Environmental Contamination Assessment

The Environmental Contamination Assessment Certificate consists of 12 credits. Students must earn a grade of "B" or better in each class to qualify for a certificate. If you are considering this certificate, you must contact the coordinator prior to registration.

The certificate requires the following courses. Other courses can be taken live, online, through Engineering Outreach, or through independent study. Any substituted courses must be approved by the Environmental
Science Program.

Sampling and Analysis of Environmental Contaminants 

ENVS 541, 3 credits | Spring
Prerequisites: CHEM 112 Principles of Chemistry II, STAT 301 Probability and Staistics

This course examines statistical issues related to sampling and analysis and approaches questions such as: How do you lay out a sampling plan? What kind of organization of pattern do you use? How many data points should you take? What are the issues related to sampling? The course then addresses questions related to doing data analysis once you have the chemical results from those samples. How do you go about organizing that data, and interpreting that data so that you understand the contamination that exists, and can use that information in making remediation decisions?

By the end of the course students will be comfortable with basic statistical techniques, and be able to do simple analysis. Students will also be exposed to some of the more sophisticated techniques and know when to seek help to use those. This is an important topic in environmental contamination because the decisions we make must be based on real data. We need to get good data, and make informed decisions.

Contact information: Dr. Maxine Dakins, (208) 282-7957,

Environmental Toxicology 

ENVS/FS 409/509, 3 credits | Fall
Prerequisites: Biol 102 Biology and Society or BIOL 116 Organisms and Environments, Chem 111 Principles of Chemistry I and CHEM 275 Carbon Compounds, (Chem 112 Principles of Chemistry II and Stat 251 Statistical Methods recommended).

Fundamental toxicological concepts including dose-response relationships, absorption of toxicants, distribution and storage of toxicants, biotransformation and elimination of toxicants, target organ toxicity and teratogenesis, mutagenesis, and carcinogenesis; chemodynamics of environmental contaminants including transport, fate, and receptors; chemicals of environmental interest and how they are tested and regulated; risk assessment fundamentals. Students registering for EnvS/FST 509 are required to prepare an additional in-depth report.

This course will explore the science of environmental toxicology, including the toxins in nature of poisonous plants and venoms, or the threat of impact in polluted environments. We will look at fundamental concepts, primary methodologies, and the critical issues that form the basis of knowledge in this most important arena of human experience.

Contact information: Dr. Greg Moller, (208) 885-7771,
Course website:

Two additional technical elective courses (6 cr)

These courses can be taken live, online, through Engineering Outreach, or through independent study. The courses must be approved by the Environmental Science Program.