Course Description for ESRM 325 and CFR 523
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
College of the Environment
The course provides students with information about pressing environmental issues and many possible “green” solutions. In the two main topics of the course, both the advantages and disadvantages of each method are covered with the goal that the students will learn critical thinking skills. The course includes a discussion of global climate change and carbon sequestration by plants, since it links to both of the main topics of the course- phytoremediation and bioenergy. 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 compared to current engineering methods, and how the process can be improved. One lecture will focus on genetic engineering of plants, followed by lectures 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. This overview is then followed by several lectures on the latest research on how current practices are being improved to make biofuel production economically and biologically feasible.
Since the course covers the latest material on phytoremediation and bioenergy, some of which is not yet published, the reading is based on reviews and current scientific papers, not text books. Students are expected to read the reviews prior to class to engage effectively in class discussions.
There will be two mid-term examinations of 150 points each. The questions require essay style answers. The comprehensive final exam is worth 75 points and focuses on tying together the three main topics of the course. There are 25 points for participation in class discussions, giving a total of 400 points in total, and the grade will be based directly on this number (ie. 400 points would be a grade of 4.00). To aid in the exams in the undergraduate version of the course (ESRM325), students may bring one two-sided note page summarizing the lecture notes for that section. The graduate student version of the course (CFR523) has take-home exams rather than in-class exams with the expectation of more thorough answers based on both lectures and current literature. These are due within one week. Late exams will not be accepted except in the case of medical emergency.
Syllabus for 2012
Sept 25, 2012- Introduction to the course; overview on environmental applications of plants
Sept 27- Phytoremediation of organic chemicals
Oct 2- Phytoremediation of inorganic chemicals
Oct 4- Genetic engineering of trees
Oct 9- Enhancing phyto using g.e.
Oct 11- Enhancing phytoremediation using endophytes
Oct 16- Phytoremediation- Local opportunities and strategies
Oct 18- Guest speaker: Howard Sprouse
Oct 23- Bioenergy overview
Oct 25- (Doty gone to IPC conference in India) Exam #1 on Phytoremediation
Oct 30- (Doty gone to IPC conference in India) Bioethanol- guest lecture
Nov 1- (Doty gone to IPC conference in India) Hydrogen gas as a biofuel-guest lecture by Dr. Kathryn Fixen of Carrie Harwood’s lab.
Nov 6- Biodiesel and biomethanol
Nov 8- Improving the efficiency of biofuel production
Nov 13- Improving the efficiency of biofuel production (continued)
Nov 15- AFRI Project #1: System for Advanced Biofuels Production from Woody Biomass in the Pacific NW
Nov 20 -AFRI Project #2: Prof. Ivan Eastin on the WSU-led grant on biofuels from forest debris
Nov 22- Thanksgiving Day holiday
Nov 27- Exam #2 (bioenergy)
Nov 29- Global climate change
Dec 4- Photosynthesis and carbon sequestration
Dec 6- Tying the course together; final exam discussion; course evaluations
Dec 10- Final Exam (comprehensive)- The exam questions will be handed out on Dec 6. All students need to e-mail me their answers by Tuesday Dec 11 at 7 AM. Format of the exam will be discussed on the last day of class (Dec 6)
To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, (206) 543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating that you have a disability which requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to the instructor so we can arrange the accommodations needed for this class.
Plagiarism, cheating, and other misconduct are serious violations of your contract as a student. We expect that you will know and follow the University's policies on cheating and plagiarism . Any suspected cases of academic misconduct will be handled according to University regulations. More information, including definitions and examples of Academic Misconduct, is available at http://depts.washington.edu/grading/conduct