CHEMISTRY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science (CES) is housed in the School of Science Health and Technology (SSH&T), on the fifth floor of the new state-of-the-art science building. The CES department offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science and provides courses in Chemistry and Environmental Science to satisfy the requirements for Associate and Baccalaureate degrees in other departments.
 
The rigor of our program, in particular its strength in mathematics and science, enables our students to gain ready acceptance into graduate programs nationwide. Several graduates of our Environmental Science Program are presently enrolled in graduate programs in environmental health, environmental chemistry, environmental engineering, earth and atmospheric sciences and a number of related fields at several of the nation’s leading institutions. 

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

This Baccalaureate Degree Program in Environmental Science stresses that environmental science is about much more than science. It is also about ethics, responsibility, and values, as well as sociology, politics, law, and business. For graduates to be effective in the work place, this interdisciplinary perspective must always be
in focus. Numerous job opportunities are available for Environmental Science graduates in industry and at various levels in local, state, regional and federal governments. Environmental Science graduates may find immediate employment in areas indicated below, as businesses both large and small continue to comply with government regulations.

  • Industrial Hygienist
  • Chemical Hygiene Officer
  • OSHA Officer
  • Waste Management Consultant
  • Training Consultant

Responding to new laws and regulations, most of which emanate from federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), businesses are now keenly aware of being in compliance with these regulations.
 
This program also emphasizes environmental law which is the forerunner for environmental management and environmental policy. The program also addresses conservation through courses in Natural Resource Conservation and Management and Ground Water. The relationship with The Museum of Natural History and the Prospect Park Alliance will afford additional depth on the issue of conservation.
 
Students in the Department are expected to pass all departmental required courses with a grade of C or better. Students will be required to repeat any course in which a grade of C- or below is received before being permitted to go on to the next course in the sequence. 

This is an introductory chemistry course intended for non-science majors. It will introduce students to the basic concepts of chemistry with an emphasis on the role the subject plays in the world around us and in the service of man.


Note: 4 credits consists of 3 credit lecture and 1 credit lab

An introductory course for the health professional student covering the fundamentals of general and organic chemistry with applications in biological sciences. Topics include the structure, properties, and states of matter, chemistry bonding and reactions, chemistry of solutions, and the chemistry of major groups of organic compounds. This is not the Pre-requisite for organic chemistry.

  • Pre-Requisites: Completion of all developmental skills courses
    Co-Requisites: CHML 105

    Note: 4 credits consists of 3 credit lecture and 1 credit lab

This is an introductory course for students who plan to study chemistry further. The course presents essential areas in chemistry and those areas that students find most difficult in CHM 201. These areas include the mole/Avogadro�s number concept, nomenclature, stoichiometric calculations, gas laws, and solution/concentration calculations.

  • Pre-Requisites: Completion of all developmental skills courses
  • Co-Requisites: MTH 136 or MTH 138

This course provides an overview of health problems that are linked to environmental and occupational health hazards. Students will become familiar with key concepts relative to air, soil, food and water contamination. These issues range from infectious diseases and global climate change to population growth and energy efficiency. Students will gain an understanding of environmental assessment and monitoring. The course also covers contaminants in our homes, where we work and how individuals can play a more critical role in maintaining a sustainable environment. Specific topics include: science and sustainability: an introduction to environmental science, Earth physical systems: matter, energy, and geology, evolution, biodiversity, and population ecology, species interactions, and community ecology, environmental systems and ecosystem ecology, environmental ethics and economics: values and choices, environmental policy: decision making and problem solving, human population, soil and agriculture, agriculture, biotechnology, and the future of food, biodiversity and conversation biology, renewable energy, water pollution, managing our waste, outdoor/indoor air pollution, energy and radiation, air, climate, and ozone.

