Here is a brief overview about taking a graduate-level course "over the web."



Equipment Required

Software Required



 UAF Email

Registration and Fees

Pedagogical Method

Discussion Groups


 Email the Instructor

Workload. This course will taught completely by Internet-based technology, using web-based pedagogy. That means the student learns by interacting with the computer rather than listening to an instructor lecture. There is substantial electronic interaction with the instructor and other students. On the average, students find that instruction via web-based pedagogy is more time demanding (more work) than traditional instruction, but that they learn more. It's greatest advantage is that students can be located far from the college campus and learn at convenient times.

Timing. Some web-based instruction is billed as "asynchronous" meaning that the students can do what they want, when they want. Other web-based instruction is "synchronous," meaning that there are on-line class meetings and discussions and students must be logged on at definite times. This course will be somewhere in between, we call it, "asynchronous with deadlines." You will have weekly assignments and tasks that must be done, but you have leeway to do them at convenient times throughout the week. You will also write other major assignments. The course will conform to UAF's Spring 2019 calendar that requires me to submit a grade by 8 May 19.

Equipment Required. Most modern computers (Pentium 1 and later) can handle the course material. Modems are sometimes a problem. Some home computers have slow connections. Most of the files will not be large, but we will jump from file to file and if you have a slow connection you may get frustrated. But if you have a slow connection, you are probably accustomed to that. Some of my lessons use multiple frames, so a 19-inch or larger monitor is nice, but if you have a 17-inch you should be able to get to the same place by scrolling.

Programs required. You will need Internet Explorer 7.0 and Microsoft Word and Excel, 2003 or later. I will send you an executable risk analysis program or two. I will be sure these work on a PC. If you are a Mac person, you may need a special program to enable your Mac to run PC programs.

Prerequisites: The course is intended for graduate students in environmental engineering and students in natural science that are studying some aspect of environmental science. It is organized such that a working environmental professional with an engineering or science background should be able to succeed. Mathematics through calculus will be helpful and we use chemical names and expressions frequently. I will assume you have not used either recently. We will also use biological terms. I will assume the students have not had college biology, but have some general biological knowledge, perhaps from high school biology, a long time ago.

Textbooks: There are no required texts. You should have a college chemistry textbook nearby. The book, Multimedia Environmental Models: The Fugacity Approach, Second Edition by Donald Mackay, is a recommended text. (CRC Lewis Publishers, 2001, ISBN 1566705428) We will parallel the first four chapters quite closely, and Mackay has several handy tables and examples. That information is also found in many chemistry books and conveniently tabulated in many environmental chemistry texts, so the Mackay book is handy, but not necessary. It is not in the UAF bookstore; you can order it from CRC over the web [Catalog number L 1542], but I suggest you shop around, there seems to be an enormous difference in prices. You may find it used - the first edition will work as well.

UAF Email Access: We use Blackboard as our electronic course management tool. To access Blackboard you need a UAF e-mail account and a password. New students are issued a UAF e-mail account from UAF Office of Information Technology (OIT) when they register, or at least sometime the next day. If you need help, you can contact a Help Desk at by e-mail at, fax at (907)-450 8312, phone in the Fairbanks area at 450-8300 and outside of Fairbanks at 1-800-478 8226. If you leave a message on a phone recording, they are quite good about returning calls, but keep in mind that the beginning of the semester is their busiest time.

Registration and Fees:
For returning and on-campus students, the registration and fee payment process can be accessed via: . There is a slightly different process if you have registered at UAF recently. If you are a non-resident, you still only pay resident tuition for your first three credits.

General Pedagogical Method (How you will learn):
The course is divided into 13 modules. The general content of these modules is found in outline form in Modules and Topics page. There are group discussion assignments and group projects.

There are five broad areas of risk assessment:

Most modules will have material on two or three of those areas in the sub-modules.

Each module starts with an index page that has a general statement about the learning objectives of that module. Next are links to the sub-modules. Then homework assignments are outlined. The sub-modules are usually arranged so that you may choose which to do first. That will give you some flexibility in scheduling your time. Many learning goals are reached via a brief introduction followed by referral to other informational web sites. After you have reviewed that site and return to the sub-module there are questions or other tasks for you to quiz yourself. At the ends of most sub-modules are links to assignments for you to submit. Most modules have a section with detailed learning goals.

Discussion Groups: An important part of your learning experience will be communicating with other students via Blackboard. You will be assigned to a discussion group. The group will be tasked with discussing certain topics. You will be asked to read and comment on the submissions of other students.

Blackboard: Blackboard is our electronic course management tool. There you will find announcements, course documents, discussion boards and other course material. You access Blackboard via Your user name is usually your first two initials and your last name and sometimes a number. Your initial password is your Social Security Number. If you have problems with your password, call or email the Help Desk.. Once you are at the course site, you can access any of the course material or communicate with other students.

Email the instructor:If you want to communicate with Dr. Perkins directly with a question about the course, use Email, Start your subject line with "ENVE 651," Followed by "Questions," or "HELP," or whatever. The instructor usually answers these emails the next day or ASAP. Homework is also sent by email, but these are handled differently and are not graded or answered immediately. Instructions for labeling the subject line of the homework emails are found in each homework assignment.