Fall 2019 - BISC 308 D100

Environmental Toxicology: An Ecological Perspective (3)

Class Number: 2808

Delivery Method: In Person

Overview

  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM
    AQ 3003, Burnaby

    Th 9:30 AM – 11:20 AM
    AQ 3003, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    BISC 101, BISC 102, and either BISC 204 or GEOG 215, all with C- or better.

Description

CALENDAR DESCRIPTION:

Students are introduced to the major environmental toxicants, their sources, and interactions with terrestrial and aquatic environments. Through historical and current case studies of environmental toxicants, this course will provide an understanding of the basic principles of environmental toxicology particularly as they apply to populations, communities and ecosystems. Students who have taken BISC 312, or special topics course BISC 473 with the title "Introduction to Environmental Toxicology", may not take this course for further credit.

COURSE DETAILS:

Environmental toxicology is the study of the impacts of environmental toxicants on the health of living organisms and the environment. Environmental toxicants/pollutants are agents released into the general environment that can cause adverse effects on the health of biota and alter the natural environment. Although environmental toxicants exist in the natural environment, the current environmental toxicants of concern globally are produced by humans. With unprecedented human population growth underway, environmental toxicants are expected to increase and the contributions of environmental toxicologists to the enhancement of environmental quality and ecosystem health has become increasingly recognized. This course will cover the major environmental toxicants, their sources, and interactions with terrestrial and aquatic environments. In addition, through historical and current case studies of environmental toxicants, this course will provide an understanding of the basic principles of environmental toxicology particularly as they apply to populations, communities and ecosystems.

Tentative Lecture Schedule:

Week 1    Introduction to environmental toxicology – basic principles
Week 2    Defining, quantifying and measuring ecotoxicological effects
Week 3    Defining, quantifying and measuring ecotoxicological effects
Week 4    Overview of the major classes of environmental toxicants/pollutants
   (sources, environmental chemistry and fate, ecotoxicological effects)
   Assignment #1 Due September 28
Week 5    Environmental fate and ecotoxicological effects of pesticides / Case study: neonicotinoids
Week 6    Environmental fate and ecotoxicological effects of industrial wastewater / Case study: pulp mill effluent
   Midterm Exam I October 12
Week 7    Introduction to endocrine disrupting substances in the environment and ecotoxicological effects
Week 8    Environmental fate and ecotoxicological effects of municipal wastewater
   Assignment #2 Due October 24
Week 9       Case study: sewage
   Midterm Exam II November 2
Week 10    Environmental fate and ecotoxicological effects of metals and anions / Case study: metal mining
Week 11    Environmental fate and ecotoxicologcal effects of gaseous toxicants / Case study: VOCs & greenhouse gases
Week 12    Environmental fate and ecotoxicological effects of hydrocarbons
   Midterm exam III November 23
Week 13    Case study: oil sands
   Assignment #3 Due November 30

COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

1. Describe the major classes of environmental toxicants/pollutants in air, land and water.
2. Explain the chemical properties that determine the fate and transport of environmental toxicants in the environment.
3. Evaluate data derived from the measures used to determine the effects of environmental toxicants at the population, community and ecosystem levels of biological organization.
4. Integrate the knowledge acquired throughout the course to discuss current global environmental pollution issues, and their consequences at the population, community and ecosystem level.

Grading

  • Midterm Exam I 25%
  • Midterm Exam II 25%
  • Midterm Exam III 25%
  • Written Assignments (comprised of 3 in total: 5%, 10%, 10%) 25%

NOTES:

*Note: No final exam during final exam period

%            Letter Grade
95-100            A+
90-94              A
86-89              A-
80-85              B+
75-79              B
71-74              B-
66-70              C+
60-65              C
56-59              C-
50-55              D

Materials

REQUIRED READING:

None

RECOMMENDED READING:

Introduction to Environmental Toxicology: Molecular Substructures to Ecological Landscapes, Fifth Edition.  Wayne Landis, Ruth Sofield, Ming-Ho Yu. 2017 by CRC Press.
ISBN: 9781498750424

Additional materials will be provided by instructor

Ecotoxicology, Erik Jorgensen, Academic Press, 2010
ISBN: 9781282880009

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS