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



Equipment Required

Software Required



 UAF Email Access

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,"semester based, 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 Fall 2016 calendar that requires me to submit a grade by December 21, 2016.

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. This semester I plan to experiment with some live discussions. This will require a web-cam, which most folks have. If you don't we'll work out an alternative.

Programs required. You will need a browser such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word and Excel, 97 or later. (IE seems to have some glitches with certain programs and websites - some security mismatch or whatever. You might want to install Mozilla Firefox, which you can get for free. I use IE until something doesn't work, then copy the URL from IE, open Firefox and paste it in that browser. Often works.)

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:The recommended textbook is: Karen E. Stine and Thomas M. Brown. Principles of Toxicology, Third Edition, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2015, ISBN 13:978-1-4665-0342-7. The text is available though commercial vendors, such as WalMart and Amazon. Most students will find parts of the text helpful, but the course is not built around the text book. All available texts present the same problem for introductory students, pages covered with biological sketches or chemicals symbols that are incomprehensible to most true introductory students. Another book, which I almost selected for our text, is Toxicology for Nontoxiciologists, Second Edition, Mark E. Stelljes, Government Institutes, 2008, ISBN 978-0-86587-175-5, which is available as an e-book.

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 Division of Computing and Communications (DCC) 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)-474-2497, phone in the Fairbanks area at 474-8300 and outside of Fairbanks at 1-800-478-4667. If you leave a message on a phone recording, they are quite good about returning calls, but keep in mind 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 15 modules. The general content of these modules is found in outline form in Modules and Topics page. The course will use the textbook for reference and general reading. There are group discussion assignments and group projects.

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. We will experiment with some live discussions, as well.

Blackboard: 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 your email name, usually the first two initials and your last name. 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 652," 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.