December 30, 2013

Mailloux, Brian Silver_nugget
Ecotoxicology

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

The topic of this class is extremely interesting, but the class is poorly organized. Brian seemed to decide what we would do in two week increments. The plus side of this is that he is very open to suggestions for where to place focus. He's very friendly, a fun guy to be around, incredibly laid back. Sometimes in class we would discuss a scientific paper or pop science book. Sometimes we would workshop some simple high school chemistry type problems with an ecotox application. Sometimes he would show pictures of chemical treatment plants, or computer models of air pollution. For a while we each did a short presentation on a chemical and how it behaves in the environment. At the time I thought the laid back nature was teaching me less than jam-packed courses, but looking back I remember more key concepts from this class much more demanding classes like Intro Bio. You get lots of chances to talk about the material with your classmates, which I think is lacking in the sciences.

If you are a non-sciency Environmental person, this class could be a good opportunity to get a little more quantitative while learning very policy-relevant information about how pollutants travel. If you have a good science background, particularly if you were strong in General Chemistry, the problem solving will be overly simplistic for you.

Workload:

As a science student, this was a blowoff class, plain and simple. For people who haven't taken much or any college science, this could force you to spend some time reviewing high school chemistry, but it is still not a hard class.
The reading on the syllabus is completely unnecessary unless he specifically says in class to read it. Don't waste your time. Learn to do the couple of math problems we go over in class and remember big concepts from class discussion. The tests can feel a bit rushed if you're slow at math and problem solving like me, but his grading is VERY generous.

January 22, 2004

Kujawinski, Elizabeth Silver_nugget
Ecotoxicology

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

If you are looking for a walk in the park, look elsewhere. If you are looking for an interesting, challenging class that makes you think, take this course. This class covers ecotoxicology from the basic chemistry level to the mechanisms of global transport of environmental contaminants. Liz wants you to do well, and will do everything she can to help you, short of doing the thinking for you. Her exams are the most diffcult tests I've ever taken. However, if you are taking this class, you should be more interested in the material than your letter grade- which will turn out to be fine if you show her you are working. She knows it if you are, and this will help you in the end. (Over the semester I was working at about 80% capacity and I got a B. I'm impressed) Do your best on the problem sets, go to office hours. By the end of the semester, they involve a lot of thought problems which you may find fun. Also- ask her how long of an anwer she wants for each question. Sometimes her answer will surprise you.

Workload:

Biweekly problem sets, two midterms, one literature review (6-10 pgs) of an environmental contaminant of your choice, one final. The first mid-term was so hard she made the next midterm and the final take-homes. She realizes she needs to work on the tests- I would bet they are better by the time you take the exam.

December 12, 2002

Kujawinski, Elizabeth Silver_nugget
Ecotoxicology

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

This was a great class taught by a dedicated and energetic professor. Liz is always available for students and gives very interesting and clear lectures even when they are mostly equations. Review sessions before each test were very helpful. She is obviously passionate about the subject and has designed a great class. I'm sure she would make a great advisor for someone interested in environmental science or biochemistry.

Workload:

slightly heavier than most but appropriate: problem sets every other week or so, two midterms (one take home), a final and a short 2-5 pg research paper on a compound (grad students had to give a presentation too)

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