Teaching Environmental Chemistry with Wetland Microcosms

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Williams, Daniel J.; Williams, Martha C.; Foster, Barbara E.; Malone, Jane C.; Milner, Erin E.; Tartaglia, Andrew L.; Turner-Reed, Angel; Koether, Marina
Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; environmental chemistry; microcosms; wetlands; copper; Chemistry; Environmental Chemistry
article description
Microcosms constructed from sediment and water taken from riparian wetlands are used as tools to teach various aspects of environmental chemistry. Experiments performed by students from the high school level to advanced undergraduates have been performed to simulate wetland responses to acid-rain input, heavy-metal input, and other pollutants as well as to investigate redox characteristics of wetlands. A case study involving high school students investigating uptake of copper(II) by wetland microcosms is discussed in detail.