Environmental Chemistry

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Environmental Chemistry

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Chemistry, Environmental Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    CHEM191 or CHEM111

  • 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

    Chemistry of the lithosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. Fate, transport, and biogeochemical cycling of inorganic and organic chemicals among the compartments of the Earth.

    CHEM 204 focuses on key concepts and techniques used in environmental chemistry with modules focused on the chemistry of the lithosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. The concepts learned in these modules are then used to explore chemical oceanography and global biogeochemical cycles, as well as the transport and distribution of organic contaminants in the environment. CHEM 204 has been designed for non-chemistry majors interested in underpinning their major subjects with an increased understanding of chemistry in the environment.

    Course Structure
    - Biogeochemical Cycles
    - Chemistry of the Lithosphere
    - Chemistry of the Atmosphere
    - Chemistry of the Hydrosphere
    - Chemical Oceanography
    - Organic Contaminants
    - Project Design

    Learning Outcomes
    - Understand the chemical formation of soils and their chemical properties
    - Understand the chemical composition of the Earth's atmosphere
    - Perform calculations important to atmospheric chemistry
    - Understand the physical and chemical properties of water
    - Understand pE/pH diagrams and their use in aquatic chemistry
    - Appreciate the basic thermohaline circulation and its influence on the distribution of the dissolved constituents of the ocean
    - Learn to create and use computer models for biogeochemical cycling
    - Learn how to use partition coefficients in predicting and understanding chemical behaviour in the environment
    - Understand bioaccumulation and biomagnification and perform relevant calculations
    - Be proficient in the use of basic statistical approaches common in environmental chemistry
    - Gain laboratory skills needed for common methods of quantifying chemicals in environmental matrices
    - Gain skills for collecting samples in the environment and designing a sampling protocol

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.

Some courses may require additional fees.

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.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.