Environmental monitoring and sampling provides the information needed for assessments of compliance with environmental criteria and regulatory permits, and status/trends to evaluate effectiveness of regulatory controls. Students will prepare a Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) as a course project to support a site-specific field data collection study for environmental sampling of air, surface water, groundwater, and soils. An overview of historical/current environmental issues, including public health and environmental impacts, for air, surface water, groundwater, and soil, is presented. An overview of regulatory requirements of federal environmental statutes and assessments of effectiveness of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, CERCLA, and RCRA is presented. The course describes pollutant sources and physical, chemical, biological processes that govern transport and fate of contaminants in air, surface water, groundwater, and soils. The course examines the principles, methods, and strategies for monitoring and sampling of air, surface water, groundwater, and soil. Sampling methods are presented for discrete sampling, automated data acquisition, and remote sensing for air, surface water, groundwater, and soils. SAP requirements for the course project will be presented, including key elements of Quality Assurance Project Plans and Field Sampling Plans. The course presents selected concepts of environmental statistics; an overview of data sources available from EPA, USGS and other agencies for air, surface water, groundwater, and soils; and interpretation of environmental data sets with GIS/mapping, data analysis, and statistical methods to support decision-making, site characterization, and evaluation of status/trends. Students will research online opportunities for “virtual” field trips to observe field sampling methods for air, surface water, groundwater, and soils media.
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