[Home] [Schedule] [Classes] [Forensics] [Links] [Personal] [About this Page]

Ch 473 - The Chemistry Behind the
Environmental Issues (Winter 2009)

Antarctic Ozone Hole, August 2006

A survey of the chemistry behind environmental issues in Oregon and in the World. The major issues covered are Ozone Layer Depletion, Climate Change, Toxic Chemicals and Heavy Metals, and Air and Water Pollution. On a more local level we will investigate recent research on the decline of amphibians, the health of the Willamette River, progress on cleaning up Portland Harbor, and herbicide and pesticide use in the Willamette Valley.

When posted here, PDF files require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view..

Instructor Dr. Pete Poston
office: NS 110
phone: 503-838-8218
office hours: MWF 11, W 3, R 1, make an appointment, or just drop by.
email questions: postonp@wou.edu
Web page: http://www.wou.edu/poston
Pre-req's One year of college chemistry and ES 351; or consent of instructor

"Environmental Chemistry", 4th ed., Colin Baird, Freeman, New York, 2008

Homework Assigned, collected, and graded. Frequently similar problems will appear on an exam! After collection, links to homework answer keys will be posted at the top of this webpage.
Exam Policies

There are no make-up exams except for University sanctioned events, in which case please see me a week in advance for an alternative testing time. In the event of an unexpected emergency -

Midterms: Emergencies must be communicated through the Office of Student Affairs (838-8221) - they can broadcast it to all your professors. There must be some form of proof for the emergency, e.g. note from Student Health Center. If these two steps are taken, then there are two options for replacing the midterm score:

(1) If the exam hasn't been handed back to the class yet, then arrange a make-up time with me.

(2) If the exam has already been returned to the class, then I will replace the missing hour exam score by taking 30% of the percentage you receive on the final exam (since it is a 150 pt exam) and 70% of the other midterm score. This option can obviously only be used once.

Final exam: University policy states that the final exam time will not be moved for any reason, unless you have three finals in one day - you have the right to move one!

If you miss the final due to an unexpected emergency, and again communicate this through the Office of Student Affairs and provide proof of the emergency, then I won't give a makeup, but an incomplete instead. See the Incompletes section next for details.

Incompletes Incompletes are given under special circumstances such as medical reasons, family emergencies, etc. In order to receive an incomplete, the University requires you to sign a contract with me outlining the steps you must take to finish the course. Usually this means there will be a time deadline for completion of the course before your grade reverts to an "F".
200 pts (2) 100 pt Midterms (Wed, Feb 4 and Wed, Mar 4)
150 pts comprehensive final (Mon, Mar 16, 4-6 PM)
50 pts homework
400 pts total
Students with Disabilities

It is your right to request special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. For questions, call the Office for Disability Services at (503) 838-8250 V/TTY, or email them at ods@wou.edu.

Academic Dishonesty

The Code of Student Responsibility defines cheating as "intentional use, or attempted use of artifice, deception, fraud, and/or misrepresentation of one's academic work". For this class, which involves taking exams, quizzes, and perform labs, cheating is usually but not limited to talking or writing to other students, using crib sheets (prepared notes), or looking at another student's paper. The penalty for cheating will be a zero grade for the test or quiz or assignment in question.

Students have the right to appeal this action as described in the Code of Student Responsibility

(updated as the term progresses)

Environmental Issues:

  • Ozone Layer Depletion
  • Climate Change
  • Chemicals, Toxics and Heavy Metals
  • Air and Water Pollution
  • Amphibian Declines (Prof. Andrew Blaustein, OSU)
  • Oregon 303(d) List (state water health report)
  • Pesticides, herbicides - agricultural practices Williamette Valley, National Forests
  • Portland Harbor Superfund Site
  • Willamette River - "Newberg Trough"
  • Arsenic in the Groundwater - don't panic! It's out there though.
Week Reading Topic
Jan 5 Ch. 1:
p. 27-43
p. 47-48
p. 50-55

Ch. 2:
p. 59-85

Chapter 1 Stratospheric Chemistry: The Ozone Layer

Chapter 2 The Ozone Holes

Jan 12 Ch. 3:
p. 91-103

Ch. 5:
p. 175-181

Chapter 3 The Chemistry of Ground-Level Air Pollution

Chapter 5 The Detailed Chemistry of the Atmosphere

Jan 19 Ch. 6:
p. 205-224
p. 229-243
p. 246-257

Monday, Jan 19th MLK Holiday

Chapter 6 The Greenhouse Effect

Jan 26 ----
Feb 2 Ch. 10:
p. 415-446
p. 452-461

Chapter 10 Pesticides

Exam #1 - Wed, Feb 4

Feb 9* Ch. 11:
p. 469-504
Chapter 11 Dioxins, Furans, and PCBs
Feb 16 Ch. 12:
p. 507-528
Chapter 12 Other Toxic Organic Compounds of Environmental Concern
Feb 23 Ch. 13:
p. 557-592
Chapter 13 The Chemistry of Natural Waters
Mar 2 Ch. 15:
p. 663-684
p. 686-705

Chapter 15 Toxic Heavy Metals

Exam #2 - Wed, Mar 4

Mar 9 ----
*The last day to drop a class without being responsible for a grade is Friday, Feb 13th

Directory | Home | Site index | Help | Search WOU
Copyright 2002 Western Oregon University. Site guidelines.
Send comments and questions about this page to: Pete Poston