ES 567/CH 506

Environmental Geochemistry/Environmental Chemistry

Course Syllabus

Sinkhole in the tri-state mining district of SE Kansas (photo by M. Schulmeister, 2014).


The tentative schedule and weekly reading assignment for ES 567/CH 506 are presented in the below. To access the course, log in to Canvas on January 21st using your class password. Instructions for accessing weekly homework problems, quizlets and other assignments will be given each Friday.

On-campus students will meet twice a week for an introduction to the material and homework problem sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00 - 2:00 PM in Science Hall, Rm 216, Homework is due each Thursday at 5 PM

A syllabus for Spring 2015 can be downloaded here . Highlights are posted below.
Week Lecture Topic Reading Assignment
Jan. 19 Introduction to Environmental Chemistry 1.1-1.9
Jan. 26 Chemistry and the Anthrosphere; Elemental Cycles; Risk 2.1-2.9
Feb 1 Aquatic Chemistry; Acid-base; Precipitation; Carbonate behaviors/Alkalinity 3.1-3.8
Feb. 9 Metals in water; Complexation/Chelation; Hydroxide Precipitation 3.9-3.18
Feb. 16 Phase interactions: Water/Solid 5.1-5.10
Feb. 23 Redox reactions; Nernst Expression; Redox tower; pe/pH diagrams 4.1-4.11
Mar. 2 Microbial basics and the reactions they control 6.1-6.14
Mar. 9 Mid-term Exam
Mar. 16 Spring Break - no classes
Mar. 23 Water Pollution 7.1-7.13
Mar 30 Drinking water/Waste water treatment 8.1-8.13
Apr. 6 Atmospheric chemistry 9.1-9.3, 9.6-9.14 11.1, 11.3-11.7, 12.3-12.4, 12.7
Apr. 13 Gaseous inorganic/organic pollutants 11.1, 11.3-11.7, 12.3-12.4,
Apr 20 Geosphere Industrial waste/raw materials 12.7,15.1-15.3, 15.5-15.8
Apr 27 Soil and Agricultural Chemistry 16.1-16.12
May 4 Industrial wastes/raw materials TBD
May 11 Final Exam

Grading Components

Midterm Exam25%
Problem Sets15%
Writing Assignments15%
Biweekly quizes and quizlets20%
Final Exam25%

Grading Scale (%)

100 100-93 92-90 89-87 86-83 82-80 79-77 76-70 69-60 <60

PROBLEM SETS - Homework problems will be assigned each week and will be usually be due one week later.

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS- To add “real-life” perspective to topics covered in class, 3 to 4 scientific papers will be posted during the semester that illustrate their application. Students will be expected to provide written answers to general questions about their content.

QUIZES AND “QUIZLETS” – Two or three online quizzes may be given during the semester that will cover material covered between the midterm and final exams. Online Quizlets (shorter quizzes) will be given each week PRIOR TO delivery of the week’s material. The purpose of the quizlets is to ensure that everyone has thoroughly reviewed the reading assignment before attending/viewing the weekly lecture presentations.

MIDTERM AND FINAL EXAMS- Both will be assigned in take home format. Students may use course notes and the textbook to answer questions, but must work independently. All work presented must be the original work of the student.

Exams will be similar in scope to the homework problems and may include some short-answer essay questions. You may be tested on materials presented on homework assignments in addition to all topics discussed in lectures and reading assignments.


Academic Dishonesty: Academic dishonesty, a basis for disciplinary action, includes but is not limited to activities such as cheating and plagiarism (presented as one’s own the intellectual of creative accomplishments of another without giving credit to the source or sources). The faculty member in whose course or under whose tutelage an act of academic dishonesty occurs has the option of failing the student for the academic hours in question.

Accommodations for Disabilities: Emporia State University will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Students need to contact the Director of Disability Services and the instructor as early in the semester as possible to ensure that classroom and academic accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. All communication between students, the Office of Disability Services, and the instructor will be strictly confidential.

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ES 567 © M. K. Schulmeister (2015)