Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sharon L Doty
ESRM 325
Seattle Campus

Environmental Applications of Plants: Bioenergy and Bioremediation

Explores current topics in forest bioresources with an emphasis on bioenergy, remediation of pollutants, and carbon sequestration. . Recommended: a college-level course in either biology or chemistry. Offered: A.

Class description

The course covers three main areas: 1) Phytoremediation, the use of plants for removing environmental pollution; 2) Bioenergy, the fuels produced from renewable resources; and 3) carbon sequestration, the removal of excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In the first part of the course, the students will learn about how plants remove and detoxify organic pollutants and sequester metal pollutants. They will learn the advantages and disadvantages of using phytoremediation over other methods, and how the process can be improved. One lecture will focus on genetic engineering of plants, followed by a lecture describing how this method can lead to increased degradation of pollutants. The bioenergy part of the course covers bioethanol, biomethanol, and biodiesel as alternative fuels. Lectures on the need for biofuels and on how current practices are being improved frame this part of the course. The final part of the course covers how plants can be used to sequester carbon. This unit is prefaced with a discussion on global warming.

Student learning goals

The course aims to provide students with knowledge about pressing environmental issues and possible green solutions.

A focus is on providing the students with the most current technologies and biotechnology research for solving environmental challenges

General method of instruction

PowerPoint lectures followed by class discussions.

Recommended preparation

general biology background is suggested but NOT required.

Class assignments and grading

Short-essay exams. Students can bring one note page to the exam summarizing the information from the lectures.

Two exams (150 points each),a final exam (75 points), and participation in class discussions (25) for a total of 400 points.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Sharon L Doty
Date: 05/16/2012