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MP10 Undergraduate Education in Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology
() Infusing environmental chemistry throughout the undergraduate curriculum.
MacNeil, J1, Falconer, R1, 1 Chatham College, Pittsburgh, PA, 15232
ABSTRACT- In 1989, Chatham College established the Rachel Carson Institute to continue the legacy of our most distinguished alumna, who graduated from Chatham in 1929 with majors in english and biology. In concert with this, the chemistry department rededicated itself to infusing environmental education throughout the chemistry curriculum. We have adopted a three-tiered approach, beginning with the explicit introduction of environmental subject matter and laboratory experiments in the first-year sequence and continuing through to a senior-level class in environmental chemistry. As part of this, we will present the details of a newly developed freshman lab that has students explore the chemistry of acid mine drainage by determining the relationship between pH and ferric ion aqueous solubility. While structured for the introductory lab, this project can be readily adapted for more advanced students. At the sophomore and junior levels the classroom and lab work is reinforced, and students with an interest in the field are recruited to participate in ongoing environmental research projects before graduating to an original, self-designed capstone research project in the senior year. In addition to providing specific examples of innovations in the formal chemistry curriculum, the authors will review the difficulties encountered along the way, outline the successes that have enabled our progress to date and consider future challenges.
Key words: laboratory, education, student research
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