REM445 D100 Environmental Risk Assessment

Course Objectives:

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.

Course format:

Lectures and tutorials. All classes will be offered in person on campus and also via Zoom. All recorded lectures will be made available on Canvas at any time throughout the course. Student-instructor interactions are at the scheduled class times. All course related materials, including readings, exercises and assignments, will be available on Canvas throughout the course.

Course Instructor:

Professor Frank Gobas, Resource & Environmental Management, Biological Sciences. Details on the work of Dr. Gobas and his research group.

Course-Level Educational Goals:

The goals of the course are for students to:

(i) develop a professional level of understanding of  the policies and regulations that involve environmental risk assessment;
(ii) understand the  key principles and concepts in environmental toxicology relevant to environmental risk assessment;
(iii)  conduct professional environmental risk assessments for pollutants and hazarduous substances.


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 course related materials, including readings, exercises and assignments,  are made available on Canvas.

Course Topics:

Historical Context Of Environmental Risk Assessment For Pollutants:
UN Stockholm Convention On Pops
Sustainable Development
Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA)
Chemicals: Environmental Properties & Fate
Environmental Distribution Of Pollutants
Food-Web Bioaccumulation
Hazard And Risk Assessment
Ecological Risk Assessment
Activity Based Risk Assessment
Environmental Quality Guidelines
Professional & Educational Opportunities In Environmental Risk Assessment
Risk Assessment Projects