Environmental Chemistry

Develop your understanding of chemistry, the impact chemicals have on ecosystems, and how this relates to the environment as a whole.

Course Code: BSC306
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn about Environmental Chemistry

    Chemicals are an essential part of our environment -- everything on the earth interacts with them. In this course, you'll study types of chemicals used in the environment as part of agriculture, horticulture, land management, and more. You'll learn about toxicity, necessary changes in use, and why eco-friendly products and sustainable production is increasingly important.

    Better management of our environment must begin with understanding of the changes caused by humans in our quest for industrialisation and higher production. In this course you will:

    • learn how chemicals contaminate the environment
    • study chemicals used, and the ways in which they can change the environment
    • discuss the impact chemicals can have upon changing the ecosystem and how all living things can be affected.

    This is a course not only for scientists, but also managers and users of the environment, including:

    • Environmental Managers and Assessors
    • Resource Managers
    • Manufacturers and suppliers of chemical products, such as paints and fuels
    • Factory managers, automotive managers, mechanics or anyone else working with machinery.
    • Town planners, architects, engineers, builders, landscapers

    Lesson Structure

    There are 8 lessons in this course:

    1. Introduction to Environmental Chemistry and Chemistry Concepts
      • Chemistry
      • Environmental chemistry through time
      • Global warming, greenhouse gases and carbon sequestering
      • Basic chemistry concepts
      • Charges on Atoms and Bonds
      • Compounds
      • Organic and Inorganic Compounds and Biochemistry
      • Used in Environmental Chemistry
      • Organic, inorganic and biological contaminants in the environment
    2. Ecological Concepts in the Environment
      • Pollutants in the environment
      • Degradation of pollutants
      • Pricing measures implemented by government policy makers
      • Types of pollutants
      • Contaminants in the world's natural environments (biomes)
      • Water pollution and treatment
    3. Air and Environmental Chemistry
      • Composition of the Atmosphere
      • Vertical structure of the atmosphere
      • Purpose of the atmosphere
      • Air pollution and its source
      • Effects of air pollution
      • Climate change
      • Reducing carbon and greenhouse gas emissions
    4. Water and Environmental Chemistry
      • Hydrological Cycles
      • Marine (Ocean) Environments
      • Coastal Environments
      • Continental and Inland Water Environments
      • Water chemistry – important reactions
      • Water categories and classifications
      • Water and impurities and pollutants
      • Water quality standards
      • Water pollution management
      • Methods of water treatment
    5. Soil and Environmental Chemistry
      • The nature of soil
      • Soil properties
      • Important soil chemical reactions
      • Soil chemistry and its importance in management
      • Soil pollution
      • Methods of soil remediation
      • Bioremediation
    6. Environmental Chemistry and Health
      • Health as policy
      • Specific health risks
      • Environmental health levels
      • Indoor and Outdoor air pollution
      • Water pollutants and health
      • Chemicals in households
      • Biological controls, pitfalls and positives
      • Creating green areas and raising public awareness
    7. Testing for Environmental Chemistry
      • Introduction to sampling and testing
      • Sampling design
      • Sampling equipment
      • Gas/air, soil and water sampling
      • Agricultural produce/plant tissue sampling
      • Using the correct sample container
      • Chain of custody
      • Chemical analysis in the field
      • Simple colorimetric tests and simple meters
      • Chemical analysis in the laboratory
    8. Applications for Environmental Chemistry
      • Environmental assessment and management
      • Principles of sustainable environmental management
      • Green chemistry in environmental management
      • Green chemistry is the future of environmental protection
      • Environmental building practices
      • Treating contamination or pollution sustain-ably
      • Urban planning concerns and considerations
      • Sustainable transport
      • Barriers to sustainability and green design

    Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

    Aims

    • Describe the nature, importance and scope of environmental chemistry and advance an understanding of basic chemistry including atoms and their components, elements, compounds and chemical reactions.
    • Outline different types of air pollutants and their causes and describe appropriate responses to contain, reduce. eliminate or otherwise deal with such problems.
    • Distinguish between various water pollutants and discuss appropriate alternative responses to contain, reduce. eliminate or otherwise respond to such problems.
    • Describe soil pollutants and compare appropriate alternative responses to contain, reduce. eliminate or otherwise respond to such problems.
    • Explain a range of ways that better management of environmental chemicals can contribute toward improved human health.
    • Explain different techniques that can be utilised for sampling and testing chemicals in the environment.
    • Explain the two broad goals of green chemistry and describe examples of green chemistry used in homes, vehicles; industry and the environment.

