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Jason Camara
Instructor of Chemistry
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Chemistry

Spring 2022 Office Hours:

  • Mondays & Wednesdays: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm (Available Zoom only until Feb. 22, both in-person and zoom thereafter)

  • Tuesdays & Thursdays: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm (Zoom only throughout the semester)

  • If the times above don't work for your schedule, please email me and we can schedule a meeting at a more convenient time.

Bio:

Attended Cabrillo College 1991-1993
B.S., Chemistry, University of California at Santa Cruz 1996
Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of California at Santa Cruz 2003
Started with Cabrillo College 2002 (taught full time my first year while writing my dissertation).
Bridges to Baccalaureate (ACCESS Program) Faculty Lead since 2002
Cabrillo College EOPS Instructor of the Year 2017-2018

After high school I had a tumultuous period of working construction full time and attempting to go to school. I attended three different community colleges before finding my way to Cabrillo College. Once at Cabrillo things seemed to click as I finally learned how I learn and what I needed to do to be successful in school. After two and a half years I transferred in the winter quarter to UCSC. I obtained a Bachelors degree in science with an emphasis in chemistry. After looking at numerous graduate schools I decided to stay at UCSC and worked under the mentorship of professor Bakthan Singaram. My graduate work was a combination of multiple disciplines spanning organic synthesis, polymer chemistry, sensor design, asymmetric catalysis, and computational chemistry. I worked to develop an implantable fluorescent glucose sensor to dynamically measure the blood glucose levels of people with diabetes. My early efforts and discoveries laid the ground work for the development of a sensor that was ultimately patented, produced, successfully completed clinical trials and is now in commercial use.

I love teaching at opposite ends of the spectrum. I love the beginning chemistry classes where you get to introduce the central science of chemistry to people for the first time. I also love teaching Organic Chemistry with whom I call my unicorns. Unicorns are the mythical student that every one wants, but no one gets, only I have a class entirely filled with them! Organic chemistry introduces new ways of critical thinking without nice tidy boxes. In fact there are no boxes, it's messy and complicated and beautiful in both it's simplicity and complexity.

Outside of teaching I love foraging for mushrooms, construction projects (currently finishing an 18' trailer from scratch), long bow archery, masters swimming, and my most current hobby of growing orchids.