  • Pre-Requisites: Completion of math and language developmental skills

CHM 201, General Chemistry I is the first course of a year-long study of general chemistry. The purpose of the general chemistry sequence, CHM 201 and CHM 202, is to provide students who are science and pre-engineering majors with a solid foundation in the principles of chemistry. The principles studied in this sequence will be necessary for more advanced courses in chemistry such as organic chemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and analytical chemistry. Topics include: chemistry as study of change; atoms, molecules, and ions; mass relationship in chemical reactions; reactions in aqueous solution; gases; thermochemistry; quantum theory and electron structure of atoms; periodic relationship among the elements; basic concepts of chemical bonding; molecular geometry and hybridization of atomic orbitals.

  • Co-Requisites: CHML 201

    Note: 4 credits consists of 3 credit lecture and 1 credit lab

CHM 202, General Chemistry II is the continuation of a year-long course in general chemistry. The purpose of the general chemistry sequence, CHM 201 and CHM 202, is to provide students who are science and pre-engineering majors with a solid foundation in the principles of chemistry. The principles studied in this sequence will be necessary in more advanced courses in chemistry such as organic chemistry, physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry and analytical chemistry. Upon these principles lay the foundation for almost all biological processes and hence a thorough understanding of them is necessary for both basic and advanced studies of the biological and health science. Topics include: intermolecular forces and liquids and solids; physical properties of solutions; chemical kinetics; chemical equilibrium; acids and bases; acid-base equilibria and solubility equilibria; entropy, free energy, and equilibrium; electrochemistry; nuclear chemistry; chemistry in the atmosphere.

  • Pre-Requisites: CHM 201
    Co-Requisites: CHML 202 and CHMW 202
  • Pre/Co-Requisites: MTH 151

    Note: 4 credits consists of 3 credit lecture and 1 credit lab

The overarching theme of this course is to understand how the environmental legal system works. To that end, the course will provide you with: 1) a working knowledge that allows you to discover how law makers (Federal, State and City) promulgate laws; 2) an understanding of the pivotal role of special interest groups and their influence on the law making process; and 3) an understanding of the role of citizens in the general scheme of deciding which actions we can take to influence or support our policy makers to help build a more formidable society. Specific topics include: role of environmental law in the policy making process, sources and classification of law (constitutional principles), the litigation process (threshold issues and alternative methods for resolving environmental disputes), administrative law (impact of environment), environmental impact (statement and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)), the Clean Air Act, initial and current approaches to air quality, the Clean Water Act and NYCs water, toxic substances control (TSCA) history, regulations of pesticides in foods, characteristics of hazardous waste (universal waste and permit programs), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) history, energy sources (coals, natural gas, petroleum and nuclear), renewable energy: geothermal, wind, and solar, wetlands, international law, human-induced climate change, and preservation of biological diversity.

This course will provide a detailed outline of the sources and types of air pollutants and the ways in which these pollutants are dispersed. The course will also outline the established national goals for air and water quality needed to protect public health and welfare. This course will also address the topic of indoor air quality. This course will provide a more detailed treatment on the Clean Air Act, as amended, and the Clean Water Act as amended, to which students were previously introduced in the course entitled Environmental and Occupational Laws and Regulations (ENVS 200). Specific topics include: atmospheric meteorology, ambient air pollution, air quality monitoring/modeling, air pollution prevention and control, indoor air pollution, climate change, urban heat islands, water quality legislation, water distribution and hydrological principles, organic and inorganic pollutants, surface and groundwater pollution.

  • Pre-Requisites: ENVS 200 and CHM 201

Measurement and Instrumentation includes both theory (the back-end content) and practical modules (front-end content). The class is centered on quantitatively elucidating the abundance of potentially toxic substances in air, water, and soil environments via indoor/outdoor analysis of urban and remote environments. This course will stress the guidelines established by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, for analyzing, documenting and reporting air and water pollutants. The class will become familiar with using TOC, UV-VIS, IR, FTIR, ICPMS, with special emphasis on using GCMS, AA, and HPLC to process soil and water samples. Air samples will also be collected in select urban/remote environments to measure the air quality in a particular environment and compare to toxicity abundance thresholds delineated in EPAs Toxic Release Inventory Program. The practical/experimental aspect of the class will be complemented by both analytical chemistry electronic (e.g., websites, YouTube videos, etc.,) and hardcopy content (e.g., via Principles of Instrumental Analysis by Douglas A. Skoog, F. James Holler, and Stanley R. Crouch, 6th Edition).

