Return to Dr. Mertzenich's Homepage
Chemistry 114 -- The Environment: A Chemical Perspective
Lecture and laboratory schedule
Chemistry 114 involves a study of the environment, chemistry and the relationship between technology and our surroundings with a view to a thoughtful analysis of the environmental and other data presented in the popular literature. The course is designed for non-science students with little or no science background. No prerequisite. Fulfills laboratory science requirement; does not count toward a science major.
"Weighing risks, weighing uncertainties. Most people never understood that the majority of scientific problems took this form. Acid rain, global warming, environmental cleanup, cancer risks--these complex questions were always a balancing act, a judgment call. How good was the research data? How trustworthy were the scientists who had done the work? How reliable was the computer simulation? How significant were the future projections? These questions arose again and again. Certainly the media never bothered with the complexities, since they made bad headlines. As a result, people thought science was cut and dried, in a way that it never was. Even the most established concepts--like the idea that germs cause disease--were not as thoroughly proven as people believed." From "Timeline," by Michael Crichton, page 371.
Instructor: C. Mertzenich
Office: Sampson Hoffland Laboratories Room 390F.
Phone: 563 387 1626
Office Hours The instructor is not usually available after 5 pm weekdays and not on weekends. It can be assumed that email messages sent to the instructor after 5 pm will not be read until the next day.
Other staff associated with Chemistry
L. Meeker-Gast, stockroom manager, creative consultant, and head of laboratory preparation
Laboratory assistants: TBA
Student Academic Support Center (tutors)
McGraw-Hill CONNECT URL for Chem 114: http://connect.mcgraw-hill.com/class/c_mertzenich_chem114
McGraw-Hll CONNECT technical support: 1-800-331-5094 or http://mpss.mhhe.com/
Guidelines for Use of Electronic/Wireless Devices: The Luther Code of Conduct (http://www.luther.edu/student-life/dean/student-handbook/code-of-conduct/) indicates that “Students are required to engage in responsible social conduct that reflects credit upon the Luther College community and to model good citizenship in any community” (http://www.luther.edu/student-lfe/dean/student-handbook/code-of-conduct/proscribed/index.html); Article III, section B, point 7 indicates that “[d]istruption or obstruction of teaching” is prohibited behavior. Unless otherwise indicated by the instructor, the lecture and laboratory periods are meant to be times of academic activity related to the course. Cell phones, laptops, and/or other electronic equipment may be used ONLY on lecture/lab related activities during the class/lab period and ONLY if these activities are not distracting to the instructor and/or students. Students should check cell phones and/or other electronic equipment for messages before or after class/lab, not during class/lab. Cell phones should be set to “off” or “vibrate” during the class/lab period unless an emergency call is anticipated. All activities in class are to be geared toward the work at hand. The instructor has the right to ask a student to leave the classroom or laboratory if the student’s behavior is distracting to the instructor and/or to other students; repeated problems may cause the instructor to report the situation(s) to a Student Conduct Administrator (http://www.luther.edu/student-life/dean/student-handbook/code-of-conduct/procedures/index.html) or to the Department Head or Dean of the College. A student has the right to ask a fellow student to stop engaging in distracting behavior. If needed, a student may report a problem to the instructor, the Department Head, the Dean of the College, or to a Student Conduct Administrator.
Only materials assigned and/or provided for this course for this semester may be used unless otherwise indicated by the instructor. Use of materials from past years of Mertzenich's chem 114 class is prohibited. The Honor Code must be observed.
Videos and audio clips are for the use of Luther College chem 114 students ONLY; they are not to be distributed to any other persons, and they are not to be saved or kept by chem 114 students. Videos and audios are not to be copied, stored, tranmitted, and/or posted on any website or in any way. The Luther College Honor Code (http://www.luther.edu/student-life/dean/student-handbook/honor-code/index.html) must be observed. All materials: copyright Claude Mertzenich.
No written, oral, and/or electronic materials provided in this lecture section of chem. 114 may be shared with anyone not affiliated with this lecture section. All materials are restricted to the use of students and authorized guests of chem. 114.
