GEO 5290/6290: Environmental Conflict: Mining & Water in Ecuador

The course is an intensive hands-on three-week exploration of the problem of water quality impacts from mining in Ecuador from all perspectives: 1) operators; 2) regulators; locals and indigenous, and in terms of technical and non-technical concerns. The first week (in U.S. at UU) will provide the history and context of Ecuador and mining in Ecuador, as well as a working understanding of water quality and trace element toxicity. The second and third weeks (Ecuador) will involve hands on-field observations and sampling, tours of mining and processing facilities, lectures from Ecuadorian researchers, and interviews with individuals of all societal sectors (operators, regulators, locals, and indigenous). Students will conduct targeted field sampling efforts designed to help locals, regulators, and researchers better understand the scope of the contamination and determine how to fix a major environmental problem in Ecuador. U.S.A class assignments will include readings and short summary reports as well as simple chemical and transport calculations. A follow-up day on campus following return to the U.S. will be used to disseminate data from analyses of samples collected during the trip.

GEO 5370: Contaminant Partitioning for Engineers & Scientists

All about water by bruce_geisert, on Flickr

This course focuses on the prediction of the fate and transport of anthropogenic organic chemicals in aquatic environments. We will restrict ourselves to physical transformations in this course. The physical transformations include dissolution, volatilization, sorption, and other processes that control the distribution of organic chemicals in the environment. We will examine the molecular processes that govern the physical behavior of organic chemicals within the environment. We will develop predictive relationships to relate chemical behavior to molecular structure of the organic chemical. Learn More

GEO 5390: Solute Transport & Subsurface Remediation

The course represents an application of principles mastered in groundwater hydrology, environmental chemistry and related courses. Topics include: mechanisms of solute transport, analytic solutions, stochastic theory of dispersion, air-stripping, soil vapor extraction, chemical extraction, bioremediation, natural attenuation, and solidification. Teams will be formed to develop a remedial system for a contaminated site. GMS training will be provided in a co-requisite course in groundwater modeling. Learn More

GEO 5560/6560: Numerical Methods in Geosciences

Maths by Tim Geers

The development of ever-increasingly powerful computers makes it possible to solve a large number of scientific and engineering problems that are described by mathematical equations. Many of these problems previously could not be solved analytically. The particular methodologies used to solve these applied mathematical problems are known as numerical analysis.

The scale and detail of problems that can be solved by numerical analysis have grown astronomically over the past 30 years. Although the earth sciences have traditionally been observational sciences, an increasing number of problems can also be solved with numerical techniques. Traditionally these problems have been in the realm of geophysics although in recent years, geological engineering, geochemistry, structural geology, and a variety of other disciplines have also undertaken problems where numerical techniques play a fundamental role.

This course is meant to introduce students to a variety of numerical methods capable of solving specific science and engineering problems. Among the numerical methods to be covered are: interpolation, linear and nonlinear systems of equations, numerical integration, finite differences, and finite elements. Applications to specific earth science problems will be integrated into most of the specific methods with emphasis on problems of geological engineering, mineralogy, geochemical reactions, and solid earth geophysics. Learn More

GEO 5690: Aqueous Geochemistry for Engineers & Scientists

Water by VSmithUK, on Flickr

The goal of this class is to apply the knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering to determine the contaminant speciation in support of remediation design in the environment. Students will Conduct modeling experiments, and analyze and interpret data related to the speciation of contaminants in the environment, as well as work to develop the ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems of environmental importance. This course is designed to add to the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.

Students will develop the ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice related to environmental remediation and add to their knowledge of contemporary issues. Learn More

GEO 5920-004: Sustainability Practicum

Sustainability by photologue_np, on Flickr

Crosslisted with CVEEN5920-001, ARCH 6965-003 & ENVST 5000-002

The goal of this class is to explore global issues, but also to move beyond classroom knowledge to implementation of student-led environmental performance enhancements on (or off) campus.

This class represents an opportunity for you to gain credit while pursuing an environmental performance enhancement of your choice. Successful implementation strengthens your tie to the physical campus, and constitutes a small but important contribution toward meeting environmental challenges we face personally, as a campus, and even as a society.

The course does not focus on a particular scale or topic area of sustainability. Much depends on the makeup of the student population. After the initial survey of sustainability, we jump into projects of your choice. We (the instructors) will facilitate your exploration and implementation of these projects. We have a list of active, ongoing, or potential projects. We use this list to stimulate your generation of project ideas. You can choose projects from our seed list, or create your own. Upon choosing a project you will select project mentors and an advisory team. The second half of the semester is largely devoted to weekly progress reports where the instructors will moderate the reports and engage the entire class to provide feedback, constructive criticism, etc. The final product is either a report or presentation to the client or a completed product delivered to an appropriate audience.

Prof. William Johnson | Frederick Albert Sutton Bldg | Rm 441 | 115 S. 1460 E. | Salt Lake City, UT | 84112
Office: (801) 581-5033 | Email: