Metropolitan State University

CHEM 311 : Environmental Chemistry

A. Course Description
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: MATH 115 College Algebra


MATH 120 Precalculus  
Lab Hours/ Weeks: Corequisites: None
Lecture Hours/ Week :  
MnTC Goals: Goal 03 - Natural Science , Goal LS - Upper Division Liberal Studies , Goal 10 - People/Environment
This class addresses the principles of atmospheric chemistry, energy and climate changes, water chemistry, and soil chemistry. During the course of the semester, students will learn the chemistry behind modern challenges to our environment. It will include and examination of the sources, reactions, transport, and fates of different chemical species in the environment. The following topics will be covered: a) atmospheric chemistry and air pollution; b) energy and climate change; c) water chemistry and water pollution; d) toxic organic compounds e) wastes, soils and sediments.
B. Course Effective Dates: 05/10/2014 - Present
C. Outline of Major Content Areas:
See Course Description for major content areas.
D. Learning Outcomes (General)
  1. Describe the chemistry of the major environmental threats to the air, water, and soil. The threats include ozone depletion, global climate change, groundwater pollution, agricultural impacts to water and soil, and others.
  2. Critically review news articles and journal articles on environmental chemistry issues and evaluate the science presented.
  3. Make connections between chemical cycles and human activities
  4. Model some global processes and systems
  5. Have familiarity with chemical processes affecting the sources and fate of environmental contaminants.
E. Learning Outcomes (MN Transfer Curriculum)
Goal 03 - Natural Science
  1. Formulate and test hypotheses by performing laboratory, simulation, or field experiments in at least two of the natural science disciplines. One of these experimental components should develop, in greater depth, students' laboratory experience in the collection of data, its statistical and graphical analysis, and an appreciation of its sources of error and uncertainty.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of scientific theories.
  3. Communicate their experimental findings, analyses, and interpretations both orally and in writing.
Goal LS - Upper Division Liberal Studies
Goal 10 - People/Environment
  1. Propose and assess alternative solutions to environmental problems.
  2. Explain the basic structure and function of various natural ecosystems and of human adaptive strategies within those systems.
  3. Discern patterns and interrelationships of bio-physical and socio-cultural systems.
  4. Describe the basic institutional arrangements (social, legal, political, economic, religious) that are evolving to deal with environmental and natural resource challenges.
  5. Evaluate critically environmental and natural resource issues in light of understandings about interrelationships, ecosystems, and institutions.
  6. Articulate and defend the actions they would take on various environmental issues.
G. Special Information
Note: First day attendance required except by instructor permission.