Fall 2024 - BISC 308 D100

Environmental Toxicology: An Ecological Perspective (3)

Class Number: 2133

Delivery Method: In Person

Overview

  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 4 – Dec 3, 2024: Tue, 10:30–11:20 a.m.
    Burnaby

    Sep 4 – Dec 3, 2024: Thu, 9:30–11:20 a.m.
    Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    BISC 101, 102, and (BISC 204 or GEOG 215), all with a minimum grade of C-.

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.

COURSE DETAILS:

Course Description:

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.

Course Objectives:

 

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.

 



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

Week 5

Environmental fate and ecotoxicological effects of municipal wastewater

Case study: Metro Vancouver sewage contaminants

Week 6

Environmental fate and ecotoxicological effects of pesticides Case study: neonicotinoids

Midterm Exam I

Week 7

Environmental fate and ecotoxicological effects of industrial wastewater

Case study: pulp mill effluent  

Week 8

Introduction to endocrine disrupting substances in the environment and ecotoxicological effects

Case studies: pesticides, industrial and municipal wastes  

Assignment #2

Week 9

Introduction to endocrine disrupting substances in the environment and ecotoxicological effects

Case Studies continued

Midterm Exam II

Week 10

Environmental fate and ecotoxicological effects of metals  Case study: Britannia metal mine

Week 11

Environmental fate and ecotoxicological effects of metals  Case study: HVC/Mount Polley metal mine

Week 12

Environmental fate and ecotoxicological effects of hydrocarbons  / Case study: Alberta oil sands

Midterm exam III

Week 13

Emerging Contaminants – E.g. Microplastics,  VOCs & greenhouse gases

Assignment #3

 

Grading

  • Midterm Exam I 15%
  • Midterm Exam II 15%
  • Midterm Exam III 15%
  • Written Assignments - (comprised of 3 in total: 15%, 15%, 25%) 55%

NOTES:

*Note: No final exam during final exam period

  

Materials

RECOMMENDED READING:

Introduction to Environmental Toxicology: Molecular Substructures to Ecological Landscapes, Fifth Edition. 

Authors: Wayne Landis, Ruth Sofield, Ming-Ho Yu.

Published By: CRC Press

Published In: 2017


ISBN: 9781498750424

Additional Resources:

Ecotoxicology

Author: Jorgensen, Erik

Published By: Academic Press

Published In: 2010

MIL EAN/ISBN: 9781282880009

 

Additional materials will be provided by instructor


REQUIRED READING NOTES:

Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS

SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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

RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATION

Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.