Chemistry Electives: Special Topics Courses for Spring 2023

Atmospheric Chemistry (CHEM 29901) will be taught in the first half of the semester, and Environmental Contaminants (CHEM 29902) will be taught in the second half of the semester, both on Mon/Wed from 1-2:20pm. Each course is 0.5 credits. Together, they count toward a 1-credit upper-level elective for the CHEM major and minor. (CHEM 29901+29902 also count toward the ENVS major, the Global Impacts pathway, and the Environmental Communication & Action pathway.) You do not need to take CHEM 29901 in order to take CHEM 29902. These courses are appropriate for students ranging from first years through seniors. Atmospheric Chemistry will be structured like a more traditional course, whereas Environmental Contaminants will be based in reading and discussing the primary literature.

CHEM 29901: Atmospheric Chemistry

A study of gas-phase and particle-phase chemistry in the atmosphere. Emphasis is placed on chemical reactions in the troposphere and stratosphere. Anthropogenic impacts on air pollution and air quality, on the degradation and recovery of the ozone layer, and on global climate are discussed. Case studies from current events and the media are analyzed to further explore the material. Three class hours per week for a half semester. Prior completion of CHEM 11200 with C- or higher required.

CHEM 29902: Environmental Contaminants

Pollution in the atmospheric and aquatic realms is explored through reading and discussing the primary scientific literature, with a focus on research articles in environmental chemistry journals. Emphasis is placed on the emission, transport, and reaction of environmental contaminants of emerging concern, such as microplastics and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and on their impacts on human health and on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Three class hours per week for a half semester. Prior completion of CHEM 11200 with C- or higher required.