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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail
 



E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 1
The Normal Environment: How Things Got This Way


E-Seminar 2
The Normal Environment: The Way Things Are Now


E-Seminar 3
Atmosphere: Stratospheric Problems


E-Seminar 5
Water: It's Not Just H2O


E-Seminar 6
Waterborne Infections


E-Seminar 7
Food: Land Use and Health Risks


 
Medical Ecology: Environmental Disturbance and Disease
E-Seminar 4, Atmosphere: Problems at Ground Level

Taught by: Dickson Despommier

Description
E-Seminar Description
In an age characterized by a rapidly changing environment, in which emerging and reemerging diseases continue to confront us, how can we predict the next major threats to human health? Are we, in fact, aiding the spread of disease by destroying the barriers that protect us from it? In his seven-part series Medical Ecology: Environmental Disturbance and Disease, Dickson Despommier, professor of public health and microbiology at Columbia, illuminates the connections between the disruption of ecosystems and eruptions of human disease. In this fourth of seven e-seminars, Atmosphere: Problems at Ground Level, Despommier investigates the atmosphere at Earth's surface and the consequences of polluting the air around us. From acid deposition to industrial emissions, polluted air threatens the health of humans and ecosystems alike. Despommier elucidates this concept using text, reading materials, data, and state-of-the-art animation and imagery.

Minimal prior knowledge of science is required for this course, including basic concepts of atoms, molecules, and cells.

E-Seminar Length:3-5 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Credits:Not-for-Credit
Prerequisites:None
Moderator:None
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:FREE

Interested in this
e-seminar?
Go to the e-seminar now*.

Note: Columbia students, faculty, staff, and alumni will need to use their University Network ID (UNI) to access e-seminars.



E-Seminar Objectives | Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading | Technical Requirements

E-Seminar Objectives
•    Describe acid deposition and how pH affects ecosystems.

•    Describe the major classes of air pollutants and understand the health problems that can result from exposure to these pollutants.

•    Analyze current policies governing emission of pollutants and think critically about their effectiveness.

•    Discuss possible policies and laws that could alleviate existing polluted conditions in our urban environments.

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Outline
1. Air Pollutants
2. Sources
     Natural Sources
     Industrial Sources
3. Ecosystem Impacts
     Acid Deposition
     Soil Damage
     Water Damage
4. Health Impacts
     Deposition and Health
     Asthma
     Particulates
5. Social Impacts
6. Conclusion

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Instructor's Background

Instructor's Background
Dickson Despommier is Professor of Public Health and Microbiology at Columbia University. He earned his B.S. degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University, his M.S. degree in medical parasitology at Columbia University, and his Ph.D. in microbiology at the University of Notre Dame. He then spent three years as a guest investigator at Rockefeller University before joining the faculty at Columbia, where he has taught and conducted biomedical research over the past thirty years.

Despommier's research interests include molecular aspects of intracellular parasitism, river ecology, and more recently, medical aspects of ecology, which he has termed Medical Ecology. Despommier is author of over seventy peer-reviewed journal articles, three textbooks, and 13 review articles in books dealing with medical aspects of parasitism. He has been awarded the highest honor the Columbia health sciences faculty bestows, the Dean's Distinguished Medal for Outstanding Teaching, and has been elected teacher of the year numerous times, both at Columbia University, and at other Universities where he has been a visiting professor. In 2003, he was the recipient of the American Medical Student Association's (AMSA) National Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence.


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Recommended Reading
Freedman, Bill. Environmental Ecology: The Ecological Effects of Pollution, Disturbance, and Other Stresses. 2d ed. San Diego: Academic Press, 1995.

Fisher, Richard V., Grant Heiken, and Jeffrey B. Hulen. Volcanoes: Crucibles of Change. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1997.

Graedel, T. E., and Paul J. Crutzen. Atmospheric Change: An Earth System Perspective. New York: W. H. Freeman, 1993.

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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

IBM-COMPATIBLE PC
Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MACINTOSH
MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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