CHEMICAL EQUILIBRIA IN NATURAL WATERS
ENVR 419, Fall Semester, 3.0 Credit Hours
The objectives of this course are to introduce chemical equilibrium concepts and to apply them to an understanding of the distribution of chemical species in natural aquatic systems, e.g. surface waters and ground waters. The focus of the course is on fresh water systems and on inorganic species therein. The course makes use of problem-solving techniques to illustrate acid-base, solubility, complex-formation, and oxidation-reduction equilibria.
ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSICAL ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
ENVR 725, Spring Semester, 3.0 Credit Hours
The purpose of this class is to present some of the common conceptual methods, techniques and tools which are frequently used to describe environmental processes. The following topics are covered from an environmental perspective: fugacities, vapor pressure, Henry’s law, solubility and activity coefficients, octanaol-water partitioning coefficients, partitioning and exchange between different media, chemical transformations, photochemical transformation reactions, and biological transformations.
CHEMISTRY OF NATURAL ORGANIC MATTER
ENVR 727, Fall Semester (even years as needed), 3.0 Credit Hours
This course focuses on the chemistry of natural organic matter (NOM), with most emphasis placed on naturally occurring dissolved organic matter (DOM). We cover current theories regarding the sources, formation pathways, and roles of NOM/DOM in carbon cycling and water quality. A significant component of the course addresses the analytical approaches and techniques being used to test these theories. The scope considers examples from freshwater and marine ecosystems, and includes opportunities to address organic matter pools in other natural systems (terrestrial or atmospheric) or engineered systems (drinking water or wastewater) in the current topics section of the course. The goal is to develop students’ understanding of how the chemistry of NOM influences biogeochemical processes important to water quality. At the conclusion of this course, the successful student will be able to analyze and evaluate approaches to characterize NOM, synthesize data on NOM chemical characterization, and apply chemical assessment of NOM to biogeochemical or water quality questions as part of graduate research and beyond.
ENVR 401, Spring Semester, 3.0 Credit Hours
This course provides unifying concepts of environmental systems, including conservation principles, modeling, economics, and policy with applications from throughout natural, engineered, and human systems, and is given through a series of modules prepared by various faculty members in the department. This module on environmental chemistry provides an introduction to the relevant chemical processes that influence the cycling of natural and man-made organic carbon compounds in freshwater and marine environments. Focusing on case studies and examples from recent events (such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill), students will learn about how chemical reactions in water control the fate and transformations of organic compounds.