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Living in a Polluted World


ENVS 361
Fall 2017 not offered
Crosslisting: E&ES 361, E&ES 561
Certificates: Civic Engagement, Environmental Studies
Course Cluster: 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)? To be effective in this course, students will need basic college-level proficiency in chemistry and math as we will delve into aspects of geochemistry, geology, toxicology, environmental law, and some math. The class consists of lectures, one major problem set, the Hg-in-hair class study, and a class project on pollution records from a 125-year-old tree slab that has year rings. We will drill all rings and analyze the wood for Hg, Pb, nuclear contaminants, and several stable isotopes. Some will do a paleoclimate record on the rings as well. Students will jointly write various sections of a report on this original research. This is also a service learning course, providing environmental outreach to the larger Middletown community on local pollution over the last 125 years (the tree slab with its records will go on display at Wesleyan).
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: NSM ENVS
Course Format: LectureGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on OCT-18-2017
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