Niva Tro, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry
(805) 565-6238

Office Available



Chemistry, culture, and society; environmental chemistry;
surface and interface reaction; chemical education 


Dr. Tro graduated from Westmont, earned a doctorate in chemistry from Stanford and conducted postdoctoral research at UC Berkeley. He has written numerous journal articles and received grants from the American Chemical Society, the Petroleum Research Fund, Research Corporation and the National Science Foundation. Honored three times as Westmont’s Teacher of the Year, he was also named Faculty Researcher of the Year. Students use his three bestselling chemistry textbooks (link to a second page with summaries of text books included below) at more than 600 colleges and universities worldwide and are translated into five different languages. A third of all college students taking chemistry today use one of his textbooks.  He and his wife have four children.

Chemistry:Structure and Properties
Nivaldo J. Tro, Westmont College
Dr. Tro emphasizes the relationship between structure and properties, establishes a unique approach to teaching chemistry by presenting atomic and bonding theories early in the text, and stresses key themes throughout. The book is organized to present chemistry as a logical, cohesive story from the microscopic to the macroscopic, so students can fully grasp the theories and framework behind the chemical facts. Every topic has been carefully crafted to convey to students that the relationship between structure and properties is the thread that weaves all of chemistry together.

Chemistry: A Molecular Approach, 3/E
Nivaldo J. Tro, Westmont College
This innovative, pedagogically driven text explains difficult concepts in a student-oriented manner.  The book offers a rigorous and accessible treatment of general chemistry in the context of relevance. Chemistry is presented visually through multi-level images—macroscopic, molecular and symbolic representations—helping students see the connections among the formulas (symbolic), the world around them (macroscopic), and the atoms and molecules that make up the world (molecular). Among other revisions, the Second Edition offers a crisp new design, adds more challenging problems, and significantly revises coverage of electrochemistry.

Introductory Chemistry Textbook-Third Edition
Introductory Chemistry, Third Edition is designed for a one-semester, introductory or preparatory chemistry course. Students taking this course need to develop problem-solving skills—but they also must see why these skills are important to them and to their world. Introductory Chemistry extends chemistry from the laboratory to the student’s world. It motivates students to learn chemistry by demonstrating how it plays out in their daily lives.
The third edition continues to employ Tro’s proven pedagogical features: the Solution Map provides a visual approach showing students how to think through a problem and formulate a solution strategy; the unique Three-Column Problem-Solving Procedures describe a problem-solving procedure while demonstrating how it is applied to two different examples. In addition, the Conceptual Checkpoint features now include questions that prompt students to visualize the molecular world around them.