Master of Science in Environmental Metrology and Policy (EMAP) Program students must successfully complete 40 credits with an average of accumulative GPA no less than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
The EMAP Program is a two-year, 40-credit, full-time program that consists of 7 courses of 3 credits each; 8 courses of 2-credits each; a one capstone project of 3 credits that requires a comprehensive report and an oral presentation; and a seminar series.
All graduate students must maintain an average accumulative GPA of no less than 3.0 (4.0 scale) to be in good standing.
A field experience is required during the first summer semester. During the ten-week field research assignment students will engage in actual field research with a research mentor. Proposed locations: primarily students will complete their research experiences at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Other governmental agencies or NGOs in the area will also serve as potential locations: USGS, NIOSH, NIH, FDA, OSHA and other locations as appropriate.
Core Courses in Environmental (Chemical & Biochemical) Metrology
- EMAP-501: Chemistry of Environmental Exposures (Year 1-Fall)
- EMAP-502: Statistical Methods in Metrology (Year 1-Fall)
- EMAP-505: Occupational and Environmental Toxicology (Year 1-Fall)
- EMAP-511: Introduction to Chemical & Biochemical Metrology (Year 1-Spring)
- EMAP-512: Chemical & Biochemical Metrology Lab I: Instrumental Principles and Measurements (Year 1-Spring)
- EMAP-513: Chemical & Biochemical Metrology Lab II: Student-Selected Metrology Labs / Capstone Preparation (Year 2-Fall)
Core Courses in Environmental Policy:
- EMAP-503: Introduction to Environmental Policy Science (Year 1-Fall)
- EMAP-514: Introduction to Environmental Risk Assessment and Management (Year 1-Spring)
- EMAP-504: Introduction to US and International Environmental Laws and Regulations (Year 1-Fall)
- EMAP-515: Advanced Environmental Policy Making Science I: A Study of Practical Cases (Year 1-Spring)
- EMAP-516: Advanced Environmental Policy Making Science II: A Study of Practical Cases (Year 2-Fall)
All students are also required to conduct a 10-week research internship during the in-between summer. The research project of the summer internship will be continued by the Metrology Lab II and the capstone course in Year-2.
An elective in ethics course will also be required of each student, in addition to three electives selected from an approved list of classes similar to the following:
- One course in Government (recommended: GOVT 629: Executive Branch Politics and Policy Making, Year 2-Fall) or equivalent.
- One course in Economics (recommended: ECON-551: Microeconomics, Year 2-Spring) or equivalent.
- One course in Data Science (recommended: ANLY-501: Introduction to Data Analytics, Year 2-Fall) or equivalent.
Although not earning any course credits, students are also required to attend a bi-weekly interdisciplinary EMAP Seminar Series each semester where leading scholars (NIST, EPA, academia) in environmental metrology and environmental policymaking present works in progress.
SAMPLE COURSE SCHEDULE
A typical two-year courses sequence that will lead to Master of Science in Environmental Metrology and Policy is shown below.
Year-1 Fall Semester
- EMAP-501 Chemistry of Environmental Exposures (core, 3 credits)
- EMAP-502 Statistical Methods in Metrology (core, 3 credits)
- EMAP-503 Introduction to Environmental Policy Science (core, 2 credits)
- EMAP-504 Introduction to US and International Environmental Laws and Regulations (core, 2 credits)
EMAP-504 Occupational and Environmental Toxicology (core, 2 credits)
EMAP-500 Bi-weekly Seminars / Discussion Forums (0 credits)
Year-1 Spring Semester
- EMAP-511 Introduction to Chemical & Biochemical Metrology (core, 3 credits)
- EMAP-512 Chem & Biochem Metrology Lab I: Instrumental Principles and Measurements (core, 3 credits)
- EMAP-514 Introduction to Environmental Risk Assessment and Management (core, 2 credits)
- EMAP-515 Advanced Environmental Policy Making Science I: A Study of Practical Cases (core, 2 credits)
EMAP-500 Bi-weekly Seminars / Discussion Forums (0 credits)
- 10-week program-funded research internship at NIST or EPA.
