Sharon L Doty
Covers phytoremediation (removing pollutants using plants), biofuel production, and carbon sequestration. Focuses on the biology rather than the chemistry. Emphasizes the latest research on how current practices in these areas are being improved. Offered: A.
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 discussion
a foundation in biology is strongly recommended
Class assignments and grading
This course is jointly taught as ESRM325. The undergraduates will have two in-class exams while this graduate-level course will have take-home exams with the expectation of more thorough answers based on literature review and class notes.
3 take-home exams