2 Approach

To reach these goals, we will have a flipped classroom. All content will be delivered before class begins in the form of previously recorded YouTube videos from me or our partner content creators Richard Marinos (at the University of Buffalo) and Anna Bergstrom (at Boise State University). Our philosophy is to share in content generation so that we can bring you the highest quality lectures before class and save class time for paper discussions, homework time, and group projects.

With this approach it is critical that you watch all lectures and read all materials before class. This is your homework for the most part, with plenty of in-class time dedicated to other tasks that are traditionally done at home (like assignments). This is even more important because we will be using the R programming language for all of our assignments. I know most of you have never used R before, so we have ample class time to help you integrate this vital tool into your understanding of water quality.

Finally, this is the first time we are doing the course this way, so there will be constant changes to this site, based on new content. I will work to have this content updated at least a week before you need to work on the material, but please let me know if you are getting lost in the syllabus.

2.1 Class policies

2.1.1 Inclusive classroom

We will have an inclusive classroom: respecting and valuing the diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and identities of individuals in the class. Students are expected to have an awareness of and sensitivity to language or actions that may be exclusionary or alienating. I am committed to fostering a collaborative and inclusive class and appreciate any feedback on how to improve my own practice.

This is particularly important in a class that will have group work, peer grading, and generally serve individuals with a large range in background with watershed, chemistry, statistics, and other skills we will use in class. We all get better if we work together. A final note on treatment of others: one of the most important things when interacting with others who have more or less research experience than you is to learn how to ask effective questions that show you understand and value other people’s time. “What work can I do to prepare my question in a way that makes it easiest for someone to help me?” I want you to ask questions and work collaboratively and do so in a way that helps you and everyone else.

2.1.2 Assignments

All assignments will be distributed through Canvas.

2.1.3 Asking for help and code on the internet:

One of the most common ways people learn to code is to use the age-old (okay, maybe 10 years) technique of asking the internet for help. This is a great idea! But! When you do you should ask for help in specific ways that enable people to answer your question more easily and clearly. Great instructions are here: https://blog.revolutionanalytics.com/2014/01/how-to-ask-for-r-help.html and a more general guide to help in R is here: https://www.r-project.org/help.html.

2.1.4 Using other people’s code

Inevitably, you will want to perform a task in R that someone else has already done. This is useful and part of why the R community is so great. But! If you use other people’s code, you should:

  1. explitly cite where you got the code or the inspiration for it

  2. work hard to understand the code and what it does, break it down into pieces, and try to rebuild it

Code that you did not write and is not cited will be treated as academic plagiarism. Assignments will vary in how much code is allowed to be shared between students, but the general rule is that you should be submitting your own code or code from your own team. As an example of best practices, a lot of the inspiration for this page (and the class in general) comes from Mine Cetikaya-Rundel and her amazing STA 199 course at Duke

2.2 Academic integrity

Academic integrity: You are responsible for adhering to all university policies on academic integrity and student conduct https://tilt.colostate.edu/integrity/knowTheCode/. TILT has a number of resources for students related to writing and study skills: https://tilt.colostate.edu/integrity/resourcesStudents/.

2.3 Attendance

This class will heavily depend on you being present. There will be a participation grade that will reflect a combination of your consistent presence, focus in class, and participation in group work. We will also occasionally have quizzes to check in on your understanding of material but also to make sure you are present.

2.4 Notes

If you learn by taking notes, I encourage you to take notes in class when there are lectures. However, all lectures will be posted online on my GitHub account. Additionally, a more verbose version of the notes will be on this site (look to your left).

2.5 Grading

Assignments Quizzes Final Participation
40% 30% 20% 10%

2.6 Schedule

This schedule will likely change considerably as we move through the course, but I will keep it updated. Every Thursday there will be an assignment due the next Thursday, unless otherwise stated.

Week Starting Videos Posted on Site Content Video producer
2021-01-18 NA Intro Basic Chem Review Matt
2021-01-25 2021-01-21 Thermodynamics and activity Richard Marinos
2021-02-01 2021-01-28 Acid Base Chemistry Matt
2021-02-08 2021-02-04 Carbonate chem and Alk Anna Bergstrom
2021-02-15 2021-02-11 Dissolved Gases Matt
2021-02-22 2021-02-18 Dissolved Gases + Research Talks NA
2021-03-01 2021-02-25 Kinetics Richard
2021-03-08 2021-03-04 Final Intro and Mining Talk Matt
2021-03-15 2021-03-11 Weathering/Solubility Matt + Nick G
2021-03-22 2021-03-18 Complexation/Ion Exchange Richard
2021-03-29 2021-03-25 Redox Matt
2021-04-05 2021-04-01 Nutrient Cycling Richard
2021-04-12 2021-04-08 Organic Contaminants All
2021-04-19 2021-04-15 Contaminant Grab Bag (Metals/etc…) All
2021-04-26 2021-04-22 Mapping Aqueous to Land Use MR
2021-05-03 2021-04-29 Clean Water Act/NPDES/Etc… MR
2021-05-10 2021-05-06 Final work time MR
NA NA Final work time MR
NA NA Final Presentations/YouTube Viewing MR