ENVSC504-22B (HAM)

Pollution and Environmental Contaminants

15 Points

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

Staff

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: 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:
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Paper Description

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This paper will provide a practical and theoretical framework to evaluate the effects of chemical and non-chemical pollution on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Practical methods for ecological monitoring and analysis of data derived from online databases such as the USEPA ECOTOX database and ANZECC will provide students with skills in understanding and applying ecological thresholds and indicators of pollution. Examples of significant New Zealand sources of pollution and pollution events will be used to provide local context and relevance. Through independent analysis and review of the scientific literature and oral presentation, students will enhance their skills in critical evaluation of scientific information and their abilities to present a scientific argument to a lay audience.


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Paper Structure

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Some content will be delivered by self-directed learning with support from the teaching staff. Workshop topics will comprise an introduction to the subject followed by an examination of selected readings from the scientific literature. Students are expected to participate in ALL workshop sessions.


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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Define critical terms and concepts in ecotoxicology;
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  • Differentiate the effects of pollutants at different levels of biological organisation
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  • Demonstrate an understanding of how chemical structure and physico/chemical attributes contribute to compartmentalization of pollutants both in the environment and physiologically
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  • Demonstrate for a particular element how, and it what form, it achieves its toxicity and limits imposed as a result of toxicity and persistence in the environment
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  • Explain the concepts of bioaccumulation and biotransformation in organisms and ecosystems
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  • Describe, discuss, apply and analyse tests and indices for pollution using a variety of organisms
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  • Describe and evaluate biological indicators of pollution
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  • Demonstrate written and oral competence in presenting scientific arguments and in reviewing scientific literature
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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. Data analysis exercise 1 - dose response analysis
5 Aug 2022
11:30 PM
10
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Review of a chemical toxicant
26 Aug 2022
11:30 PM
30
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Oral presentation
20
  • In Class: In Workshop
4. Data analysis exercise 2 - species sensitivity distribution
16 Sep 2022
11:30 PM
15
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Paper critique
7 Oct 2022
11:30 PM
5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
6. NZ case study - literature review
28 Oct 2022
11:30 PM
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
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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Readings from selected scientific journals will be provided via the Moodle course page.
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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 pdfs of prescribed readings, lecture notes and assessment materials. There are also discussion forums where you can both ask and answer questions. Your essay assignments must be submitted through Moodle.

PLEASE NOTE: Moodle will be used for class notices etc and it is your responsibility to check the site regularly. Instructions provided on Moodle and in lectures are considered to be given to the class as a whole.


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Workload

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10 hours per week (2 hour seminar + 8 hours independent study).


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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite(s)

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Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: BIOL577

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