Environmental monitoring and sampling provide the data foundation required for assessments of (1) compliance with environmental criteria and regulatory permits, and (2) status and trends to evaluate the effectiveness of legislation and regulatory controls. The overall objective of the course is to prepare a Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) as a course project to support a site-specific field data collection program that includes environmental sampling for air, surface water, groundwater, and soils. An overview of historical and current environmental issues, including public health and environmental impacts, for air, surface water, groundwater, and soil contamination, is presented. Regulatory requirements of the major statutes that govern various media are presented, along with assessments of the effectiveness of legislation including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, CERCLA, and RCRA.
The course describes sources and physical, chemical, and biological processes that govern distributions of contaminants in air, surface water, groundwater, and soils. The course examines the principles, methods, and strategies for monitoring and discrete sampling of environmental media, including air, surface water, groundwater, and soil. Sampling methods include overviews of current methods for discrete sampling, automated data acquisition, and remote sensing for air, surface water, groundwater, and soils. Requirements of a SAP will be presented, including key elements of a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) and a Field Sampling Plan (FSP.) The course presents key concepts of statistics for sampling design, data variability, and analysis and interpretation of data sets. The course includes an introduction to data sources available from national databases for air, surface water, groundwater, and soils. Analysis, presentation, and interpretation of data sets include use of GIS/mapping, data management methods, and statistical analyses to support decision-making, site characterization, and evaluation of status and trends. Where feasible, the online course will provide the opportunity for students to participate in local field trips or observe field sampling methods for air, surface water, groundwater, and soils.