Environmental Analysis

Fall 2022
Winter 2023
Spring 2023
Olympia
Day
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 50
16 Credits per quarter
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Taught by

Well-designed and accurate chemical and biogeochemical measurements are key to assessing the processes in natural ecosystems. This is a field- and laboratory-intensive science program designed for students with solid preparation in general chemistry and precalculus who want to pursue more advanced investigations of biogeochemical systems. Students will study biogeochemistry, analytical chemistry, technical writing, and statistics. Instrumental techniques of chemical analysis will be developed in an advanced laboratory. Students will have the opportunity to be trained on one or more major instruments. Program work will emphasize quantitative analysis, quality control procedures, research design, and technical writing.

During fall and winter quarters, we will address topics in carbon and nutrient cycling in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, in addition to analytical chemistry, statistics, and instrumental methods of chemical analysis. Students will participate in group projects studying water quality, organic matter, and nutrient cycling processes of local watersheds. Analytical procedures based on EPA, USGS, and other guidelines will be utilized to measure major and trace anion and cation concentrations and weathering rates in natural systems, in support of studies of biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and metals through the environment. Connections between microbial communities and nutrient cycling will be explored through applications of environmental microbiology. Statistics, geochemistry, and bioinformatics software will be used for data analysis and simulation. Fall and winter credit equivalencies include analytical chemistry, instrumental analysis, applied microbiology, biogeochemistry, and technical writing. During fall and winter, we will take a series of day trips to collect samples from diverse geochemical regions. These samples will form the basis for (i) testing and evaluating chemical analysis methods, (ii) developing a quantitative assessment of local geochemistry, and (iii) quantifying nutrient storage and cycling on the landscape.

Spring quarter will be devoted to extensive project work building on skills developed in the fall and winter, in addition to an optional module in statistics. Students will conduct hypothesis-driven experimental design, sample collection, analysis, and statistical interpretations prior to presenting their results in both oral and written form to conclude the year.

Anticipated credit equivalencies: 

FALL

6 - Analytical Chemistry and Lab

6 - Biogeochemistry and Lab

4 - Research Project and Instrumentation

 

WINTER

6 - Analytical Chemistry and Lab

6 - Geochemistry and Applied Microbiology

4 - Research Project and Instrumentation

 

Registration

Prerequisites

General chemistry sequence (multiple quarters, ~16 credits)  and precalculus. 

Fall 2022 Registration

Students must demonstrate that they meet the prerequisites using the application available online.  Contact faculty by email for more information.

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 10044
Winter 2023 Registration

Signature Required

Students must have a substantive background in analytical chemistry,  geochemistry, and water analysis. Contact or meet with faculty at the Academic Fair in December 2022. New students will need to complete some catch-up work during winter break.

Spring 2023 Registration

Signature Required

Students must have a substantive background in analytical chemistry,  geochemistry, and water analysis. Contact or meet with faculty at the Academic Fair in March 2023. New students will need to complete some catch-up work during spring break.

Academic details

Preparatory For

hydrology, chemistry, earth sciences, chemical instrumentation, environmental analysis, and environmental fieldwork.

Credits
16
Maximum Enrollment
50
Class Standing
Sophomore
Junior
Senior
Fees

$100 per quarter required lab fee

Upper Division Science Credit

Up to 48 upper-division science credits may be awarded in the following disciplines: Analytical chemistry, aqueous geochemistry, biogeochemistry, and chemical instrumentation. Contact faculty for further details. 

Schedule

In Person or Remote
Hybrid (F)
Hybrid (W)
Hybrid (S)
Time Offered
Day
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

SEM 2 E1107 - Workshop
Location
Olympia

Revisions

Date Revision
2022-04-27 $100 required lab fee added