This course gives a robust understanding of organic chemistry by accentuating how reaction mechanisms function and reactions occur.� It lays the foundation of Organic Chemistry by focusing on: how structure determines properties, structure/properties/preparation of alkanes, alkenes, cycloalkanes, alkyl halides, alkynes, and alcohols, addition reaction of alkenes, stereochemistry, nucleophilic substitution, conjugation in alkadienes and allylic systems, arenes and aromaticity. Laboratory studies include modern experimental and research techniques for preparing, purifying and identifying organic compounds, and the use of polarimeter, infrared and ultraviolet spectrometers, NMR, and chromatography. Specifically, lab experiments pertain to: extraction based on acid/base properties, extraction of caffeine from instant coffee, simple/fractional distillation, recrystallization of acetanilide, thin layer/column chromatography, stereochemistry, synthesis of t-butyl chloride from t-butyl alcohol, and Diels-Alder cycloaddition.

  • Pre-Requisites: CHM 202
    Co-Requisites: CHML 303 and CHMW 303

    Note: 4 credits consists of 3 credit lecture and 1 credit lab

The second half of Organic Chemistry deals with structure, preparation and properties of organic compounds, where an emphasis is placed on reactivity, reaction mechanisms, stereochemistry and synthesis. Specifically, class topics include: arenes and aromaticity, electrophilic and nucleophilic aromatic substitution, spectroscopy, organometallic compounds, alcohol/diol/thiols, ethers/epoxides/sulfides, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acid (and their derivatives), enols and enolates, amines and phenols. Laboratory studies include modern experimental and research techniques for preparing, purifying and identifying organic compounds, and the use of polarimeter, infrared and ultraviolet spectrometers, NMR, and chromatography. Specifically, lab experiments pertain to: spectroscopy, Grignard synthesis, qualitative analysis of unknowns (functional group identification of aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, amines, and carboxylic acids), synthesis of acetanilide from aniline, synthesis reactions 1-Bromo-3-chloro-5-iodobenzne (4-Bromoacetanilide from acetanilide), synthesis of 1-Bromo-3-chloro-5-iodobenzene (4-Bromo-2-chloroacetaniline), synthesis of 1-Bromo-3-chloro-5-iodobenzene (synthesis of 4-Bromo-2-chloroaniline), and synthesis of 1-Bromo-3-chloro-5-iodobenzene (synthesis of 4-Bromo-2-chloro-6-iodoaniline).

  • Pre-Requisites: CHM 303
    Co-Requisites: CHML 304 and CHMW 304
    Pre/Co-Requisites: MTH 203

    Note: 4 credits consists of 3 credit lecture and 1 credit lab

Epidemiology is the cornerstone of public health, to contribute to the understanding of the etiology and prevention of disease, and to improve the health of the public through excellence in research. After class, you will understand the practice of epidemiology as it relates to real life and makes for a better appreciation of public health programs and policies. This is an introduction course to epidemiology. It will familiarize students with the basic principles in epidemiology. These principles or epidemiologic methods will be means by which to describe, analyze, and interpret data related to public health issues in the general population. The course will also present epidemiology application to the fields of health services, community health education, and diet, food and nutrition. Specific topics include: history, philosophy, and uses of epidemiology, utilization of the Young Epidemiology Scholars (YES) website, epidemiologic measurements used to describe disease occurrence, data and additional measures of disease occurrence, descriptive epidemiology: patterns of disease�person, place, and time, association of causality, analytic epidemiology: types of study designs, epidemiology and the policy arena, infectious diseases and outbreak investigation, social and behavioral epidemiology.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 261

