Environmental Forensics


The aim of this module will be to introduce students to the principles of environmental forensic science. In particular, they will learn about the transport and fate of chemicals in the environment. This is broken up into the primary ‘crime scene’ where pollution first occurs, which can often be hundreds of kilometers away from an impacted area. Pollutants can then undergo changes as they interact with various environment factors such as UV light and weathering and as they move through the different environmental compartments. Linking a pollutant to its source involves understanding and quantifying these changes. A large portion of the lab work will be based on sampling of environmental matrices followed by trace analysis for POPs and oil fingerprintinghe examination of environmental information that is used in law to allocate responsibility for contamination.  

Learning Outcomes

  1. Design and prepare a sampling and analysis plan for an environmental incident

  2. Demonstrate competence with field work, taking samples and subsampling/sample preparation

  3. Select analytical methods for environmental analysis

  4. Evaluate the success of analytical measurements on environmental matrices

  5. Examine and analyse data to pinpoint sources of pollution

  6. Assess the law as it relates to environmental analysis

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