Preston Miles Homepage


Centre College
600 W. Walnut
Danville, KY 40422

Chemistry Program Webpage
Student Affiliate Chapter American Chemical Society
Chemistry Curriculum, Centre Online Catalog
Environmental Studies Minor Webpage
Faculty Bio, Centre Webpage


Current Courses

Fall Term 2006

CHE 117, Chemistry and the Modern World
CHE 117 laboratory

Winter Term 2007

CHE 250, Introduction to Analytical Chemistry

Spring Term 2007

CHE 350, Instrumental Analysis
NSC 110, Natural Science I


Syllabi of previous courses

NSC 110, Natural Science I, spring 2006
CHE 350, Instrumental Analysis, spring 2006
CHE 250, Introduction to Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, winter 2005
CHE 135, Accelerated General Chemistry, fall 2005
CHE 234, Radiochemistry, fall 2005
CHE 251 Environmental Chemistry, winter 2004

CHE 232, Polymer Chemistry, fall 2003
CHE 231, Industrial Chemistry, spring 2003



Most of my research efforts have involved trace level analysis on a variety of sample types.  This work has involved environmental and nutritional samples and some work with physiological sample matrices.  The techniques we have used have include gas and liquid chromatography, atomic absorption spectroscopy, electrochemistry, enzymatic analysis, a little work with radioimmunoassay, and recently some work with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.

In almost all cases these projects have been pursued with undergraduate collaborators.  At Centre, undergraduate
research can be done either during the school year or during the summer.  During the school year, students can receive academic credit as CHE 40C for one to four credits.  During the summer months student collaborators can be supported either by institutional funds or external grants.

During summer 2004, Josh Abbott, Ben Angel and I developed a method for determination of the widely used herbicide atrazine in surface waters. Atrazine is used primarily in corn production and previous work has shown that improper use can lead to contamination of surface waters. The method uses high resolution gas chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry to provide the selectivity and sensitivity for work at the low levels. The novel contribution of this project is the use of solid phase microextraction for sample preparation. SPME reduces the sample preparation time from several hours to several minutes.

Spring 2005, Julia Covington determined trace levels of lead, zinc, copper, nickel, and cadmium in soil and twig samples taken from a local tree farm where sewage sludge was applied in 1998-99. This is part of a long term study of translocation of heavy metals into woody plants.

Please follow this link to previous research, including the student collaborators.

Education and Experience

B.A. Centre College, 1970
Ph.D. University of Kentucky, 1975
Ross Laboratories Division of Abbott Laboratories, 1975-1981,
            Senior Chemist; Manager, Analytical Research; Director, Analytical R & D
Centre College, Danville, KY, 1981 - present, John C. Walkup Professor of Chemistry
link to a not particularly current vita.

Boring Personal Info

350 Harberson Lane
Danville, KY 40422

Kathy is a licensed marriage and family therapist practicing with Collins, Kubale, and Miles
John is a graduate student in american literature at Duke
Ben is a graduate student in environmental science at Univ of Tennesse, Chattanooga

scenes from Walnut Springs Farm: Norman, house, croquet , parksville gothic