    This course explores this important and rapidly expanding field of Environmental Chemistry. 

    Environmental chemistry affects the world in diverse ways (both beneficial and detrimental) at scales ranging from global to microscopic.  Global examples include climate change and global warming occurring mostly due to changes in the chemical composition of atmospheric gases (greenhouse gases) largely caused by humans. Global warming is the long-term trend of a rising average global  temperatures, whereas climate change is a broader term referring to changes mostly brought about by global warming such as extreme rainfall events, increased prevalence of drought, heat waves and so on.

    At a microscopic scale, chemicals are used to control or prevent outbreaks of diseases caused by microorganisms in crops. This includes fungal diseases such as mildews, rots and wilts which may be treated using chemicals called fungicides. These fungicides may contain inorganic copper or sulphur compounds; synthetic organic compounds (such as dithiocarbamates) as well as ‘natural’ compounds such as clay. The fungicides have a beneficial effect in that they increase food production for an ever expanding population. However, some of these fungicides also have effects on the environment at a much larger scale than the intended microscopic one, due to their persistence in the environment (i.e. they do not break down with time and can accumulate). They can be toxic to soil organisms such as earthworms and to aquatic organisms such as fish or even to humans. Thus, chemicals have many interacting influences on the environment at many different scales.

    Chemicals have also had many beneficial effects on the world in which we live. For example, water has been made safe to drink by treatment with chlorine. This is called ‘disinfection’.  Chlorine kills many water-borne pathogens and has no doubt saved millions of lives from devastating infections such as cholera, typhoid and salmonella. On the negative side, it is now known that when chlorine is added to water, it mixes with organic products in the water to form toxic by-products called trihalomethanes, which can cause cancer. Safer ways to disinfect water are therefore being explored such as ozonation.

     


    WHAT NEXT?

    To be successful in environmental studies, you need passion, persistence and a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed.  If this describes you, we can help you to get a start.
     
    You need to build a foundation first, to understand the science that underpins environmental health.  

    This course could assist you working in:

    agriculture
    local council
    environmental protection
    in conservation
    in fisheries
    in biosecurity
    in land management and forestry
    in military

     

     

    ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.

    Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

    ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

    Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.

    Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.


    How can I start this course?

    You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

    Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
    If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
    registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

    Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

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    What do I need to know before I enrol?

    There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
    If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

    You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

    We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
    We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

    You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

    Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

    We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
    If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

    This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

    Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

    Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

    This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

    It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

    The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

    Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

    Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

    There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

    Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

    We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

    Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

    We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

    Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

    Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
    More information is here

    There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

    When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

    You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

    Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

    Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

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    Who are ACS Distance Education?

    ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

    We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
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    We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

    Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

    Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


    How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

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    Course Contributors

    The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.





    Tutors

    Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

    Lynette Morgan

    B. Hort. Tech., Ph.D. in Horticultural Science

    Dr Morgan has a broad expertise in horticulture and crop production, and a keen appreciation of the global scene. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

    Gareth Pearce

    B.Sc.(Hons), B.V.Sc., M.A., M.Vet.S,. PhD, Grad. Cert. Ed.(HE), Post-Grad.Cert. Aq.Vet.Sc., Post-Grad. Cert. WLBio&Cons., Dipl. ECPHM, MRCVS.
    Gareth has over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in a variety of colleges and universities in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. He qualified as a veterinary surgeon at the Universities of Melbourne and Bristol, having previously graduated in Agricultural Science and gained a PhD in Livestock Behaviour and Production. He also has post-graduate qualifications in Education, Wildlife Conservation Medicine, Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Wildlife Biology & Conservation.

    Sarah Pirecki

    BAnVetBioSc., Dip. ProjMgt (TBC).

    A passionate advocate for animal health and welfare. Sarah completed a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience majoring in Animal Health and Disease and is currently completing a Diploma of Project Management. She has a wide range of experience working in agricultural settings, veterinary nursing, assistance dog raising, and animal education.

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