Environmental Chemistry and Monitoring

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Environmental Chemistry and Monitoring

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Chemistry, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Pre-requisite: Any first year chemistry course.

    Assumed Background:
    This course focuses on qualitative and descriptive (environmental) chemistry and related knowledge. It therefore assumes that students have a sound knowledge of foundation chemistry and are familiar with the language of chemistry. The pre-requisite to have completed a first year university chemistry course reflects this. Completion of both 1023SCG Chemistry I and 1024SCG Chemistry II (or equivalent) is very good preparation. 1044SCG Earth systems is also very relevant to this course.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This course provides an introduction to the major chemical and physical processes of natural environments (water, atmosphere and soils/sediments). The sources, effects and chemistry of every major class of pollutants are described. The steps required to design, undertake and report on a comprehensive monitoring program are described and applied through a case study and a major assessment activity. Field trips and laboratory activities will provide practical experience in monitoring techniques and interpretation of natural processes relating to the lecture content.
    Course Introduction

    Environmental chemistry is a very broad discipline that is concerned with understanding the chemistry of Earth's natural systems (e.g. wetlands, troposphere, soils) and the effects of anthropogenic contamination (e.g. nutrients, heavy metals, pesticides). Physical and biological processes relating to these natural systems, especially their interaction with the chemical processes, are also important.

    This course also describes the science of environmental monitoring. Practical activities (e.g. field trips and laboratories) will be used to provide experience with specific monitoring techniques and considerations, while investigating aspects of the chemistry of natural systems and/or anthropogenic contaminants.

    Course Aims
    This course aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of environmental chemistry across all major natural systems - waterways, soils, and atmosphere. The chemical composition of these systems will be described, including important natural substances and major anthropogenic contaminants, as well as processes or events that cause changes in the composition. There are also lectures on risk assessment and environmental microbiology, which are disciplines closely related to environmental chemistry. The six steps in developing and completing a monitoring program will be presented with learning reinforced by practical activities and a major assignment that also investigates the chemistry of an environmental system. This course will prepare students for employment in a wide range of careers relating to environmental assessment.

    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:

    1  Describe the chemistry, and other relevant features, of natural systems, including the role of biological productivity.
    2  Describe the chemistry of major types of contaminants caused by human activities, as well as their sources and environmental effects. Also describe important pathogenic microorganism species that can be associated with human sewage.
    3  Apply the six steps of environmental monitoring, to develop a comprehensive monitoring and reporting program around contamination of an environmental system of your choice, and present this program in written and oral form.
    4  Demonstrate competence in the collection, processing and analysis of environmental samples, then summarize and interpret the results in a written report.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.