Fall 2016 Teacher-Advisor Program (TAP) Seminars

Fine Arts
Social Sciences
Natural Sciences & Mathematics


CHEM 095 A - Environmental Risk

Instructor: Alexander Wurthmann

Our environment is a complex web of human development and natural beauty. How we interact with our technologies, food and each other may lead to chemical risks. However, gathering and understanding information related to the severity of risks due to natural or synthetic chemicals is complicated. Is it true that the chemicals in our soil, water, and air are making us sick, allergic, or prone to cancer? This chemistry class will begin with an introduction to basic chemical principles and these skills will then used to examine situations that are blatantly problematic. Other chemicals/reactions that are more ambiguous will provide the opportunity for healthy debates and discussions. The evolving knowledge will allow us look beyond the qualitative “chemicals are bad for you”, and use quantifiable methods (epidemiology, pharmacokinetics, EPA and FDA guidelines) to assess the value information from a variety of sources and maybe dismiss others.

Requirements Satisfied: One Non-laboratory Natural Sciences, Writing and Information Literacy, and Sustainability (SU)