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    HAZWOPER training

Environmental Chemistry, Toxicology and Risk Assessment 

Program Description

The Environmental Chemistry, Toxicology and Risk Assessment (ECTRA) specialization is focused on assessing the transport, fate, exposure, and biological effects of toxic chemicals. The curriculum will train students to predict the migration of pollutants through environmental media (air, water, soil), estimate doses in human and ecological receptors, and define adverse consequences of exposure. Students will also be familiar with federal risk based laws and regulations dealing with hazardous waste management, toxic substances, abandoned site remediation and natural resource depletion. Finally, students will also learn about how to communicate about risk and understand how lay persons perceive and judge risks.

Research Component

An integral part of the graduate training in ECTRA is the development of research skills usually accomplished through a field and/or laboratory research project. Graduate research opportunities are available in many areas related to the exposure and effects of environmental toxicants on aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Graduate students conduct their research under guidance their major professors. ECTRA students are expected to produce manuscripts based on original research that are suitable for publication in peer reviewed journals.

ECTRA Focus areas

ECTRA students may choose to focus either in Toxicology or in Risk Assessment. Each area is designed to give students targeted training to help them meet their career goals.

Research Areas

Fisheries and wildlife toxicology



Reproductive Toxicology

Developmental toxicology


Genetic toxicology

Environmental chemistry

Risk assessment protocols

Evaluation of Environmental risk

Risk reduction from application of new remediation technologies (includes biological and chemical remediation of contaminated environments such as soil, water and air).

Required Core Courses

ENVR 5303 Issues in Environmental Sustainability

ENVR 5123 Environmental Problem Analysis

ENVR 5533 Genres of Environmental Writing

Additional Suggested Courses

CIVE 5823 Environmental Risk Assessment and Management

ENVR 5050 Readings in Environmental Science Topics

ENVR 5210 Seminar in Environmental Science

ENVR 5703 Chemical Aspects of Environmental Science

ENVR 5733 Environmental Site Assessment

ENVR 5743 Environmental Impact Assessment

ENVR 6050 Advanced Readings in Environmental Science

ENVR 6210 Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science

POLS 5643 Regulatory Risk Analysis

BIOL 5303 Organismal Ecotoxicology

BIOL 5343 Population and Community Ecotoxicology