Year-2 Fall Semester
- EMAP-513: Chemical & Biochemical Metrology Lab II: Student-Selected Metrology Labs / Capstone Preparation (core, 2 credits)
- EMAP-516: Advanced Environmental Policy Making Science II: A Study of Practical Cases (core, 2 credits)
- One Elective in Government (3 credits)
- One Elective in Data Science (3 credits)
- EMAP-500 Bi-weekly Seminars / Discussion Forums (0 credits)
Year-2 Spring Semester
- EMAP-518: Capstone Project (core, 3 credits)
- One Elective in Economics (3 credits)
- One Elective in Ethics (2 credits)
- EMAP-500 Bi-weekly Seminars / Discussion Forums (0 credits)
CORE COURSES DESCRIPTIONS
EMAP-501 Chemistry of Environmental Exposures concerns the study of the earth (geosphere), air (atmosphere), water (hydrosphere), and living environments (biosphere), the effects of technology thereon (anthrosphere), and the interactions among them. On the one hand, it guides students through the chemistry related to the sources, reactions, transport, fates, and effects of chemical species in water, soil, air, and living environments, and the effects of technology thereon. On the other hand, it also exposes students to the chemistry underlining effects of environmental chemical species on life, including the chemistry of toxic substances with emphasis upon their interactions with biologic tissue and living organisms. Overall, students will learn the chemical principles and interactions that govern the environmental processes around us, particularly the chemistry/biochemistry that help identify and quantify the effects of environmental exposures. Students will also develop an appreciation of the intertwined nature and fragile equilibrium among the five environmental spheres.
EMAP-502 Statistical Methods in Metrology teaches concepts and methodologies of statistical methods and interplay between statistics and measurements in metrology through in-depth discussion of the best statistical methods for the assessment and expression of measurement uncertainty. This is a topic that is essential to metrology but not commonly known to even experienced statisticians. Topics to be covered, but are not limited to, include (1) probability modeling of measurement error, (2) elementary one-/two-sample statistical methods and measurement and inter-lab comparison, (3) intermediate-level statistical methods to quantify the importance of sources of variability in measurements, (4) statistical analysis of repeatability and reproducibility (R&R), (5) linear regression and calibration, (6) quantization/digitalization effects, (7) quantifying how measurement precision affects one’s ability to detect differences between measurands, (8) models and methods of spatial statistics applied to environmental problems. The course also introduces R language and its application for environmental statistics and discusses statistical modeling methods used by EPA. Overall, the course is designed to help students understand the quality and reliability of the measurements, acquire the ability to parse a measurement problem, identify the critical sources of variability and bias, and develop approaches to address these using the core concepts of uncertainty, traceability, validation, and quality systems.
EMAP-503 Introduction to Environmental Policy Science introduces and discusses the general concepts and processes in formulating a scientifically informed environmental policy that involves the development and application of appropriate scientific methods, tools, standards, approaches, and other processes derived from various scientific disciplines. It will inform students of different aspects of policy decision-making process, which include (1) the evaluation of level of maturity, reliability of the formulated policy by using the metrics for evaluation of scientific claims (MESC) derived from the Best Available Science (BAS) concept. (2) Independent peer review and independent scientific assessment, (3) Scientific foundation of legislative, regulatory, and judicial decisions (4) Stakeholder identification and stakeholder participation process, (5) policy making ethics, (6) scientific transparency, (7) scientific communication (8) Mathematical modeling (9) environmental decisions at two agencies; Department of Defense and Department of Energy (exempted and not exempted from relevant laws). In essence, students will learn how BAS/MESC can be used to develop best environmental policy. With this as a foundation, the course describes the role of science in environmental decision making.
EMAP-504 Introduction to US and International Environmental Laws and Policies introduces the variety of important environmental challenges addressed by environmental laws and the legal complexities of environmental regulatory schemes. The course teaches first the US legal system in the context of environmental protection with emphasis on the legal framework for environmental protection as it has evolved in the United States, including an overview of administrative law processes and an examination of the science methodologies that are used to support regulatory decisions. Students is exposed to key constitutional principles, common law, statutes, and regulations that govern the administration of environmental law. The course then examines the history, development, sources and principles of international environmental law and review the role of relevant international organizations in the context of environmental protection. Other key international issues including atmospheric protection, climate change and trans-boundary water are examined in the context of US and international environmental law. This course provides the foundation by covering the “fundamentals” of environmental laws.
EMAP-505 Occupational and Environmental Toxicology addresses the manner in which human exposures to chemicals in the workplace and the environment result in adverse health outcomes. The course uses both an organ systems approach and an exposure/outcome approach and addresses absorption, toxicokinetics, common target organs, the pathophysiology of common occupational/environmental diseases, criteria and methods of diagnosis, use of epidemiologic information, prevention, and research questions related to particular disease entities. As a graduate-level course, it will complement the background text with current research publications to be discussed in student and small group team presentations of current topics in toxicology. At the end of the course, students will be able to: 1. Describe the major occupational and environmental diseases, 2. Analyze exposure via absorption pathways for major groups of toxicants, 3. Evaluate the relationship between the absorbed toxicant dose and the development of adverse health outcome(s), 4. Design appropriate prevention strategies, and 5. Analyze gaps in knowledge and describe research needs based on current peer reviewed journal articles.
