Environmental Analysis

Fall 2016, Winter 2017, and Spring 2017 quarters

Taught by

biology, genetics, microbiology
  • UG


One year college chemistry, and college algebra required. One year college biology with a molecular emphasis recommended.

This rigorous program will focus on investigations in hydrogeology and biology supported with analytical chemistry. Instrumental techniques and chemical analysis skills will be developed in an advanced laboratory. The expectation is that students will learn how to conduct accurate chemical, ecological, and hydrogeological measurements in order to define baseline assessments of natural ecosystems and determine environmental function and/or contamination. Quantitative analysis, quality control procedures, research design, and technical writing will be emphasized.

The program will start with a two-week field trip to Yellowstone National Park that will introduce students to the regional geology of the Columbia River Plateau, Snake River, Rocky Mountains, and the Yellowstone Hotspot. Issues of water quality, hydrothermal systems, extremophilic organisms, and ecosystem diversity will also be studied during the trip.

Fall and winter quarters we will address topics in hydrogeology, geochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, freshwater ecology, genetics, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, GIS, and instrumental methods of chemical analysis. Students will participate in group projects studying aqueous chemistry, hydrology, and the roles of biological organisms in the nutrient cycling processes of local watersheds. Analytical procedures based on EPA, USGS, and other guidelines will be used to measure major and trace anion and cation concentrations. Molecular methods and biochemical assays will complement more classical procedures in determining biodiversity and the role of specific organisms within an ecosystem. Computers and statistical methods will be used extensively for data analysis and simulation, and GIS will be used as a tool to assess spatial data. Spring quarter will be devoted to extensive project work continuing from fall and winter. There will be a five-day field trip to eastern Washington. Presentation of project results in both oral and written form will conclude the year.

Program Details

Fields of Study

biology chemistry ecology environmental studies field studies geology hydrology

Preparatory For

hydrology, chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, ecology, chemical instrumentation, environmental analysis and environmental fieldwork.


Fall Signature Winter Signature Spring Signature

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First spring class meeting: Monday, April 3 at 8:30am (Lecture Hall Classroom 8)

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning


$550 in fall for a field trip to Yellowstone National Park and $200 for a spring field trip to eastern Washington.

May be offered again in



2016-05-06No variable credit option offered.
2016-04-22Fall signature required.
2016-04-13Ken Tabbutt has left the teaching team.