This course will focus on a few individual chemicals and pathogens from different standpoints: their basic chemistry or biology, their environmental behavior, (eco)toxicology, and human health impacts. The course will draw out the common points in each chemical or pathogen's history.
This course aims to illustrate how the individual properties of chemicals and pathogens along with societal pressures lead to environmental and human health crises. The ultimate goal of the course is to identify common aspects that will improve prediction of environmental crises before they occur. Students are expected to participate actively in the course, which includes the critical reading of the pertinent literature and class presentations.
Each semester will feature case studies of chemicals and pathogens that have had a profound effect on human health and the environment. The instructors will present eight of these and the students will present approx. six in groups of three or four. Students will be expected to contribute to the discussion and, on selected topics, to lead the discussion.