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Massive amounts of chemicals produced by modern industries have given humankind an unprecedented standard of living and quality of life. However, this has also exerted a price of environmental degradation. To make a contribution to the improvement of environmental quality, individuals need to have some knowledge of environmental chemistry. Chemistry teachers are then expected to know and pass environmental knowledge to the society via their students.
The overall goal of this course is to gain an understanding of the fundamental chemical processes that are central to a range of important environmental problems and to utilize this knowledge in making critical evaluations of these problems. Specific goals include:
• An understanding of the chemistry of the stratospheric ozone layer and of the important ozone depletion processes.
• An understanding of the chemistry of important tropospheric processes, including photochemical smog and acid precipitation.
• An understanding of the basic physics of the greenhouse effect and of the sources and sinks of the family of greenhouse gases.
• An understanding of the nature, reactivity, and environmental fates of toxic organic chemicals.
• An understanding of societal implications of some environmental problems