GV2ECH-Environmental Chemistry

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: GV1A3 Chemistry of the Earth and Environment
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Tom Sizmur

Email: t.sizmur@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
Through a series of interactive lectures, laboratory practicals and computer classes, this module provides the skills necessary to predict how environmentally relevant elements behave in the chemical environment.

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of and ability to predict key chemical processes that occur in contaminated and natural environments.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module, you should be able to:
- Predict the solubility of minerals
- Calculate the speciation of metals in solution
- Analyse soils and waters in a chemistry laboratory
- Use computer programmes to model the fate of metals in water and soil
- Differentiate non-specific and specific adsorption
- Describe and predict redox reactions
- Apply stable isotopes for temperature reconstruction and dating

Additional outcomes:
You will enhance your teamwork, mathematical, laboratory, data handling and reporting skills.

Outline content:
This module is designed to help students develop their ability to predict reactions in the water and soil environment. The course will use examples of reactions pertinent to agriculture, contamination, and water quality.
The Interactive Lecture Content covers:
- Solubility
- Aqueous complexes
- Specific and non-specific adsorption
- Sorption modelling and pollutant movement
- Redox reactions
- Stable isotopes
The Practical Content covers:
- Preparation of water samples for chemical analysis
- Use of geochemical models
- Batch sorption experiments

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
There will be
- Seven interactive lectures
- Three laboratory practicals
- Two computer classes
- One revision session

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 19
Seminars 2
Practicals classes and workshops 16
Guided independent study 63
Total hours by term 98.00 2.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Report 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Coursework 50%: Reports and a laboratory notebook from two practicals will be assessed:
•Assignment 1: Water Chemistry
•Assignment 2: Soil Chemistry

Examination 50%: 2 hour exam in the summer term. 50% short answer questions; 50% on 1 longer question from a choice of 3

Formative assessment methods:
Interactive lectures and homework assignments will provide the opportunity for student to practice exam-style questions and receive instant feedback on performance.
An opportunity for guided self-assessment of laboratory notebooks will be provided after the first practical session.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    2 hours

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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