Pollution in the Coastal Arctic

CMM14 Elective Course 4 ECTS
Period 2 weeks 01.03.2021 - 12.03.2021
Instructor Dr. Pernilla Carlsson


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 man made.
  • 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 them.
  • 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 programmes 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.


Pernilla Carlsson (Sweden) holds a PhD degree from the University Centre in Svalbard/UiT. The title of her PhD thesis is Selective uptake processes of environmental pollutants induced by climate changes. Pernilla lived in Svalbard for five years, where, apart from PhD studies and teaching, she ran an arctic diving service and trained sled-dogs. She is currently a scientist at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research.