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Department of Chemistry
Information for Current Graduate Students


Chemical Safety/Waste Handling

The Environmental Health and Safety Office is directed by John Wasiel (x6896) with the assistance of Pete Vandemark (x6964). After hours, contact University Police at x6666.

Each laboratory should have a Laboratory Safety Manual in a plastic holder by the door. Study it!

Note the emergency telephones around campus (marked by a blue light).


Over 100 courses are available to graduate students in chemistry, within the chemistry department, at ESF, and at our neighboring institutions of Syracuse and Upstate. Check with the colleges' catalogs for course descriptions and schedule. Also check with your major professor to see which courses will benefit your program of study.

There are additional requirements for taking courses at Upstate and Syracuse, so plan ahead.

Computers/Networks and General Computing Issues

Network issues, software and operating system glitches for college-owned PCs are handled by consultants from Computing and Network Services (CNS). CNS also coordinate hardware repair for computers purchased with state and grant funds. They also advise on computer purchases and are the access point for academic discounts on purchases of hardware and software. All communications should go to or x6861, and should be directed there by a faculty or staff member on behalf of the student. The HelpDesk is physically located in room 317 Baker Lab.

Personal laptops

The ESF network is accessible to personal laptops after having been checked by Computing and Network Services and with your advisor's signature. For routine use of personal computers, you also have access to computer clusters at ESF and SU.

  • Anti-virus Software - Keep it up-to-date
  • Computing and Network Services does not support student-owned computers. Some help is available at SU's ITS Service Center


You should get an SU account through Information and Technology Services or 443-2677.


Read ESF policies regarding use of computers and the internet.


All Chemistry graduate students can edit their entry at the Current Graduate Students page by logging into MyESF; you are welcome to add notes as well as links to any external web site you have (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.).

If you see the need to edit text or hyperlinks in Chemistry department web pages, inform the department secretary.

Journals and Library Resources


From on campus, you can access electronic journal articles from campus from any link that takes you to the journal article (and to which we have access).

From off campus, go to the Moon Library page for journals and databases. Search Library Publications (the second search box down) for specific journals.

Databases are arranged alphabetically in the tabs on the top of the page. You will be prompted to log in through the proxy server and then granted access to the publisher/database site.

Interlibrary Loan

Journal articles and books not available here can be ordered via Interlibrary Loan at the ILLiad site. Contact Ruth Owens ( for questions about interlibrary loan.

SciFinder - a key tool for your literature searches

From on-campus, go to the SciFinder site. When off campus, SciFinder can be accessed starting from the Moon Library Database and Resource List :

  • Select SciFinder. You will be prompted to log in through the proxy server before you can login to SciFinder. See also this guide on SciFinder: 


  • The copier in 121 Jahn can be used for photocopying for research and teaching. Course instructors can give you the passcode relevant to any course for which you are a graduate teaching assistant.
  • Moon Library has a photocopier/scanner that allows you to scan documents directly to a thumb or flash drive. One can use the copier to print copies at a cost of $0.10 per page (change required). The SU libraries sell photocopy cards to be used in their libraries that charge 10 cents per copy in addition to having coin operated photocopiers.

Buying Stuff

Chemicals, standard lab equipment, compressed gases

See Marlene Braun (x6869) in the A&TS stockroom on the 116 Baker Lab: it will save you time and shipping costs. Discounts and contract pricing from Fisher, VWR, etc. are available, as well as special orders. Items in stock include labware, chemicals, compressed gas, dry ice, and liquid nitrogen. Check the stockroom database online.

To take advantage of contract pricing and free delivery, order all compressed gases through the stockroom to avoid $200 shipping fees when returning empty cylinders. You will also (usually) get faster results and lower cylinder rental fees this way.

Purchasing (1st floor Bray hall x6685)

Use the State or Research Foundation Purchase Request Forms or get pre-printed forms. Complete the form and have it signed by your research advisor (or whichever faculty member is appropriate). Then bring the form to Purchasing (100 Bray Hall, x 6685) or just drop it in a campus mailbox. Purchasing will generate a Purchase Order, a copy of which will be sent to the signatory on the account.

For purchases on Research Foundation accounts, you need to provide a justification of how the purchase relates to the grant. This is especially important for items that have multiple potential uses (e.g., aluminum foil, office supplies, etc.).

For purchases of computers on Research Foundation accounts, check with the Research Office.

If you are in a rush, ask the Purchasing Office to fax the Purchase Order. If you are in abigrush, bypass Purchasing and order direct from the supplier or go to the store. To get reimbursed, fill out a Purchase Request (with you as supplier), and attach the receipt. If the item (plus shipping, if any) is less than $250, your refund is processed by the Cashier's office in Bray Hall (x6630). Larger amounts go through the Purchasing Office

  • You cannot be reimbursed for sales tax! At a store you should be able to use tax exempt certificates(available from Purchasing) to avoid the tax.

NOTE: Prior planning and/or the hints above can save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on overnight shipping!

  • Your advisor will get a copy of the Purchase Order once your Purchase Request has been processed. Use it to track the item in case you don't receive the order in a timely way. This could be due to a number of causes, including:
  • the company loses/never receives the order
  • the order is delivered to the wrong institution or lab
  • Take the initiative to find out why the items you ordered (and need for your research) are not yet delivered!

Account numbers

Your research advisor can tell you which account numbers to use to purchase items from the A&TS stockroom, prepare Purchase Requests, or get reimbursed for expenses.

Instrumentation Repair and Fabrication

  • Instrument Repair at Analytical and Technical Services
    Kevin Guerin (x 6868) 125 Baker Lab
    Fee: ONLY $10 per job plus a 10% surcharge on parts he orders

Kevin will also help you specify, design, and build new electronic devices, and find sources for new and replacement electronic components or devices. He also:

  • designs mechanical apparatus
  • welds and machines parts for apparatus he designs (may no longer be true)
  • helps find information (e.g., chemical compatibility) from his many manuals and catalogs
  • gives out surplus electronics, tubing, electrical components, pumps, power supplies, flow meters, et cetera, et cetera, that he has acquired
  • Glassblower at SU: Sally Prasch (443-3665), 0-204 Ctr. for Sci. & Technol. (in the basement)
    Sally has a 45% discount on the cost of most glass parts!
  • SU Physics Machine Shop
    443-2221 (SE corner of the sub-basement of Physics Bldg.)
    A 3 person staff for mechanical work. They are great at design and construction.


  • ESF Business Office Travel Website
    Look here for the latest information, mileage and reimbursement rates, and forms
  • Travel Authorization Form
    Fill this out in advance of your trip.

As of this writing, some of the rules for travel are changing. Check with the Travel Office (

To Get Reimbursed

Fill out and sign a Travel Expense Voucher and have your advisor sign it.

  • You can claim a per diem for breakfast and dinner (allowable amounts can be found at the Travel Website).
  • Save and submit receipts for hotels, rental cars, and major parking expenses, also for large taxi bills. Small (< $20) parking and taxi bills may not to require receipts.
  • Make a photocopy of all receipts before having your advisor sign. Mail or hand-deliver the Travel Expense Voucher with all receipts attached to the Travel Office (102 Bray Hall).

Money for Travel

The graduate office announces travel funding opportunities twice a year.