Water Quality and Health provides an overall examination of the state of aquatic systems from a human perspective, considering both human health concerns and societal needs. "Water Quality" is defined as the degree to which natural and engineered bodies of water can be used for drinking, recreation and other economic uses such as manufacturing or agriculture. High-quality water, for drinking purposes, may have little or no contamination and a pleasant taste. High-quality water for agriculture or industry may not have such strict requirements, and a high quality recreational body of water (for swimming and fishing) may lie somewhere in between. Conversely, low quality water is often unsuitable for any use by either humans or the natural inhabitants of the aquatic environment. The connection between water quality and human health is important because health protection often determines the degree and acceptable costs of water management and treatment.
The Main Course Objective is to illustrate water quality and health perspectives through a close examination of the fresh water aquatic environment, as exemplified by the Brandywine River and selected point and non-point sources of pollution. Directed readings, discussions, lectures, field work and lab work support this objective. Readings, discussions and lectures provide basic knowledge while field and laboratory sessions emphasize teamwork, proper sample collection, measurement and analytical techniques used to determine water quality.
Typical Class Sessions include a mixture of learning tasks; most sessions will include some field work and some lab work and all sessions will include some discussion and lecture. Reading assignments are to be completed outside of class.
Course Assignments include written discussion papers (posted online, in Blackboard), a written final exam paper (submitted privately to the instructor) and a collaborative, multimedia report including digital images and graphics jointly authored by all students, to be posted online. Examples of this report, for illustration purposes, is shown at this link: http://courses.wcupa.edu/shorten/env462-533/project.htm
For more informationů
Shorten, Ph.D., P.E., Professor and Director
December 22, 2006