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Karen Timberlake is professor emeritus of chemistry at Los Angeles Valley College, where she taught chemistry for allied health and preparatory chemistry for 36 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Washington and her Master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Professor Timberlake has been writing chemistry textbooks for 30 years. During that time, her name has become associated with the strategic use of pedagogical tools that promote student success in chemistry and the application of chemistry to real-life situations. More than one million students have learned chemistry using texts, laboratory manuals, and study guides written by Karen Timberlake. In addition to Basic Chemistry, she is also the author of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry, Structures of Life, Second Edition and Chemistry: An Introduction to General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry, Ninth Edition with the accompanying Study Guide with Solutions for Selected Problems, Laboratory Manual, and Essentials Laboratory Manual.
Professor Timberlake belongs to numerous science and educational organizations including the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). In 1987, she was the Western Regional Winner of Excellence in College Chemistry Teaching Award given by the Chemical Manufacturers Association. In 2004, she received the McGuffey Award in Physical Sciences by the Textbook Author Association, awarded for textbooks whose excellence has been demonstrated over time. In 2006, she also received the Texty “Textbook” Excellence Award from the Textbook Authors Association for the first edition of Basic Chemistry. She has participated in education grants for science teaching including the Los Angeles Collaborative for Teaching Excellence (LACTE) and a Title III grant at her college. She often speaks at conferences and educational meetings on the use of student-centered teaching methods in chemistry to promote the learning success of students.