Dr. Zhu currently is teaching three courses.

Chemistry of the Soil Environment

Syllabus

Course Text (Suggested):

  1. Environmental Soil Chemistry, 2nd Edition, 2002. Sparks D. L. Academic Press
  2. Soil and Water Chemistry: An Integrative Approach, 2004, Essington M. E., CRC Press

Grading:

For undergraduate students (Soil 4130)
Class Participation10%
Problem Sets (5 totally)35%
Mid-Term Exam20%
Final Exam35%
For graduate students (Soil 5130)
Class Participation10%
Problem Sets (5 totally)30%
Mid-Term Exam20%
Final Exam30%
Journal Article Review10%

Journal Article Review: To the end of the semester, each graduate student selects a journal article and gives a critical review. The student needs to not only turn in written review comments but also give an oral PowerPoint presentation on the review in the class. The presentation lasts for 15 mins plus 5 mins for questions.

Course Grade     A = 90-100%     B = 80-89%     C = 70-79%     D = 60-69%     F = <60%

Course Description: Introduction to the chemical properties and reactions that occur in the soil environment. Fundamental principles of soil mineralogy, organic matter and equilibrium chemistry as they relate to soil chemical reactions, plant nutrient availability and contaminant fate and transport will be emphasized.

Prerequisite: SOIL 2010, CHEM 1030 or CHEM 1060. (Offered spring semester)

Course Objectives:

  • To familiarize students with aspects of soil colloids and their equilibrium and kinetic reactions with nutrients, metals, and organic chemicals.
  • To understand fundamental soil chemical processes such as sorption/desorption, ion exchange, precipitation, dissolution, oxidation-reduction, polymerization, and hydrolysis.
  • To familiarize students with soil acidity and salinity.

 

Environmental Quality

Syllabus

Course Text: Soils and Environmental Quality, 3rd Edition. 2005. Pierzynski, Sims, and Vance. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL.

Grading:

 
Class Participation120 (field trip and class involvement)
Term Exams (3)300 (100 pts per each)
Problem Sets (13)260 (20 pts per each)
Term Project170 (poster (100), presentation (50), poster grading (20))
Final Exam150 (comprehensive)
Total1000

Course Grade     A = 90-100%     B = 80-89%     C = 70-79%     D = 60-69%     F = <60%

Course Description: Introduction to environmental quality issues and events. Course emphasizes impacts to soil, water, atmospheric, and vegetative ecosystems due to different nutrients and contaminants, including nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, trace elements, and organic chemicals. Current information pertaining to environmental quality is discussed and a field trip to the Union Pacific Tie Plant. Prerequisite: complete at least 1 University Studies Science course SB, SP or SE. (Offered fall semester)

Course Objectives:

  • Define and classify contaminants and pollutants.
  • Review the basics of atmospheric, aquatic, and soil sciences.
  • Examine the role of soils in the biogeochemical cycling of major elements and chemicals of environmental concern.
  • Discuss various aspects of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, trace elements, organic chemical, greenhouse gases, and acid precipitation.
  • Study different methods of soil management and remediation to minimize or correct polluted ecosystems.
  • Examine the interactions of potential pollutants with atmospheric, aquatic, and soil environments.
  • Review the concept of risk assessment using contemporary examples.