The instructor will communicate with the class as a whole outside of lecture or lab time primarily via katie announcements. Sometimes documents and other information might be posted on KATIE. Scores and grades will be posted on KATIE. The instructor will most likely NOT check email or voice mail between 5 pm and 9 am each day.
The instructor's goal in lecture is to make the text and, thus, chemistry and its relationship to the environment, come alive; reflecting the diverse nature of the students in the classroom, a variety of teaching techniques are used throughout the semester to convert the static text material to the living, dynamic discipline which is chemistry. Attendance is required and will be checked periodically and will count toward the quiz/homework/attendance grade component. Lecture is located in Valders Hall of Science room 362.
Anticipated lecture and laboratory
Titles for experiments are listed here.
Textbook chapter table of contents is listed here.
Lab is located in the Sampson Hoffland Laboratories building, room 233.
|Laboratory section||Instructor||Day & time|
Intro to course & C0L1
No lab due to class postponement due to snow.
Lab (located in SHL 233): Check in , safety quiz, and appendix 2/calculator use discussion; bring a calculator
.Experiment 27; eye protection is required for this and future experiments
There was no class today due to instructor illness.
An Inconvenient Truth
Global warming webinar
Discussion of An Inconvenient Truth
Discussion of An Inconvenient Truth continued and C4L1
C7L3. Professor Tjostem visit
Lab: Experiment 9
Student research symposium--no classes
Lab: This will be a make up lab for anyone who might have missed an experiment earlier in the semester. Only students who have missed a lab need come to lab today.
Last day of classes
Final exams week
Final exams week
Final exams week
Final exams week
Reading and Homework:
Readings and homework from the text will be assigned. Students are expected to do homework to practice for quizzes and exams. Specific information about readings and homework, including due dates, will usually be posted in the announcements section on katie. For a particular homework set, the problems may be graded in detail, the problems may be reviewed to see that they have been completed, or a random selection of the problems may be chosen for detailed grading. There may or may not be time in lecture to deal with homework problems; the student should count on getting his/her homework done outside of class. Working in groups on homework problems is recommended and encouraged. Show all work--not just a brief answer--on all assignments, unless directed otherwise by the instructor. It is anticipated that students might work in groups to solve homework problems; however, each student must turn in his/her own homework, which should be substantially his/her own work. Only fellow Luther students, Luther College staff, the text, other material assigned by the instructor, and/or the answers at the back of the text may be consulted when solving homework problems; no other materials in printed or electronic form may be used--the Honor Code must be observed.
Attendance and other assignments can be counted as homework.
Quizzes are like mini-exams. Occasional quizzes may be given in class. Quizzes may be announced, and textbook sections to be covered made explicit, or they may be "spot" quizzes covering material recently discussed in lecture. Some quiz questions may be challenge problems--problems not exactly like problems already encountered--to measure student problem solving skills. Quizzes may have multiple components including (possibly) fill in the blank, worked out problems, multiple choice, etc. The best way to prepare for quizzes in this course is by re-working, and coming to an understanding of, the problems which have caused you difficulty in the past. It is also a good idea to re-work lecture problems and to work (and/or re-work) problems suggested during lecture. As a review of chapter material, see the Chapter Summary section at the end of each chapter. Students are required to take quizzes at the appointed time unless other arrangements are made prior to the test. Show all work--not just a brief answer--on all quizzes, unless directed otherwise by the instructor. Cell phone calculators and other devices that are connected to the internet or other communications systems are not allowed during quizzes.
Exams during the semester are designed to test student understanding of chemistry and societal issues associated with the environment. Each exam is one-hour long. Students are required to take exams at the appointed time unless other arrangements are made prior to the test. If you are unable to take the exam on the day scheduled, the instructor has the option of giving a different equivalent examination. Exams typically have multiple components including (possibly) fill in the blank, worked out problems, multiple choice, etc. The best way to prepare for exams in this course is by re-working, and coming to an understanding of, the problems which have caused you difficulty in the past. It is also a good idea to re-work lecture problems and to work (and/or re-work) problems suggested during lecture. As a review of chapter material, see the Chapter Summary section at the end of each chapter. Show all work--not just a brief answer--on all exams, unless directed otherwise by the instructor. Some exam questions may be challenge problems to measure student problem solving skills. Some exam problems may be taken from the laboratory component of the course; in this event, specific lab experiments to be covered on the exam will be made explicit. Textbook sections to be covered will also be made explicit. Cell phone calculators and other devices that are connected to the internet or other communications systems are not allowed during exams.