This course provides a comprehensive physical understanding of the principles of analytical chemistry and shows how these principles are applied in chemistry and related disciplines � especially in health industries, life sciences, and environmental science. Specific lecture topics include: the analytical process, 2) chemical measurements, tools of the trade, experimental error, statistics, quality assurance and calibration methods, chemical equilibrium, activity and the systematic treatment of equilibrium, monoprotic/polyprotic acid-base equilibria, acid-base titrations, EDTA titrations, fundamentals of electrochemistry, potentiometry, redox titrations, spectroscopy, and chromatography.� The lab component consist of classical wet-chemical laboratory experiments, which gives back-end knowledge/theory behind the functionality of analytical instrumentation. Overall, these experiments pertain to environmental monitoring and assessment (air monitoring, contaminant detection in select matrices, sample identification, efficacy of select chemical agents). Experiments include: gravimetric determination of phosphorous in plant food, gravimetric determination of sulfur trioxide in soluble sulfate, pH titration of unknown soda ash, analysis of commercial hypochlorite or peroxide solution by Iodometric titration, potentiometric titration of a mixture of chloride and iodide, spectrophotometric determination of manganese and chromium in mixture, ultraviolet spectrophotometric determination of aspirin, phenacetin, and caffeine in APC tables using solvent extraction, standard test method for nitrogen dioxide content of the atmosphere (Griess-Saltzman reaction), and determination of orthophosphate in water

  • Pre-Requisites: CHM 202
    Co-Requisites: CHML 311

    Note: 4 credits consists of 3 credit lecture and 1 credit lab

The main objective of this course is to present a very detailed account on collection, treatment, and disposal of solid waste, waste water, and hazardous waste. The course will also draw attention to the improved technology on which the waste generator must rely as land becomes more limited and regulations increase. The course touches upon the causes and effects of the three basic types of waste: solid waste, waste water and hazardous waste. The treatment and reuse of water is also addressed. In the United States, the management of hazardous waste is significantly regulated. This course addresses the subjects of direct hazardous waste treatment, categorical remedial action requirements, and low level radioactive waste handling. Specific topics include: introduction of hazardous waste (source and classifications), regulatory process-discussion of environmental law and regulations derived from these laws, fate and transport of contaminants, toxicology, environmental audit, pollution prevention, physico-chemical processes, biological methods, stabilization and solidification, thermal methods, land disposal, risk assessment, and remedial investigation.

  • Pre-Requisites: ENVS 200 and ENVS 302 

This course examines the automated systems for the capture, storage, retrieval, analysis and display of spatial data. Topics include automated geography, spatial analysis, map as a model, GIS data structures, GIS data input, storage and editing, classification, statistical surfaces, spatial arrangements, cartographic modeling, output from analysis, and GIS design and implementation.

  • Pre-Requisites: CS 151

Environmental toxicology is the study of toxic and hazardous material and its impact on humans and other living organisms. It includes how toxic chemicals are transported, absorbed, disposed and metabolized in living organisms, especially human beings. Students will examine the fate of toxic chemicals, such as carcinogens in the body as well as their interaction with the environment and humans through case studies and special topics. Specific topics include:  A introduction to the principles of toxicology, absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and effects of toxic chemicals such as pesticides, metals, chemical carcinogens, air, water, and soil pollutants, radiation and industrial solvents. Hazardous waste and consumer products: toxicology and its roots as a science, chemical properties and hazardous, chemical information resources, toxicity, and the factors that modify toxic response, biological poisons: plant and animal toxins, environmental pollutants and their fate, does and response: absorption of toxicants and models of disposition, distribution, storage and elimination of toxicants, biotransformation, chemical-induced mutagenesis, chemicals and cancer, the role of the immune system, skin, liver and kidney, cardiovascular system, respiratory, nervous and endocrine system.

