Approved by Faculty Senate

University Studies Course Approval

 

Department or Program: Chemistry

Course Number: 320

Semester Hours: 4

Frequency of Offering: Once per academic year, ~18 students per section

Course Title: Environmental Chemistry

Catalog Description: An introductory study of current environmental issues, emphasizing the chemistry and chemical interactions underlying these topics. The topics may include, but are not limited to, global warming, depletion of stratospheric ozone, ground level air chemistry and air pollution, organic chemicals in the environment, toxic heavy metals, chemistry of natural waters, and energy production and its environmental consequences. Lecture and Laboratory. Prerequisites: one year of general chemistry or consent of instructor. Offered yearly.

This is an existing course previously approved by A2C2: Yes

This is a new course proposal: No

Proposal Category: Unity and Diversity: Science and Social Policy

Departmental Contact: Mark A. Engen

Email Address: mengen@winona.edu

Department Approval and Date: __________________________

Dean’s Recommendation and Date: __________________________

USS Recommendation and Date: __________________________

A2C2 Recommendation and Date: __________________________

Faculty Senate Recommendation and Date: __________________________

VPAA Recommendation and Date: __________________________

Dean’s Recommendation and Date: __________________________

President’s Decision and Date: __________________________

Chemistry 320: Environmental Chemistry (Lecture and Lab - 4 s.h.)

The purpose of this chemistry course is to provide students with the knowledge to better understand and make informed judgments related to environmental issues. With the many environmental concerns facing our world today, and the likelihood of many more in the future, a basic understanding of the chemistry associated with many of the Earth’s natural processes and the effects humankind have on these processes will help students become more informed members of our society in regards to the environment.

Catalog Description:

An introductory study of current environmental issues, emphasizing the chemistry and chemical interactions underlying these topics. The topics may include, but are not limited to, global warming, depletion of stratospheric ozone, ground level air chemistry and air pollution, organic chemicals in the environment, toxic heavy metals, chemistry of natural waters, and energy production and its environmental consequences. Lecture and Laboratory. Prerequisites: one year of general chemistry or consent of instructor. Offered yearly.

This course includes requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to...

a. understand the scientific foundation of the topic;

Requirements: Using the scientific method students are taught to apply chemistry to environmental situations. Many different real world problems are presented and students are expected to learn how to apply their knowledge and the principles of chemistry to solving and understanding chemistry-related phenomena.

Activities: Students are provided with many opportunities to apply the chemistry concepts. Activities include in-class/out-of-class problem solving sessions, one-on-one tutorials, instructor-led and group discussions, and laboratory exercises. A particular example is using the data generated by NASA’s Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) and relating that data to the observed chemical species and physical conditions present in the Antarctic polar spring.

b. understand the social, ethical, historical, and/or political implications;

Requirements: Students are given a historical perspective of the environmental movement and are given the tools to critically evaluate environmental rules, regulations, and propaganda based on an understanding of the chemical concepts.

Activities: Once per week students are required to report on an article of their choice to the rest of the class in a discussion period. The article can be from popular or scientific literature.

c. understand and articulate the need to integrate issues of science with social policy;

Requirements: Students are taught the importance of how a solid scientific understanding of environmental concepts can help them make informed political and social decisions relative to environmental issues.

Activities: For example, students are involved in both problem solving and discussion periods weekly in order to critically evaluate and debate environmental issues of social significance, such as global warming, ozone depletion, or heavy metals in the environment.

 

d. evaluate the various policy options relevant to the social dilemmas posed by the science;

Requirements: Students are introduced to specific environmental policies and then study in detail the chemistry related to that particular policy. They are then asked to evaluate different scenarios, taking into account both the science and the policy, which might lead to a different resolution the environmental problem.

Activities: For example, students are taught the mechanism by which greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation. They are then asked to evaluate the relative importance of different greenhouse gases. Recently in Kyoto, Japan a number of the industrialized countries (but not the USA) decided that it would be a good idea to limit the anthropogenic carbon dioxide input into the atmosphere. Why did the USA not go along with this policy decision? Was the US decision based in science, policy, or for some other reason?

e. articulate, choose among, and define various policy and/or scientific options to cope with the challenges created;

Requirements: Students are taught to consider the extreme complexity of natural systems and how trying to remedy one environmental problem with one policy option may cause or exacerbate another concern. Therefore, students are asked to evaluate different policy options and what effects these policies might have both directly and indirectly on the environment.

Activities: Students utilize satellite data collected by NASA’s Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) and compare trends in ozone measurements to the phaseout of CFC’s in the Montreal Protocol of 1987. Why are the polar ozone holes continuing to grow even though the level of chlorine in the atmosphere is dropping? Is there a relation to the increase in greenhouse gases?