The final exam will cover material from the second half of the semester. The date of the final exam is set by the Registrar's Office. Except in cases of College-approved family or personal emergencies, all students are required to take the final exam AT THE TIME SCHEDULED by the Registrar of the College; out of fairness to all of the students in the class, no other exceptions will be made; make your end-of-semester transportation arrangements accordingly. Cell phone calculators and other devices that are connected to the internet or other communications systems are not allowed during exams.
All chemistry knowledge is ultimately derived from laboratory experiments; hence, the laboratory experience is essential to a study of chemistry. Laboratory experiments in Chemistry 114 are designed to reinforce chemical principles and techniques discussed in the lecture component of the course. Lab problems may show up on quizzes and exams. Lab attendance is required and will be checked. Students must perform and turn in reports for all experiments in order to get credit for Chemistry 114. If, due to legitimate reasons, you cannot make it to your scheduled lab period during a given week, contact me to see if you can go to a different section that week. Lab is located in the Sampson Hoffland Laboratories building, room 233.
The Chemistry Department requires all students to take an online safety quiz before working in the laboratory. This will take place during the first lab period of the semester.
The chemistry department does not lend out goggles except in extreme circumstances. You will be able to store your eye protection in the lab for the semester. If you forget your goggles, your grade for the first experiment will be docked. Please dress appropriately for lab - CLOSED TOED SHOES ARE A MUST!!! If you are wearing open-toed shoes (sandals), you will not be allowed to work in the lab.
Course percentages are weighted averages calculated in the following way: You have two weeks after a score is posted or a report or quiz is returned--whichever is later--to bring to the lecture instructor's attention potential errors in the scoring. After two weeks, a score will NOT be changed. After all of the graded components (tests, HW, quizzes, labs, and final exam) are weighted into the average score, adjustments are made to ensure that this average is at least a "B." Scores are never curved down, so that a final average will always yield a letter grade at least as high as shown on the table below. The following grading scale will be used. Scores, grades, etc., will usually be posted on KATIE.
Lab and lecture schedules are subject to modifications, as is
staffing. Everything else on this syllabus is final.
General links: Chapter links: Chapter 3: Chapter 4: Chapter 7 Photos
0.68*exam ave + 0.12*hw + 0.2*lab (or extra homework) = weighted ave for the course. Here's an example of the calculation for a person have the following averages: Exam = 79.5; hw = 100; lab = 100. 0.68*79.5 + 0.12*100 + 0.2*100 = 86.1. 86.1 is the weighted course average for that person. A curve is then applied to the weighted course average.
Link: ACS Climate Science Toolkit
Link: John Coleman
Link: Power Surge
Link: Nuclear Reaction
Link: Explosion @ Japan nuclear plant
Link: Hitler's Sunken Secret
No photos yet.
Professor Mertzenich demonstrating the exothermic dehydration of sucrose during lecture on Tuesday 29 March 2011. Thanks to Luther College student Josh Patterson for providing the photo.
Course percentages are weighted averages calculated in the following way:
You have two weeks after a score is posted or a report or quiz is returned--whichever is later--to bring to the lecture instructor's attention potential errors in the scoring. After two weeks, a score will NOT be changed.
After all of the graded components (tests, HW, quizzes, labs, and final exam) are weighted into the average score, adjustments are made to ensure that this average is at least a "B." Scores are never curved down, so that a final average will always yield a letter grade at least as high as shown on the table below. The following grading scale will be used.
Scores, grades, etc., will usually be posted on KATIE.
Lab and lecture schedules are subject to modifications, as is staffing. Everything else on this syllabus is final.