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Biology 392

BIOL 392
Environmental Toxicology

Catalog Entry

BIOL 392
Environmental Toxicology
Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory.

Prerequisite: 8 credits of Biology and 8 credits of Chemistry, or permission of instructor

Designed to provide Biology majors with an understanding of important pollution problems facing society, and to provide the student with practical experience in environmental sampling and analysis.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Lectures, discussion, in-class assignments and exercises, and laboratory experiences will focus on the major concepts and modern practice of environmental toxicology, and will introduce the most pressing pollution problems we face.  Topics may include, but are not limited to:

A. Definition of Pollution

    1. Point source
    2. Non-point source

B. Types of Pollutants: sources and environmental effects

    1. Organic chemicals (pesticides)
    2. Heavy metals
    3. Siltation
    5. Acid deposition
    6. Smog
    7. Radioactive wastes
C. Evaluating impacts of pollutants
D. Specific techniques
    1. Chemical analyses
    2. Bioassay
    3. Biomonitoring
    4. Biotic factors
a. indicator organisms
b. species diversity


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This is a "hands-on" course in environmental assessment of pollution. Students will put information learned in lecture and outside readings to use in laboratory exercises and experiments. Laboratory work will include a number of field trips.  Emphasis will be placed on study design, data analysis, and scientific communication.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Having successfully completed this course, the student will be able to:

1. Identify and discuss major sources of pollution in the environment.
2. Read and interpret scientific articles dealing with pollution problems.
3. Interpret data gathered during environmental monitoring studies.
4. Design sampling programs designed to address specific environmental problems.
5. Write a laboratory report.


Assessment Measures

1.    Examinations. Students may take several written exams.
2. Laboratory. Students will be graded on completion of all laboratory assignments and reports.
3. Class participation. Students will be expected to participate in class discussion of reading assignments. A portion of their grade will reflect this participation.
4. Other assignments. Students may occasionally be given homework assignments and quizzes, which will contribute towards their grade.


Other Course Information

None


Review and Approval


01/2011