CH400 Special Topics in Chemistry

for FA 2007

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CH 400 Special Topics in Chemistry


FA 2007 HO


Smith, Robert E.


Adjunct Assistant Professor

Office Location


Office Hours

Half hour prior to class in the classroom.


Semester Dates

August 20 - December 14, 2007

Class Days


Class Time

1:50 - 3:05 PM


Permission of the instructor.

Credit Hours


Environmental Chemistry, Robert Smith. This is an electronic textbook (a MS Word file) and I will give it to you in class.

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
A seminar devoted to selected topics in modern chemistry of interest to students requiring more depth in the field. The course may involve laboratory work. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Variable credits: 1-4 hours.

Educational Philosophy:

My main objective is to teach team work and to transfer adequate knowledge to all the students at the appropriate levels: a) to make sure that students understand the ideas that I am trying to convey, b) to prepare students for the next level of education, c) to develop the understanding of students, such that they adapt the process of thinking rather than just memorizing facts and principles, d) to develop practical skills and techniques to work confidently in laboratories, e) to demonstrate how chemistry is part of their daily lives, and f) to use alternative and diverse methods of teaching to keep students motivated and interested during the course of their study in the semester, and hopefully for the rest of their lives.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss and examine a topic that is not normally offered as a formal class in chemistry.
  2. Demonstrate a degree of competency via readings, discussions, and/or experimentation in the area of chemistry in which the course is offered.
  3. Research the appropriate journals to write professionally in the area.
  4. Master the instrumentation and laboratory skills required for the subject level.

Core Assessment:
Papers, homework, reports, presentations, proficiency of lab work

Class Assessment:


Four unit exams 
(20% each)

You will be given four take-home exams.


Final exam

One hour long and comprehensive. Your grade on the final can replace the lowest grade on the unit exams. The final is optional.



You will write a report on a topic that you and I agree on and you will give a 10 min talk to the class on your subject.

Please note: You will be informed ahead of time any changes made in the above schedules.











59 and below

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Make-up exams will not be given. If you missed an exam due to a good excuse, you can write a five page paper on a subject that we agree on, or you can drop it as your lowest score.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

1. Family first. All absences due to illness or family emergency are excused.
2. Safety is also very important. It is OK to be late for class. Just come in quietly and don’t disturb the other students. Don’t drive too fast or unsafe to arrive at class on time.
3. I will clearly indicate the most important subjects to study for your quizzes and exams, and I will repeat myself.
4. I will give you four take-home exams and a final. The final is optional if you are satisfied with your grade on the first four exams.
5. Make-up exams will not be given. If you missed an exam due to a good excuse, you can write a five-page paper on a subject that we agree on, or you can drop it as your lowest score.
6. I will operate the class under the principles of total quality (TQ) management, in which the students are the customers and we all work together to help us all succeed. Except during quizzes and exams, collaborations between students will be encouraged.
7. Rude behavior towards other students, the instructor or a colleague will not be tolerated.
8. Students should avail all opportunities to participate in class.
9. Fear is the enemy of knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or make mistakes. I will do both myself, from time to time.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:



Aug. 20

Introduction, Systems thinking, network theory, autopoiesis, Gaia

Aug. 27

Water and the Hydrological Cycle, Ocean Chemistry

Sept 4

Sep. 3 Labor Day, Sept. 7 Global Warming

Sept. 10

Tectonics, Deep Ocean Environment

Sept. 17

Metals in Water, Limnology

Sept. 24

Electrochemistry, Carbon, Oxygen, Phosphorus and Nitrogen Cycles

Oct. 1

Aquatic Microbiology and the Environment, Soil Chemistry and Agriculture   

Oct. 8

Atmospheric Chemistry, Analysis of Radioactivity

Oct. 15


Oct. 22

Analysis of Pathogenic Organisms and Viruses, UV-Vis and Fluorescence

Oct. 29

Biochemical Assays, GC, HPLC, SEC, IC

Nov. 5

Mass Spectrometry, LC-MS, GC-MS

Nov. 12


Nov. 19

Pollution and Toxicology

Nov. 26

Green Chemistry, Renewable Energy

Dec. 3

Sustainable Products and Ecosystems

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:8/6/2007 5:10:46 PM