University of Vermont

Systems Education in CEE

Environmental Analytical Practice CE154

In this course students gain experience with analytical principles and procedures to enable a deeper understanding of chemical and physical properties related to environmental processes. Standard procedures are used to test characteristics of water quality such as pH, conductivity, hardness, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen, solids levels, and biological oxygen demand. These tests are performed on several unknown water samples to ultimately to determine their sources. Students also gain experience with technical report writing and working in teams.


With the knowledge learned from initial guided experiments in the first 2/3 of the course, students then develop a design project proposal to collect and analyze data on an environmental problem of their own interest.  In past semesters, students have modeled the effects of different sand and granular activated carbon on packed bed reactor performance, evaluated drinking water quality in Chittenden County, quantified contaminants in stormwater runoff, evaluated the effect of phosphorus on algae growth for biodiesel and quantified desorption of organic chemical contaminants in soil.  The class focuses on the students’ ability to comprehend and interpret data from the experiments performed to obtain a deeper understanding of environmental phenomena.



For further information about CE154, contact Professor Britt A. Holmen via email at (
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