CHEM19085 - Environmental Chemistry

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit examines air pollution: ozone depletion, sulfur oxides, photochemical smog and greenhouse effects; water pollution; inorganic and organic pollutants, surfactants and detergents; hazardous wastes: classification, treatment, disposal; pollution monitoring: sampling procedures, analytical methods and modelling techniques. The ecological and health effects of chemical pollution are presented and discussed. Renewable energy and energy utilisation is investigated. Distance education students will be required to attend a residential school for this unit.

Details

Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisites: CHEM11041 Chemistry for the Life Sciences

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School Compulsory Residential School
View Unit Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2018

Term 1 - 2019 Profile
Mixed Mode
Rockhampton
Term 1 - 2020 Profile
Mixed Mode
Rockhampton

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 25%
2. Practical and Written Assessment 25%
3. Examination 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

To view Past Exams, please login
Previous Feedback

No previous feedback available

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Unit Evaluation
Feedback
Students appreciated worked answers to problems/calculations on Moodle. Residential school allowed a gain experience in a range of laboratory skills and with a wide variety of laboratory technology. Field trip to Mount Morgan Mine was highlighted as an good authentic learning experience.
Recommendation
The practice of providing problem to solve each week with answers will continue. Mount Morgan sampling trip will also be continued.
Action Taken
In addition to the weekly worked answers, additional assistance was provided as requested by students, thereby increasing the pool of application questions that were demonstrated. Due to external factors, the access to the Mount Morgan mine has been withdrawn by the Department of Mines. However, we continued with water sample collection and field measurements and analysed the samples in the laboratory during the residential school.
Source: Unit Evaluation
Feedback
Students mentioned that researching the ionic composition in different water types is very difficult and comparisons aren't valid across different regions.
Recommendation
I recognise the difficulty the students have highlighted and will amend Written Assessment 1 accordingly to give the task expectations more clarity.
Action Taken
The assessment component on the ionic composition in different water types in Australia has been revised. In 2019, students were asked to provide a commentary on a text regarding an environmental issue that appeared in the Letters to the Editor column of a major regional newspaper. Students were asked to respond as they would to the Editor, and comment on the text, with evidence.
Source: Unit Evaluation
Feedback
Revisions to the methods in the Lab Manual made it difficult to follow.
Recommendation
All the shortcomings in the the residential school experiments and the Lab Manual have been noted. In 2019, the Manual will have greater clarity.
Action Taken
All experiments in the Laboratory Manual have been revised to make it a simpler document to follow. This practice will continue
Source: Student Evaluation
Feedback
The lectures need to perhaps be reordered so that the information on arsenic, heavy metals, greenhouse effect is on the lecture schedule before Assessment 1.
Recommendation
Excellent suggestion that will be considered.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Student Evaluation
Feedback
It was felt that the exam re-assessed the same topics that were previously covered in the first Assignment. It would be good if the exam focused on Weeks 6-12 content.
Recommendation
Excellent suggestion. There will be no duplication of content from Assessment 1 into the Final Examination.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Student Evaluation
Feedback
Please provide some pre-lab videos on basic techniques for res school, e.g. pipetting, dilutions so these can be refreshed before the res school.
Recommendation
We will consider directing students to relevant videos online that explain these laboratory skills.
Action Taken
Nil.
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Understand the chemical principles relating to the chemistry of the different spheres of the environment: atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere.
  2. Use laboratory skills to make reliable analytical measurements to assess the quality of water, air, soil and food sources.
  3. Be familiar with the important environment regulating authority and environmental guidelines.
  4. Use research skills to obtain information relating to environmental chemical concepts, environmental issues and current approaches to solve these.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Practical and Written Assessment
3 - Examination
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Practical and Written Assessment
3 - Examination