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Pollution in the Coastal Arctic

Elective Course | 4 ECTS | Course: CMM 14

Instructor: Dr. Pernilla Carlsson

Course Catalog Description

About the Course

The course introduces students to chemistry related to contamination in the coastal zone and seas. Chemical interactions in the interface of the sea, land, biota and air are explained along with the transport of pollutants. The state of the coastal zones in the world are discussed, as well as regional, national and international monitoring practices and programmes. Designing monitoring programmes and pollution studies are also presented and discussed. The course provides insight into our own lifestyle and the effects we have on the environment. It mostly focuses on environmental fate and effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals on living organisms, but emerging contaminants and their impact and occurrence in the Arctic are also discussed. A brief introduction to environmental chemistry, study design and ecotoxicology is also part of the course.

Instructor

Pernilla Carlsson (Sweden) is an environmental/analytical chemist at Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) in Tromsø, Norway. She holds a PhD degree from the University Centre in Svalbard/UiT. Before moving to NIVA in Tromsø, Pernilla has worked as scientific (ice) diver for Norwegian Polar Institute, had a postdoc in analytical chemistry at RECETOX, Brno, Czech Republic. She has and is still working closely with AMAP on Arctic pollution. Pernilla’s main research topics are pollution in the Arctic, including anything from climate change impact on the fate of pollution and marine litter to salmon lice pesticides, their environmental impact and possible solutions for removing them from the water.

Description

The course introduces students to the chemistry related to contamination in the coastal zone. Chemical interactions in the interface of the sea, land and air will be explained along with the transport of pollutants. The state of the coastal zones in the world will be discussed, as well as regional, national and international monitoring practices and programs. An introduction to designing a monitoring program will be presented. Further, insight into our own life style and the effects we have on the environment will be discussed. A special focus will be placed on the effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals on living organisms, with special emphasis on sea-birds. Emphasis is also placed on environmental chemistry, where students gain insights into chemical analyses and ecotoxicology.

On completion of the course, a student:

  • has a broad overview of the main environmental hazards in coastal zones, both natural and manmade. 
  • can recognize major pollutants and have an understanding of their source, transport and effects on the ecosystem.
  • has a general understanding of with the main methods for detecting environmental hazards and means of monitoring.
  • has an understanding of the chemical composition of coastal waters as well as the various natural processes and human activities which have an influence there.
  • Has the basic know how to design monitoring programs and assess the results obtained.
  • has familiarity with the variety of coastal issues which are important in different parts of the world and international efforts and conventions relating to coastal water quality management.