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COURSE TITLE: Environmental Chemistry (Soils/Water/Waste)
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Lecture: Dr Melanie Hoffman
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 with an emphasis on water, soil and waste. Natural and contaminated surface and ground water will be covered as well as oceans. Soil chemistry will include a discussion of the chemical and physical properties of soil and will include discussion of the fate of and transport of both inorganic and organic pollutants. Chemical aspects of the generation, fate and disposal of wastes including domestic, industrial and nuclear will also be included.

Prerequisites: CHEM 350
  • Required:
    • Safety glasses
    • Two hardcover notebooks
    • Sharpie
    • Moodle access: lab details and other resources will be shared here
    • Calculator with log functions
  • Recommended:
    • Baird, C.; Cann, M. Environmental Chemistry, 5th ed.; W.H. Freeman & Company: New York, 2011.
  • Other Resources:
    • Manahan, S. E. Water Chemistry; Taylor & Francis Group: Boca Raton, 2011.
Case Studies20%
Midterm exam20%
Final exam25%
COURSE OBJECTIVES:At the end of this course, the successful student will have the tools to:
  • describe the chemistry of the environment and the behavior of both harmless and pollutant species in water, soil and waste.
  • summarize challenges related to natural and human activity-related pollution of water and soil, remediation, and waste management, at both a regional and global level.
  • discuss toxicology, risk assessment and risk perception of substances in the environment.
  • evaluate the relationship between science and policy in environmental chemistry.
  • critically reflect on the professional responsibility of chemists for the materials they make, and for conscious ethical choices about their potential uses and misuses.
  • communicate using the terminology of environmental chemistry in written and spoken word.
  • constructively criticize content and delivery of presentations in environmental chemistry contexts.
  • collaborate more effectively with others by communicating clear goals and negotiating compromise.
  • apply standard field and laboratory techniques to monitor the chemistry of water and soils, and analyze the obtained data.
LECTURE OUTLINE: Water Chemistry and Water Pollution
  • Chemistry of natural waters;
  • Toxicology, pollutants and their effects;
  • Case studies related to Alberta, Canada, and global water quality issues;
Soil Chemistry and Polluted Soils
  • Chemistry and physical properties of natural soils;
  • Polluted soils and remediation;
  • Case studies related to Alberta, Canada and global soil pollution issues
Waste Water and Solid Waste
  • Waste water pollution and treatment;
  • Solid waste disposal
  • Introduction and Field Testing
  • Alkalinity
  • Redox
  • Cu and Fe by AAS
  • Soil - physical properties
  • Soil - Hydrocarbons and remediation

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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