Fall 2020 - CHEM 371 D100

Chemistry of the Aqueous Environment (3)

Class Number: 3633

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: Mon, Wed, Fri, 8:30–9:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 11, 2020
    Fri, 8:30–11:30 a.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    CHEM 281 and CHEM 360, both with a minimum grade of C-.



An introduction to chemical processes in the aqueous environment. Quantitative treatment of the variables determining the composition of natural systems. Chemistry of aqueous toxic agents, wastewater treatment, and related matters. Quantitative.


Please note, this course outline was accurate at the time of publication but is subject to change.

Mode of Instruction:
3 lecture hours/week; 1 tutorial hour/week
Lecture: Mix - Synchronous and asynchronous
Tutorial: Mix - Synchronous and asynchronous

Prerequisite for Fall 2020:
CHEM 215 and CHEM 281, both with a minimum grade of C-. Students who meet the requirement and want to enroll in CHEM 371 this Fall may email the Undergraduate Advisor <chemadv@sfu.ca> for an enrollment waiver.

This course will explore the chemistry of aqueous systems in the environment through the use of basic chemical principles. It will also provide a quantitative treatment of the variables determining the chemical speciation of natural systems, and will introduce chemical processes in the aqueous environment. Topics will also include aqueous toxic species, water purification, wastewater treatment, and current topics in aqueous chemistry.   

Learning Outcomes:

  • Determining chemical speciation in the aqueous environment as it pertains to dissolved gases, small molecules, colloidal materials, etc.
  • Understanding the thermodynamics and kinetics of aquatic chemistry
  • Derivation of acid-base chemistries for aquatic environments
  • Implementation of redox chemistry to understanding aquatic systems
  • Assessing the impact of toxic substances on the environment through speciation and lifetimes of pollutants
  • Understanding chemical and physical processes used for water purification as it relates to waste water treatment and desalination 


  • Weekly Quizzes 40%
  • Homework 10%
  • Term Paper 20%
  • Term Presentation 10%
  • Final Exam 20%


Online Exam Invigilation: Students completing exams remotely must comply with the online invigilation procedures implemented by the course instructor.



Technology Requirements: Students are required to have a desktop or laptop computer, high-speed internet access, and a webcam and microphone (built-in or external) to participate in online courses.


Stumm & Morgan. Aquatic Chemistry: Chemical Equilibria and Rates in Natural Waters. 3rd Ed. 1995. Publisher: Wiley.

Electronic version recommended. Available as an ebook from the library.
ISBN: 9781118838976


Howard. Aquatic Environmental Chemistry. 1998. Publisher: Oxford Chemistry Primers. (Supplementary text book)

Department Undergraduate Notes:

A grade of C- or better is required for all prerequisite courses.

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


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).