ENVSC202-20A (TGA)

Environmental Chemistry and Geochemistry

15 Points

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Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Science
Environmental Science

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

: cheryl.ward@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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Paper Description

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This paper is an introductory course in environmental chemistry and geochemistry. Topics covered:

- Origin of the elements and cosmochemistry

- Aquatic chemistry and chemical speciation

- Chemical weathering and soil formation

- Redox chemistry and the biogeochemical cycling of elements

- Chemistry of non-living and living organic matter

- Gas-phase chemistry of the atmosphere

- Global climate change

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Paper Structure

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The course consists of 2 days of field work, 15 hours of chemistry labs, 22 formal lectures, 3 laboratory reports, 1 test, 1 Moodle quiz and the final exam.

A detailed lecture schedule is provided on Moodle.

Lectures:

2 hours per week

Lectures are recorded on Panopto and are available through Moodle.

Lecture notes can be purchased from Waikato Print; alternatively they can be downloaded from Moodle. It is recommended that you print them large enough to allow annotation of figures and diagrams.

Laboratories

One 3 hours session on alternative weeks.

There will be an introductory laboratory session and two laboratory sessions relating to each field trip (i.e. four 3-hour labs).

Due to the class size and the capacity of the laboratory, the lab sessions will run on alternating weeks. See Moodle for details on how to sign up to a laboratory stream..

You are required to hand in your completed laboratory reports as a hard copy at reception in the ground floor of the FG link tower and also submit an electronic copy to Moodle.

Field trips*

Field trip 1
Acid Mine Drainage trip

(collection of water samples for labs and report)

Sunday 15 March

(Date is subject to change)

Field trip 2
Cave trip

(collection of water samples for labs and report)

Date to be advised.

Attendance on the field trips is encouraged but is not mandatory. If you are unable to attend either field trip then you will need to let the course coordinator know as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Describe the processes controlling the formation of elements by nuclear synthesis, identify and describe individual steps in a synthetic sequence.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Describe and account for the distribution of elements and water in the solar system.
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  • The ability to describe the principle physical properties of water and the role of these in controlling the circulation of water bodies.
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  • The ability to explain the principle chemical properties of water including dissolution of gases and redox properties.
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  • The ability to convert between concentration units and calculate concentrations of solutes given sufficient information.
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  • Describe the important elemental cycles of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur and identify the major reservoirs and sinks within these cycles.
    and sinks within these cycles.
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  • Discuss properties of humic material and techniques to analyse this material
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  • The ability to account for the origins of fossil fuels and their processes of formation.
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  • Name common biomarkers and describe the technique used to analyse them and explain their application in analysis of oil provenance.
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  • The ability to describe the physical nature of the atmosphere, structure and composition and the important role played by solar radiation in defining these features.
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  • The ability to discuss the composition of the atmosphere and describe the energy balance of incoming solar radiation and outgoing infra-red (black body) radiation of the Earth.
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  • Explain what the greenhouse effect is and what properties a gas needs to be a greenhouse gas
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  • The ability to write concise and clear laboratory reports with coherent discussion supported by appropriate referencing and using appropriate language and formatting.
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  • The ability to sample environmental waters without perturbation and complete a chemical analysis of the water samples.
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  • The ability to interpret data thus collected.
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Assessment

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Laboratory report 1
6
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
  • Hand-in: Faculty Information (FG Link)
2. Laboratory Report 2
12
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
  • Hand-in: Faculty Information (FG Link)
3. Laboratory Report 3
6
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
  • Hand-in: Faculty Information (FG Link)
4. Laboratory Report 4
6
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Test 1
10
  • In Class: In Lecture
6. Test 2
10
  • In Class: In Lecture
7. Exam
50
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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VanLoon, Gary W. and Duffy (2010) Environmental Chemistry: a global perspective. 3rd Edition. 978-0-199-22886-7.

Holland, Heinrich and Turekian, Karl (2014) Treatise on Geochemistry. 2nd Edition. 978-0-08-098300-4

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Recommended Readings

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White, W. (2013) Geochemistry. ISBN: 978-0-470-65668-6.

Andrews, JE; Brimblecombe P 2004. An introduction to environmental chemistry. 2nd ed. Malden, MA, Blackwell Science. QE516.4 .I57 2004

*Books are also available as eBooks through the library.

Broecker, WS, How to build a habitable planet. QE515.B76 1985

(The newer version of this book is available as an ebook - Langmuir, CH; Broecker, WS, How to build a habitable planet - The Story of Earth from the big bang to humankind)

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Online Support

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This paper has a Moodle page (http://elearn.waikato.ac.nz) where you will be able to access lecture material. There are also discussion forums where you can both ask and answer questions.

All lectures are recorded via Panopto and are available through Moodle.

PLEASE NOTE:

Moodle will be used for class notices etc and it is your responsibility to regularly check the site and your appropriate e-mail account. Instructions provided on Moodle and during lectures are considered to be given to the class as a whole.

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Workload

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Formal contact hours: 22 Lectures, 15 hours of laboratory work, 2 field trips

Personal study: 3 hours per lecture minimum during the semester for reviewing lecture materials and the recommended reading. 8 hours for completion of each of the laboratory reports.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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This paper is optional for students in Chemistry, Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences and Engineering with at least 30 points in Chemistry or Earth Sciences.

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Prerequisite(s)

Prerequisite papers: CHEMY100 or CHEMY101 or CHEMY102 or CHEM100 or CHEM111 or CHEM112

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: CHEM200, CHEM261

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