The course will focus on the basic concepts of the immune system. There will be both lecture and laboratory components. The lecture component will emphasize the theoretical aspects of the organization, structure and function of the various immune system components. The laboratory component will allow each student to have extensive hands-on experience with various techniques such as: immunodiffusions, immuno-electrophoresis, agglutination of cell bound antigens, immuno-labeling methods (enzyme-linked assays, immuno-blotting, immuno-histochemistry, etc).

  • Pre-Requisites: ENVS 304

This course mainly discusses the chemical characteristics of living matter. Specific topics include: overview of biochemistry/biochemistry and water, amino acids, protein structure, hemoglobin and allosteric proteins, techniques in protein biochemistry, basic concepts of enzyme action, enzyme kinetics and mechanism part I, membrane structure and function, carbohydrates, lipids, summary of DNA/RNA structure and DNA replication, repair and recombination, digestion and metabolism, signal transduction pathways, glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, citric acid cycle, electron transport chain and protein motive force, glycogen degradation and synthesis, and fatty acid degradation and synthesis. The laboratory component teaches modern experimental and research techniques in Biochemistry and Biotechnology. Specific experiments include: calibration of a micropipette, spectroscopy and dilutions, preparation of buffers, gel filtration chromatography, enzyme properties, determination of Km and Vmax of alkaline phosphatase, product inhibition of alkaline phosphatase, determination of carbohydrate content in banana, aspartame, extinction coefficient of NADP(H), creatinine assay, recombinant DNA using bacterial plasmids, lipids.

  • Pre-Requisites: CHM 304
  • Co-Requisites: CHML 341

    Note: 4 credits consists of 3 credit lecture and 1 credit lab

This course is designed to facilitate timely incorporation of current environmental issues, particularly issues that may have a disproportionate impact on urban communities. The course focuses on initiatives, such as green businesses, green construction, green communities, and green buildings. This course places special emphasis on the relationship between green matrices and environmental sustainability and energy efficiency. The course will further outline the significance of green certification as it applies to businesses, products and professions.

  • Pre-Requisites: ENGL 211

This course is designed to provide the interdisciplinary perspective that is required for devising solutions to today's many natural resource management problems. This course will outline the efforts of Americans and people worldwide to conserve natural resources. The course also touches on the many successes and failures of policies, laws, organizations, conservation, and protection of our natural resources. Specific topics include: natural resource conservation and management: past, present, and future, economics, ethics and critical thinking: tools for creating a sustainable future, lesson from ecology, the nature of soil, soil conservation and sustainable agriculture, aquatic environment, managing water resources and sustainability, water pollution, sustainable waste management, air pollution, global warming and climate change, acid deposition and ozone depletion, and forest management.

This course will outline the scientific foundations for the study of groundwater and the technical foundations for the development of groundwater resources. The course will also address the subject of groundwater contamination and the growth of groundwater technology. Specifically, this class covers: groundwater foundations, physical properties of groundwater, principles of flow, field exploration and wells, hydrology and geology, deformation, storage, and general flow equations, modeling steady flow with basic methods, modeling transient well hydraulics and mounding,  computer-based assisted flow modeling, and groundwater chemistry. 

  • Pre-Requisites: MTH 204
Students are required to work at least three hours per week with an environmental entity that provides one of the following services: Air Quality and Pollution Control, Energy Development, Conservation, and Recovery, Environmental and Ecology Studies, Environmental Impact Analyses, Facility Operation and Management, Hazardous and Toxic Waste Management, Industrial Waste Control and Treatment, Human Settlements and Environmental issues, Laboratory Services, Marine Waste Disposal and Nearshore Oceanography, Regional Water Pollution Control Planning, Sewage Treatment and Disposal, Sludge Handling and Disposal, Solid Waste Management, Storm Drainage and Flood Control, Water Supply, Treatment and Distribution, and finally, Research.