Sample Syllabus

WINONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Chemistry 320 - Fall 2001

Webpage: http://course1.winona.edu/chemistry/mengen

 

Instructor: Dr. Mark A. Engen (PA 312D)

Course Purpose: The purpose of this chemistry course is to provide students with the knowledge to better understand and make informed judgments related to environmental issues. With the many environmental concerns facing our world today, and the likelihood of many more in the future, a basic understanding of the chemistry associated with many of the Earth’s natural processes and the effects humankind have on these processes will help students become more informed members of our society in regards to the environment

 

Course Description: Environmental Chemistry (Lecture and Lab - 4 s.h.)

An introductory study of current environmental issues, emphasizing the chemistry and chemical interactions underlying these topics. The topics may include, but are not limited to, global warming, depletion of stratospheric ozone, ground level air chemistry and air pollution, organic chemicals in the environment, toxic heavy metals, chemistry of natural waters, and energy production and its environmental consequences. Lecture and Laboratory. Prerequisites: one year of general chemistry or consent of instructor. Offered yearly.

Lectures: 320 T, Th 11:00-12:20 PA 309

Lab: 320-1 Th 2:00-4:50 PA 304

 

Text: "Chemistry of the Environment." Spiro and Stigliani, Prentice Hall.

Course Details and Requirements:

In order to do well or pass the course, the student is expected to attend and participate in the lecture-discussion periods, complete and turn in the assigned material, read the assigned chapters, attempt assigned text problems, and pass exams. No make-up exams will be given.

 

Marking Distribution Grading Scale

Lab 25 % A 88%

Exams (3) 45 % B 76%

Homework and Quizzes 15 % C 64%

Class Participation 15 % D 52%

 Completion of this course will include requirements and learning activities that promote your abilities to achieve the following Outcomes:

a. understand the scientific foundation of the topic;

b. understand the social, ethical, historical, and/or political implications;

c. understand and articulate the need to integrate issues of science with social policy;

d. evaluate the various policy options relevant to the social dilemmas posed by the science;

e. articulate, choose among, and define various policy and/or scientific options to cope with the  
        challenges created;

 

 

Tentative Course Outline

Lecture Topic

Chapter(s)

Dates

Exam

Atmosphere

2

#1

Hydrosphere

3

#2

Biosphere

4

#3

Fuels and Energy (Optional)

1

 

 

Course Details/Requirements/Activities:

In order to do well or pass the course, the students are expected to:

1. attend and participate in lecture-discussion-tutorial sessions,        
        Outcomes a-e]

2. complete and turn in assigned laboratory studies/reports,
         [Outcomes a, e]

3. read assigned chapters and attempt text problems, [Outcomes a-e]

4. prepare for experiments by thoroughly researching relevant
        information from scientific literature both in the library and in
        electronic media, [Outcome a, e] and

5. pass, in general, quizzes and tests. [Outcomes a, c, e].

The studies of these chemistry concepts involve purposeful readings of your textbook, your attendance and participation in lecture-discussion-problem solving sessions, and completion of homework assignments. The lecture material is also complemented by in-class group problem solving sessions and discussion sessions based on current literature. Furthermore, these chemistry concepts are supplemented with hands-on laboratory exercises. Successful completion of studies of these lecture topics will promote your ability to achieve Outcomes a to e.

 

SAFETY GOGGLES ARE MANDATORY IN THE LABORATORY

 

Chemistry is a laboratory science that requires active learning. As such, students are required to perform and complete weekly laboratory exercises. You will be required to complete a student directed laboratory investigation, of some environmental concern, utilizing chemical analysis methods. This will require researching the literature, designing sampling plans, sample care and preservation, extraction or clean up of the sample, and finally, a quantitative analysis of the sample for a particular analyte. After quantitative data has been collected you must then critically evaluate the data and present your results, both as a written report and in an oral presentation, to the class. These hands-on investigations will give you an enhanced appreciation and understanding of the process of evaluating contaminants in the environment. Therefore, the completion of these laboratory studies will promote your ability to achieve Outcomes a to e.

   Approval/Disapproval Recommendations

 Department Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved_____ Date______

Chairperson Signature_______________________ Date______

Dean's Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved _____* Date______

Dean's Signature_______________________ Date______

*In the case of a Dean's recommendation to disapprove a proposal a written rationale for the recommendation to disapprove shall be provided to USS

USS Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved_____ Date______

University Studies Director's Signature_______________________ Date______

A2C2 Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved______ Date______

A2C2 Chairperson Signature_______________________ Date______

Faculty Senate Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved_____ Date______

FA President's Signature_______________________ Date______

Academic VP's Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved_____ Date______

VP's Signature_______________________ Date______

President's Decision: Approved_____ Disapproved_____ Date______

President's Signature_______________________ Date______