Living in a Polluted World|
Spring 2022 not offered
|Course Cluster and Certificates: Health Studies, Service Learning|
This course treats the occurrences and origins, natural pathways, toxicologies, and histories of the major environmental contaminants. We all know about lead and its effects on humans, but how about cadmium and hexachromium, or the many unpronounceable organic contaminants, usually referred to by some acronym (e.g., DDT, POPs)? We also deal with the larger topics of CO2/climate change, the environmental nitrogen-oxide balance, and eutrophication of coastal waters (the "dead zones"). To be effective in this course, students will need basic high school/college-level proficiency in chemistry and math as we will delve into aspects of geochemistry, geology, toxicology, environmental law, and some simple modeling. The class consists of lectures, one problem set, one Hg-in-hair class study, and a class project on lead in drinking water in the Middletown area. This is also a service-learning course, providing environmental outreach to the larger Middletown community on local pollution.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture||Grading Mode: |
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CIS)(ENVS-MN)(ENVS)(IDEA-MN)
Sullivan et al., THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE OF DRINKING WATER
Plus various papers
|Examinations and Assignments: |
There is a midterm (35 percent), the problem set (10 percent), the project work with report (20 percent), and a final exam (35 percent).
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Students should contact the instructor prior to registration regarding their background in general chemistry (high school, college).
An occasional movie night, a pollutant-tinged culinary event, and guest speakers will be scheduled outside the regular class time. We may decide on a fixed time slot for the lab activities.
The course will consist of lectures with some lab classes. Students will collect materials (waters, sediment from lakes or wetlands), which will then be analyzed for Hg, Pb, Cr and Cu as well as several other components to understand the cycling of these trace metals in the natural environment. We will also collect hair and nail samples of class members to look at their toxic exposure histories. We will use the new E&ES X-ray Fluorescence facility for some of the analyses as well as the full suite of wet chemical equipment for water analyses.
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