This course focuses on the rapidly developing new technology for the control of pollutants. It provides discussions on topics, such as source and emission controls. The course draws attention to the following subjects: particulate and gas controls for stationary and mobile sources of air quality, and water treatment. The only effective way to prevent air pollution is to prevent the release of pollutants at the source. This course will outline modifications on combustion and the technology for the treatment of industrial exhaust gases before they are released into the atmosphere will also be addressed. Specific topics include: pollution and environmental ethics, environmental risk analysis, overview of pollution prevention audit, water pollution, measurement of water quality, water supply, water treatment, waste water treatment, air pollution, meteorology and air pollution, measurement of air quality, air pollution control, air pollution laws and regulation.

  • Pre-Requisites: ENVS 301 and ENVS 303

The well-motivated organic chemistry student is in desperate need of a course that may serve as a transition between undergraduate and graduate organic chemistry. Such a course must be designed to take full advantage of the spirit, energy and enthusiasm that descends upon these students as they near completion of the second half of their undergraduate organic chemistry. This course has a research component.

  • Pre-Requisites: CHM 304
  • Co-Requisites: CHML 405

    Note: 5 credits consists of 3 credit lecture, 2 credit lab

The well-motivated organic chemistry student is in desperate need of a course that may serve as a transition between undergraduate and graduate organic chemistry. Such a course must be designed to take full advantage of the spirit, energy and enthusiasm that descends upon these students as they near completion of the second half of their undergraduate organic chemistry. This course has a research component.

  • Pre-Requisites: CHM 304
    Co-Requisites: CHML 405

    Note: 5 credits consists of 3 credit lecture, 2 credit lab

In this course students will be required to plan, complete and report on actual environmental projects. Environmental projects may be drawn from the following examples: the pollution of beaches, parks and other recreational facilities in New York City and surrounding areas, illegal dump sites, the stock piles, and abandoned sites in New York City; the level of compliance of small businesses in central Brooklyn with federal, state, and local environmental and occupational laws; the effectiveness of New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in poor neighborhoods; pollution and contamination linked to businesses operation in central Brooklyn, and finally the compliance of area residents with new recycling laws. Students will be taught how to design and implement projects and how to prepare environmental reports. Three to four students will be assigned to each environmental project.

This is the first of three courses in modern inorganic chemistry. It serves to introduce the challenged student to an ever expanding and important field of chemistry. This new course will involve a detailed discussion of the chemistry of selected `Main Group’ elements, covering the reactions of the elements and their compounds, as a well as structure and bonding. Students who register for the course must also register for the laboratory part of the course.

  • Co-Requisites: CHML 421

    Note: 5 credits consists of 3 credit lecture and 2 credit lab

This is the third and last of three courses in modem inorganic chemistry. It serves to expose the students to a branch of chemistry which bridges the traditional fields organic and inorganic chemistry. This new course will entail a study of the organometallic chemistry of the first transition series (3d) elements, covering the synthesis, reactions and bonding of selected compounds. Industrially important reactions involving organometallic compounds will be dealt with in detail.

This is the third and last of three courses in modem inorganic chemistry. It serves to expose the students to a branch of chemistry which bridges the traditional fields organic and inorganic chemistry. This new course will entail a study of the organometallic chemistry of the first transition series (3d) elements, covering the synthesis, reactions and bonding of selected compounds. Industrially important reactions involving organometallic compounds will be dealt with in detail.

  • Co-Requisites: CHML 523

This course is designed to teach the Organic Chemistry student how to identify organic compounds from the complementary information afforded by mass spectra, infrared spectra (I.R.), nuclear magnetic resonance (nmr) spectra and ultraviolet (U.V.) spectra. The modern undergraduate chemistry student requires a somewhat modest level of expertise and sophistication in each of these four levels of spectrometry. This course would further prepare students for the techniques and methodologies they would encounter in graduate programs.

  • Pre-Requisites: CHM 304