Course Outline
Environmental Science and Engineering 412/612-3:
Air Pollution

Instructor: Peter L. Jackson
phone: 250.960.5985
office hour: W F 13:00-14:00 OBA
lecture: T R 13:30-14:20 in 5-158
lab: M 14:30-17:20 in 8-129

Course description:

This multidisciplinary course will investigate the nature and impacts of air pollution, both in general and more particularly in the Northern BC region. Students will gain a systematic understanding of air pollution, including: sources, emissions, health and environmental effects, chemistry, air pollution meteorology, dispersion modelling, engineering and legislative controls, and airshed planning. This will be accomplished by a combination of lecture presentations, readings from assigned journal articles and optional readings from the text, guest speakers, field trips, laboratory assignments and a project. Resources related to ENSC 412/612 can be found in the course homepage located at Note that some content is password protected for copyright reasons.

If, because of a disability, you may have a need for special academic accommodations, please come and discuss this with me, or contact the Access Resource Centre (

Textbook and readings:

The (optional) text for this course (the 4th edition is on reserve in the library) is:

Vallero, D., 2014: Fundamentals of Air Pollution, Elsevier, 5th Edition, SanDiego, 942 pp.

Additional readings (mainly journal articles) from other sources for several topics will be given in advance. It is expected that students will have read the required material before class, and make notes in the Journal Log (see below) which is brought to each class, and be prepared to discuss the assigned reading in class.


There will be a mid term exam, final exam, two laboratory group projects, four marked field trip reports, and a marked journal log book. The mid term exam is scheduled for Thursday, February 7, 2019 during the lecture period. The final exam will occur sometime during the April exam period, so no travel or employment plans should be made for this time. Assignments handed in late will have marks deducted, except for medical or other extraordinary circumstances. In any case, the instructor must be notified of late assignments prior to the due date. Missed exams cannot be made up except on documented medical grounds and notification prior to exam date.

Laboratory Projects 40%
Field Trip Reports 10%
Journal Log 10%
Mid term Exam 10%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%
For students registered in the graduate course (ENSC 612) there will be an additional requirement of an in-class presentation on a topic to be arranged in consultation with the instructor. This will be worth 10% of the final mark for the course, with the final exam weighting decreased to 20%.


Working together and sharing of thoughts and methods is encouraged in lab project work to facilitate learning, and to complete the group lab projects. All other graded assignments must be independently written. If any sources (including internet sources) are used as a basis of information, they must be reformulated into your own words, properly cited in the text and referenced. Infrequent direct quotation and citation is also permissible. Copying of other student's work is not permitted. Failure to follow these guidelines is considered plagiarism and will result in penalties ranging from a zero for the assignment, course failure, to being required to withdraw from the university.

  1. Field Trip Reports:

    Students will be responsible for writing up each field trip. These assignments should be short (1-2 pages) and will be due one week following the field trip. While each field trip will vary in its objectives and significance, write-ups should include the following topics:

  2. Journal Log Book:

    Students are responsible for maintaining a binder summarizing the scientific journal article readings (not readings from the textbook) carried out in this course. Readings from papers and reports (other than from the textbook) will be assigned periodically through the term. Each student is to prepare the reading journal entry separately.

    A complete journal entry is dated and consists of a full citation of the article, a brief summary (about two sentences) of what the article is about, notes made while reading the paper, and a discussion of the importance of the paper. Entries may be prepared electronically, but they must be printed out and placed in the binder.

    The reading journal is to be brought to all classes. It will be evaluated several times throughout the course, but the dates will not be announced in advance of the class in which it is to be submitted. If the reading journal is not submitted on the date requested, a mark of zero will be assigned for that evaluation of the reading journal.

  3. Lab Projects:

    The class will undertake two lab projects investigating aspects of air pollution measurement in the Prince George region. The projects will be done as a group and each will have a single report submitted. Each member of the group will document their contribution to the projects and assess the participation of all group members allowing a mark adjustment for individuals based on participation and contribution. Details of the lab projects will be discussed early in the semester. The projects will each include the following deliverables that will be graded: an outline and preliminary bibliography (due Jan 24 and Feb 5 - worth 10% of project grade); a powerpoint presentation of the key findings (due Feb 12 and Mar 19 - worth 20% of the project grade); a first draft of the full project report that includes a literature review (due Feb 28 and Mar 28 - one per group, worth 50% of the project grade); a final draft of the project report that incorporates instructor feedback on the first draft (due March 12 and April 4 - worth 20% of the project grade).


The following topics will be covered in the course, as time permits. Note that text readings are optional and required journal readings will be assigned in class and are not listed here. NOTE: Field Trips are not finalized yet
Week Date Topic Laboratory Text Reading
1 Dec 31 Introduction, overview and history of air pollution. no lab Ch 1
2 Jan 7 Natural vs. polluted atmosphere. Types of AP. Scales of AP. LAB: Introduction to Lab Projects Ch 2, 3
3 Jan 14 AQ criteria and standards. Sources of AP: natural, anthropogenic, mobile, stationary. Indoor AQ, hazardous AP. AP trends and patterns. Combustion. Emission inventories. LAB: Projects Ch 4, 6, 22
4 Jan 21 Engineering control of pollutant sources. LAB: Projects
P1: out/bib due Jan 24
Ch 28, 29, 30, 31
5 Jan 28 Effects of air pollution on health and living systems, materials, structures, atmosphere, soil and water. FT1: PG Pulp CH 7, 8, 9, 10
6 Feb 4 Mid Term Thur Feb 7
Measurement / Monitoring / Sampling.

LAB: Projects
P2: out/bib due Feb 5
Ch 12, 13, 14, 15
7 Feb 11 Air Pollution chemistry, photochemistry, deposition. FT2: BC MOE
P1: ppt due Feb 12
Ch 17, 18, 21
- Feb 18 Mid Term Break (no classes).    
8 Feb 25 Air pollution meteorology and climatology. Pollutant transformation and removal. Transport and dispersion of air pollution. LAB: Projects
P1: draft due Feb 28
Ch 19
9 Mar 4 Air pollution modelling. FT3: UNBC Bioenergy Ch 20
10 Mar 11 Airshed Planning: Land Use Controls. LAB: Projects
P1: final due Mar 12
Ch 5, 24, 26
11 Mar 18 Airshed Planning: Regulatory Controls. [M. Bilawchuk, BCME, Mar 19] FT4: PGAIR / presentation of project results
P2: ppt due Mar 19
Ch 27
12 Mar 25 International Air Pollution Issues. Acid Rain, Stratospheric Ozone, Global Warming, HAPs, POPs. LAB: Projects
P2: draft due Mar 28
Ch 11
13 Apr 1 International AP Issues - cont'd / wrap-up
LAB: Projects
P2: final due Apr 4
Ch 11

Copyright © 2019 by Peter L. Jackson