EMAP-511 Introduction to Chemical & Biochemical Metrology introduces the basic concepts of measurement science in the context of chemical and biochemical measurements and helps students understand and ensure the quality and reliability of measurements in the context of their advanced studies and professional careers. Appropriate tools will be introduced to enable students to parse a measurement problem, identify the critical sources of variability and bias, and develop approaches to address these using the core concepts of uncertainty, traceability, validation, and quality systems. Students will develop facility with basic measurement uncertainty calculations and the application of these calculations to traceability chains and the validation of measurement processes.
EMAP-512/513 Chemical & Biochemical Metrology Lab I & II Metrology Lab I (EMAP-512) focuses on instrumental principles and measurements, which introduces students to the operational principles of environmental instruments and methods (e.g., GC/MS/ECD/FPD, HPLC/UV/FLD, LC-MS/MS, ICP-MS). Students will use these instruments and methods to perform measurements in the laboratory setting. These include, but are not limited to, monitoring and assessing water quality, monitoring and assessing air quality, monitoring and assessing soil quality, metal speciation, and antimicrobial testing. Students will learn which instrument is appropriate for a given species, develop a proper measurement procedure, collect samples, operate the instrument, collect the data and analyze them in a metrologically correct way, and report their findings. Metrology Lab II (EMAP-513) requires students to run 10 measurements labs selected by students themselves and must be related to their research projects developed during their 10-week internships previous summer. The flow of metrology lab I to summer internship to metrology lab II to capstone project offers an integrated rigorous sequence that will maximize the students experiential learning and training in environmental metrology.
EMAP-514 Introduction to Environmental Risk Assessment and Management In this course, students learn the science of calculating public health and ecological risks associated with environmental exposures and use such assessment to estimate the risk associated with different risk management choices. For instance, preliminary risk management choices can dictate the level of precision needed in a risk assessment. More specifically, students will learn how does EPA's IRIS effort estimate reference doses and concentrations (non-cancer effects) and slope factors and unit risk estimates (cancer effects)? What constitutes a reliable study? How is the evidence from clinical, epidemiologic, animal, and computational toxicology studies combined to determine these estimates? How are the points of departure and benchmark doses used? When are appropriate default values to use in the absence of data? How are uncertainty factors determined and applied? How do other agencies, e.g., ATSDR, CA OEHHA, IARC, WHO, perform assessments? To help address the above questions, the course also includes discussion of qualitative and quantitative risk analysis models, life cycle analysis, as well as methods of evaluating the validity and reliability of risk analysis. Bayesian probability models, probabilistic risk analysis, root cause analysis and Failure Mode Analysis using decision analytical tools such as Multi-Attribute Value Models, Bayesian Probability Networks, and Decision Trees are covered. At the end of this course, students will be able to appreciate the scientific process leading to human health and ecological risk assessments.
EMAP-515/516 Advanced Environmental Policy Making Science I & II: A Study of Practical Cases This is a program's signature two-semester case-study course in which representative real-world environmental policy cases dealt with by EPA will be studied. These case studies will be used to develop skills, to illustrate problems and solutions and to stimulate discussion. Upon successful completion of this course, students will gain extensive experience on how environmental policy is developed based on best available scientific results of measurements in the real world.
EMAP-518 Summative Capstone Project with thesis This is a summative independent research course. While it is officially in the fourth semester of the program, the conception of the research topic for a given student will actually start during the in-between summer internship and right after the first semester of the year-long metrology lab course (Metrology Lab I) in which students will have learned the principles of instrumental analysis related to environmental chemical and biochemical metrology. Students are required to formulate their research topic for their upcoming capstone project based on their internship research experience. During the second semester metrology lab (the Metrology Lab II) after the summer internship, each student is required to carry out 10 metrology labs selected from the Agilent Environmental Measurements Compendium that contains ~ 250 different environmental lab measurements with only one criterion that the 10 selected have to be relevant to the thematic topic of student’s internship research. At the end of the Metrology Lab II, students will be asked to formulate a draft environmental metrology research proposal based on their past course/training experience that addresses a contemporary environmental issue in preparation for the capstone project course. Students will finalize their research proposal at the very beginning of the capstone project course, then carry through the proposed measurements, write up a summative report that will discuss their results of measurements and address the research’s relevance to policy making related to the chosen contemporary environmental issue that is the focus of students’ capstone project, and finally present their findings at the end-of-the-program symposium. The integrated courses sequence, Metrology Lab I and Advanced Policy Making Science I in the second semester, internship research experience in the in-between summer, Metrology Lab II and Advanced Policy Making Science II in the third semester and then the capstone project course in the fourth semester, will prepare students well for diving deep into independent studies of contemporary environmental issues by bringing metrology and policy aspects synergistically together to bear on those issues. Students are strongly encouraged to turn their multi-semester research into publications.