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COURSE TITLE: Environmental Chemistry (Atmosphere/Environmental Organic)
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 3)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is an introduction to the chemistry of the environment and chemical toxicology. A study of chemical processes occurring in the atmosphere, natural and wastewaters, and soils. Mechanisms for the introduction of pollutants to the environment and methods for the removal of pollutants are studied. The focus is on anthropogenic sources of pollutants and their speciation, transport, and interaction with natural processes.

Prerequisites: CHEM 201, 351 (pre- or corequisite)
  • Baird, Colin and Cann, Michael; Environmental Chemistry, 5th Ed. New York: W.H. Freeman, 2012. (Required)
  • Laboratory experiment handouts will be available on Moodle. You will need access for these and other course materials at:
  • Further required and recommended readings from the primary and review literature will be placed on Moodle and reserve in the King's University Library. This will be particularly relevant for the completion of your project related to the environmental chemistry of our planetary boundaries, your poster on endocrine disrupting substances, and participation in activities around the IPCC Climate Change and Cities conference, to be held March 4 – 7 in Edmonton.
  • Dicks, Andrew and Hent, Andrei, Green Chemistry Metrics: A Guide to Determining and Evaluating Process Greenness, Springer, 2015. (Supplemental readings, on-reserve in the library)
  • Also required are safety glasses and two laboratory data notebooks.
Midterm Exam20%
Project 1 - Anthropocene, P Boundaries, Systems Thinking12%
Project 2 - Endocrine Disruptors15%
Final Exam25%
Quizzes, Problems, Participation10%
  • To place our work on environmental and green chemistry in the context of global initiatives to understand our planetary boundaries.
  • To develop understanding of chemical processes in the atmosphere and anthropogenic inputs.
  • To develop understanding of organic compounds in the environment, with an emphasis on halogenated organics.
  • To introduce toxicology and risk assessment of chemical substances in the environment.
  • To become familiar with the value and limitations of modeling as a tool to understand atmospheric environmental processes and the transport, speciation, and fate of organic compounds in the environment.
  • To become familiar with basic principles of green chemistry and the application of green chemistry metrics to chemical reactions and industrial processes.
  • To develop basic competence and confidence in the use of laboratory techniques important in environmental chemistry.
  • To gain field experience of resource industries important in Western Canada, and address environmental chemistry dimensions of those industries in the context of environmental impact assessment.
  • To be aware of the professional responsibility of chemists for the materials they make, and to make conscious ethical choices about their potential uses and abuses.
  • To encourage positive, constructive interaction and collaboration amongst students, between students in environmental chemistry and environmental impact assessment courses, and between students and instructors.
  • Introduction to Environmental Chemistry & Planetary Boundaries
  • Stratospheric Chemistry:  The Ozone Layer and Ozone "Holes"
  • Climate Change, Fossil Fuel Energy, CO2 Emissions
  • Renewable Energy Technologies
  • Chemistry of Ground Level Air Pollution
  • Toxicology, Halogenated Organic Compounds
  • Climate Change and Cities (IPCC Conference and Activities)
  • Introduction to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC)
  • Toxicology, Halogenated Organic Compounds
  • Environmental Chemistry of Oil Sands and Pulp & Paper
  • Field trip (Al-Pac and Fort McMurray Oil Sands), or Project 2 presentations (tentative)
  • Chemistry related to Pulp & Paper and Oil Sands
  • Field trip (Al-Pac and Fort McMurray Oil Sands), or Project 2 presentations (tentative)
  • Toxicology and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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