Fall 2021 - REM 445 D100

Environmental Risk Assessment (4)

Class Number: 5701

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 2220, Burnaby

    Fr 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 2200, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    MATH 151 or 154 or 157; STAT 201 or 203 or 205 or GEOG 251 or equivalent; and 60 units.



Students receive theory and practical experience in the control and management of hazardous substances in the environment. This includes the application of techniques used to assess toxicological, ecological and human health risks of contaminants within the current regulatory framework.


Classes are expected to be held in person on campus.
Click to watch video: Introduction to REM 445


The aim of the course is to provide students with the knowledge and experience to conduct professional risk assessments, normally carried out by regulators, consultants and scientists.

Students receive theoretical and practical experience in conducting environmental risk assessments for pollutants and hazardous substances.

This course is designed for students in environmental science, resource and environmental management, health sciences, biological sciences, chemistry and other disciplines. The course is designed to prepare students for professional positions in the environmental field and further study in graduate programs.

The course aims to create a collaborative environment where students are encouraged to support each other in their learning and the completion of the environmental risk assessment project.


  • Assignments 30%
  • Exercises 36%
  • Final Course Project 34%


Students are evaluated based on (i) 3 assignments (30% of final mark); (ii) 9 exercises (36% of final mark); and (iii) a student-conducted environmental risk assessment presented in an oral presentation (34% of final mark). All students hand in their own work and are evaluated on their own work. All students are evaluated based on their own performance in the course.

Course agenda (tentative): Fall 2021 Course Agenda (tentative)



Materials and Supplies: All course related materials, including readings, exercises and assignments, are made available on Canvas.


Canadian Environmental Protection Act: Preamble & Section 5: Controlling Toxic Substances

The Canadian Toxic Substances Management Policy

Gobas, F.A.P.C. and H.A. Morrison. 1999. Bioconcentration & Bioaccumulation in the Aquatic Environment. In “Handbook of Property Estimation methods for chemicals: Environmental and Health Sciences” (Boethling R. and Mackay, D. eds.), CRC Press. ISBN 1-56670-456-1, p. 139-232

Gobas F.A.P.C., P. Mayer, T.F. Parkerton, R.M. Burgess, D. van de Meent, T. Gouin. 2018. A Chemical Activity Approach to Exposure and Risk Assessment of Chemicals. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 37(5):1235-1251.

Mackay D. 2001. Multimedia Environmental Models: The Fugacity Approach. CRC Press. Second Edition

Mackay et al. 2011. Chemical activity as an integrating concept in environmental assessment and management of contaminants. Integ. Environ. Assess. Manag. 7:248-255.

Richards Ira. S. and Marie Bourgeois. 2013. Principles and Practice of Toxicology in Public Health, Edition, 2nd edition. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2013

UN Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. https://www.un.org/ldcportal/stockholm-convention-on-persistent-organic-pollutants-pops

USEPA. Integrated Risk Information System. https://www.epa.gov/iris

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 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.