Kocar Lab
Laboratory for Process-Based Biogeochemistry

Teaching

Undergraduate

1.080B (spring) Environmental Chemistry II

Intermediate topics in environmental chemistry requiring kinetics to understand processes governing biogeochemical behaviors in natural and engineered systems. Topics include radiochemistry, redox chemistry, surface chemistry and surface complexation. Introduction to geochemical modeling using reactive transport software; process formulations are combined in chemical fate models to compare with observations of concentrations as a function of space and time.

1.107B (spring) Environmental Chemistry Laboratory

co-taught with Prof. Phil Gschwend

Laboratory and field techniques in biogeochemistry and environmental engineering and their application to the understanding of natural and engineered ecosystems. Exercises demonstrate data acquisition and modeling suited to identifying and quantifying physical, chemical, and biological processes that govern the effects of human activity on the functioning of natural systems and/or the efficacy of engineered approaches to environmental problems. Applications include chemical and biological remediation, measurement of contaminants, and detection of biogeochemical activity in natural environments. An independently designed final project is required. Enrollment limited; preference to 1-E students.

1.078/1.78 (Undergrad/Grad, Fall even years) Intro to Soil Science

Presents the physical, chemical, biological and genetic properties of soils, their global distribution, and response to management. Emphasizes factors controlling soil development, plant productivity, and the fate, cycling and bioavailability of soil nutrients and pollutants. Introduces Earth's different soil types and their classification; links characteristics with contemporary and historic issues surrounding natural and managed soil systems. Topics include soil carbon cycling, water and fertilizer management, and challenges associated with soil salinity-sodicity, erosion, and pollution. Includes field trips to local sites to examine soil physical properties, classification, and function.

Undergraduate-IAP

1.091 & 1.092 Traveling Research Environmental Experiences (TREX)

co taught with Prof. Jese Kroll

TREX is a six-credit field research course offered during Independent Activities Period by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to students majoring in Civil or Environmental Engineering. TREX provides CEE undergraduates with the opportunity to gain hands-on fieldwork and research experience in a global context. Past expeditions have generated enormous enthusiasm for learning about earth systems and determining how these systems can be managed in a sustainable way. For more information, see the department website: http://cee.mit.edu/undergraduate/trex

Graduate

1.76 (Fall, odd years) Aquatic Chemistry

Quantitative treatment of chemical processes in aquatic systems such as lakes, oceans, rivers, estuaries, groundwaters, and wastewaters. A brief review of chemical thermodynamics is followed by discussion of acid-base, precipitation-dissolution, coordination, and reduction-oxidation reactions. Emphasis is on equilibrium calculations as a tool for understanding the variables that govern the chemical composition of aquatic systems and the fate of inorganic pollutants.