Offered Courses

EH257 Water Pollution

Instructors: James Shine, Guest Lecturers
Semester: Spring
Credits: 5.0
Course Format: Lectures. Two 2-hour sessions each week.Course Description:
This course is designed to teach an understanding of the basic principles of water pollution and water pollution issues on local, regional and global scales. The course will begin with a discussion of the basic chemical, physical and biological properties of water and water contaminants. Subsequent lectures will cover specific chemical and biological contaminants in ground, surface, and marine waters; sources, fate, transport, and transformation of contaminants; monitoring techniques, water source protection and resource management; water and wastewater treatment; transmission of waterborne disease; toxicological concerns of chemicals in water, including disinfection byproducts; and interactions with the air and land environments. Invited lectures will cover issues such as harmful algal blooms, groundwater modeling, coastal zone management, and regulatory approaches for aquatic ecosystem protection.Course Activities:
Class discussions, homework assignments, exams and final project.


Recommended Courses at Harvard and MIT

EH278 Human Health and Global Environmental Change
(Cross-listed at HMS as H0703.0)

Instructors: Dr. P. Epstein, Dr. H. Hu, Dr. E. Chivian, Dr. D.Goodenough
Semester: Spring
Credits: 5.0 (ordinal grading option), 2.5 (pass/fail grading option)
Course Format: Lectures. One 4-hour session each week.

Course Description:
Human activity is changing the atmosphere and altering terrestrial and marine ecosystems on a global scale for the first time in history. Evidence is mounting that these changes may already be having serious effects on human health, and there is growing concern that in coming decades the effects could be catastrophic. This course will provide an overview of the basic physics, chemistry, and biology of global environmental change, and of the potential consequences of these changes for human health. It will cover global climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, the effects of toxic substance pollution on global ecosystems, the degradation of terrestrial and marine environments, the loss of species and biodiversity, and the impact of these factors on human health. The role of rapidly growing human populations and of patterns of resource use and waste disposal in the genesis of environmental change will be examined. A multi-disciplinary faculty will provide an integrated assessment of these issues. The course will be open to all students at Harvard University, but preference will be given to students from HSPH, HMS, and KSG, as well as to Environmental Science Public Policy majors in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Course Note:
 Enrollment limited to approximately 40 students from SPH, 75 students total. This course may be taken for either 5.0 credits or 2.5 credits. To register for 5.0 credits, select EH278, section 01 (ordinal grading option), for 2.5 credits, select EH278, section 02 (pass/fail grading option.) (5.06)

Course Website:

MIT 1.831 Environmental Organic Chemistry

Instructor: P. M. Gschwend
Semester: Fall
Credits: 5.0 (MIT Units 3-0-9)
Course Format: Lectures. Midterm and Final.

Course Description:
Focuses on the processes affecting anthropogenic organic compounds in the environment. Uses physical chemical properties to predict chemical transfers between environmental compartments (air, water, sediments, and biota). Uses molecular structure-reactivity relationships to estimate chemical, photochemical, and biochemical transformation rates. Resulting process models are combined to predict environmental concentrations (and related biological exposures) of hazardous and natural organic compounds.

MIT Course Link:


HSPH Academic Calendar