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Course Objectives

To teach fundamental concepts for understanding the behavior of inorganic species, such as carbonate and trace metals, in aquatic systems. Dominantly considers a thorough treatment of equilibrium, including acid-base, complexation, precipitation-dissolution, and reduction-oxidation reactions. There is a short introduction to chemical kinetics. A main skill you will learn is to determine the equilibrium composition of a system given its initial conditions. To help you gain an intuitive sense of the behavior of complex chemical systems, approximation techniques are emphasized.

Required Text

Amazon logo Morel, Francois M., and Janet G. Hering. Principles and Applications of Aquatic Chemistry. New York, NY: Wiley-Interscience, 1993. ISBN: 0471548960.

Suggestions for Supplementary Reading

Amazon logo Anderson, G. W. Thermodyanmics of Natural Systems. New York, NY: Wiley-Interscience, 2005. ISBN: 0521847729.

Amazon logo Stumm, Werner, and James J. Morgan. Aquatic Chemistry. New York, NY: Wiley-Interscience, 1996. ISBN: 0471511854.


Problem Sets (Highest 5 of 6 grades) 40%
Take-home Mid-term 25%
Final Exam 35%

Both exams are open book, open notes.

Problem Set Policy

You are encouraged to discuss class material with your classmates. Problem sets should be your own work (this is how you learn the material).

Problem sets are due at the beginning of the class period on the day stated. Late problem sets are not accepted except under extenuating circumstances (e.g., prolonged absence due to illness…)

Don't use calculational aids other than calculators unless otherwise indicated.

Exam Dates

Take-home Mid-term - To be done during a 24-hour period after Ses #13

Final Exam - 3-hour exam during exam week