON 130 Life in the Universe
  • CHEM 151 General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 152 General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 330 Biochemistry I
  • CHEM 331 Biochemistry II
  • CHEM 335 Biochemistry Laboratory

General interests

  • Night-sky observation and astrophotography
  • Fishing the waters of northeast Iowa and beyond in every season
  • Playing trumpet and directing the Upper Iowa Peacocks Pep Band

Research interests

I enjoy helping students engage in the scientific process and, as such, have worked with students on a broad array of topics. In graduate school my research focused on synthetic organometallic chemistry. I'm currently very interested in using science education at the university level and through public outreach as a vehicle for research.

Recent student research projects

  • Levi Farmer, BIO 496, “Yellow Bass, Age vs. Length”, Spring 2015.
  • Chris Beenken, BIO 496, “Age vs. Length:  A Comparative Study of Two Iowa Inland Water Yellow Bass Populations”, Fall 2014.
  • Kyle Forness, BIO 496, “Analysis of Safety in the Chemistry Laboratory”, Fall 2014.Kate Thilges, BIO 496, “Seasonal Change Misconception”, Summer 2014.
  • Kelsey Taldone, BIO 499, "Teaching Protein Structure", Fall 2013.
  • Markham Harris, BIO 496, "Changing the Public's Birding Awareness by Performing the Role of the Naturalist", Fall 2013.
  • Chris Duvel, BIO 496, "A Study Using Morphemic Analysis in Science Classes", Summer 2013.
  • Trey Cook, BIO 498, "VO2 Max Testing in Athletes", Spring 2013.
  • Christopher Purches, BIO 496, "Bathymetric Survey of Upper Iowa Pond", Spring 2012.
  • Laura Clark, BIO 496 "A Model for Assessment of Student Learning in General Chemistry I at Upper Iowa University", Fall 2011.
  • Rachael Dash, CHEM 491, "Monofluorinated Derivatives of Triphenylphosphine", Spring 2011.
  • Tracy Nuss, BIO 496, "Interactive Periodic Table Guided Inquiry Activity for General Chemistry I", Fall 2010.

Recent presentations

Jeffrey L. Butikofer, "Inspiring Future STEM Educators through Telescopes and Astrophotography", poster at the STEM Teacher Educators' Conference: Innovations in Preparing Teachers in STEM, Des Moines, IA, September 20, 2013.

Grants received

"Enhancing student learning in astronomy at UIU with hands-on application of telescope accessory technology", Upper Iowa President's Teaching with Technology Grant Program, 2013.

Professional affiliations

  • American Chemical Society
  • Astronomical Society of the Pacific