This course examines current applications of biotechnology to environmental quality evaluation, monitoring, and remediation of contaminated environments. The scale of technology ranges from the molecular to macrobiotic. Relevant topics of microbiology and plant biology are presented. These provide a foundation for subsequent discussions of microbial removal and degradation of organics, phytoremediation of soil and water contaminated with toxic metals and radionuclides, wetlands as treatment processes, biofilms/biofilters for vapor-phase wastes, and composting. Emphasis is placed on modeling and design. Advantages and disadvantages of each application are compared. Case studies are presented in the areas of biosensors in environmental analysis, molecular biology applications in environmental engineering, and genetic engineering of organisms for bioremediation.
Prior course work in environmental microbiology or biochemical engineering is recommended but not required.