GGR406H5 Environmental Biogeochemistry

Course Desciption

Course Description

Environmental biogeochemistry provides an introduction to the biological, chemical and geological processes that regulate the flow of energy and matter in the environment. This seminar course explores the processes underlying biogeochemical cycles of major elements such as carbon and nutrients, and examines how these key cycles have been altered during the Anthropocene, an era of unprecedented human-induced environmental and climate change. Topics covered include biogeochemical processes in atmospheric, ocean, freshwater and terrestrial compartments; emerging techniques (e.g., stable-isotopes and paleo-proxies) used in biogeochemistry; and how disruptions to biogeochemical processes are at the root of many environmental issues such as eutrophication, climate change, ozone depletion, ocean acidification and toxic metal contamination.

Credits: Science

Seminar hours: 36

Prerequisite: 14.0 credits or permission of instructor

Well laid out course structure, which allows a good understanding of the vast topics covered during the lectures! The use of reading assignments in this course and the style of asking students questions to fuel an intellectual discussion really helped solidify concepts and helped to point out things I may have missed during the readings as we got to see multiple perspectives on the reading assigned.

Core Skills Developed

  • understanding of fundamentals of biogeochemistry and how to apply them to address current environmental issues
  • critiquing and analyzing scientific literature
  • skills development in critical thinking, scientific study design, oral and written communication