Kristopher McNeill: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2016

Name Prof. Dr. Kristopher McNeill
FieldEnvironmental Chemistry
I. f. Biogeochemie/Schadstoffdyn.
ETH Zürich, CHN F 31.2
Universitätstrasse 16
8092 Zürich
Award: The Golden Owl
Telephone+41 44 632 47 55
DepartmentEnvironmental Systems Science
RelationshipFull Professor

701-0201-00LIntroduction to Environmental Organic Chemistry5 credits4GM. Sander, K. McNeill
AbstractThis course presents significant organic environmental pollutants and the physical-chemical bases required to understand their environmental behavior, and deepens this knowledge through exercises. The most important analytical methods for the qualitative and quantitative determination of organic pollutants in environmental samples are discussed.
ObjectiveThe students are able to
- name and recognise the most important classes of environmentally-relevant anthropogenic chemicals.
- explain, on the basis of physical-chemical foundations, the most important processes which determine the environmental behavior of organic pollutants.
- name fundamental methods of trace analysis of organic pollutants in environmental sampling.
- propose experimental methods for determining substance-specific properties.
- identify, on the basis of chemical structure, the processes relevant for the environmental behavior of a compound.
- critically evaluate published work and data.
Content- Overview of the most important classes of environmental organic pollutants
- Molecular interactions that determine the partitioning behavior (adsorption and absorption processes) of organic compounds between different environmental compartments (gas,liquid,solid)
- Physical-chemical properties (vapor pressure, aqueous solubility, air-water partition constant, organic solvent-water partition constants, etc) and partitioning behavior of organic compounds between environmentally relevant phases (air, aerosols, soil, water, biota)
- Basics of trace analytical methods to determine organic componds (enrichment techniques, separation (chromatography), detection)
- Chemical transformation reactions of organic pollutants in aquatic and in terrestrial systems (reactions with nucleophiles incl. hydrolysis, elimination, addition)
Lecture notesScript will be distributed
LiteratureSchwarzenbach, R.P., P.M. Gschwend, and D.M. Imboden.
Environmental Organic Chemistry. 2nd Ed. Wiley, New York, 1313 p.(2003)

Goss, K.U. and Schwarzenbach, R.P. (2003). "Rules of thumb for assessing equilibrium partitioning of organic compounds-success and pitfalls", Journal of Chemical Education, 80, 4, 450-455.
Prerequisites / NoticeDie Lehrveranstaltung richtet sich nicht nur an jene Studierenden, welche sich später chemisch vertiefen wollen, sondern ausdrücklich auch an alle jene, welche sich mit der Problematik von organischen Schadstoffen in der Umwelt vertraut machen wollen, um dieses Wissen in anderen Vertiefungen anzuwenden
701-0225-00LOrganic Chemistry2 credits2VK. McNeill
AbstractIntroduction to Isomerism.
Reaction mechanisms in organic chemistry (substitutions, additions, eliminations condensations)
Biosynthesis of Terpenes.
ObjectiveThe students are able to differentiate between structural and stereoisomers.
The students know the basic reaction mechanisms in organic chemistry. They are able to understand and formulate simple biochemical rections.
They know the basics of the biosynthesis of terpenes.
ContentIsomerism (structural isomers, stereoisomers).
Descriptive chemistry of natural products (glycerides, peptides, saccharides).
Reaction mechanisms (substitutions, additions, eliminations, condensations).
The citric acid cycle, the gloxylate cycle.
Biosynthesis of terpenes.
LiteratureCarsten Schmuck, Basisbuch Organische Chemie, Pearson
Prerequisites / NoticeDer Stoff der Basischemie wird vorausgesetzt.
701-1302-00LTerm Paper 2: Seminar
Prerequisite: Term Paper 1: Writing (701-1303-00L).
2 credits1SM. H. Schroth, N. Gruber, J. Hering, R. Kretzschmar, M.  Lever, K. McNeill, D. Or, B. Wehrli, L. Winkel
AbstractThis class is the 2nd part of a series and participation is conditional on the successful completion of the Term paper Writing class (701-1303-00L). The results from the term paper written during the winter term are presented to the other students and advisors and discussed.
ObjectiveThe goal of the term paper Seminars is to train the student's ability to communicate the results to a wider audience and the ability to respond to questions and comments.
ContentEach student presents the results of the term paper to the other students and advisors and responds to questions and comments from the audience.
Lecture notesNone
LiteratureTerm paper
Prerequisites / NoticeThe term papers will be made publically available after each student had the opportunity to make revisions.

There is no final exam. Grade is assigned based on the quality of the presentation and ensuing discussion.
701-1303-00LTerm Paper 1: Writing Restricted registration - show details 5 credits6AM. H. Schroth, N. Gruber, J. Hering, R. Kretzschmar, M.  Lever, K. McNeill, D. Or, B. Wehrli, L. Winkel
AbstractThe ability to critically evaluate original (scientific) literature and to summarize the information in a succinct manner is an important skill for any student. This course aims to practise this ability, requiring each student to write a term paper on a topic of relevance for research in the areas of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics.
ObjectiveThe goal of the term paper is to train the student's ability to
critically evaluate a well-defined set of research subjects, and to
summarize the findings concisely in a paper of scientific quality. The
paper will be evaluated based on its ability to communicate an
understanding of a topic, and to identify key outstanding questions.
Results from this term paper will be presented to the fellow students and
involved faculty in the following term (Term paper seminars class)
ContentEach student is expected to write a paper with a length of approximately 15 pages. The students can choose from a list of topics prepared by the supervisors, but the final topic will be determined based on a balance of choice and availability. The students will be guided and advised by their advisors throughout the term. The paper itself should contain the following elements: Motivation and context of the given topic (25%), Concise presentation of the state of the science (50%), Identification of open questions and perhaps outline of opportunities for research (25).
In addition, the accurate use of citations, attribution of ideas, and the judicious use of figures, tables, equations and references are critical components of a successful paper. Specialized knowledge is not expected, nor required, neither is new research.
Lecture notesGuidelines and supplementary material will be handed out at the beginning of the class.
LiteratureWill be identified based on the chosen topic.
Prerequisites / NoticeEach term paper will be reviewed by one fellow student and one faculty. The submission of a written review is a prerequisite for obtaining the credit points.
There is no final exam. Grade is assigned based on the quality of the term paper and the submission of another student's review.

Students are expected to take Term Paper Writing and Term Paper Seminar classes in sequence.
701-1701-00LHuman Health, Nutrition and Environment: Term Paper Restricted registration - show details
Only for students of the Major Human Health, Nutrition and Environment.
6 credits13AJ. Nuessli Guth, T. Julian, K. McNeill, M. B. Zimmermann
AbstractWriting of a review paper of scientific quality on a topic in the domain of Human Health, Nutrition and Environment based on critical evaluation of scientific literature.
Objective- Acquisition of knowledge in the field of the review paper
- Assessment of original literature as well as synthesis and analysis of the findings
- Practising of academic writing in English
- Giving an oral presentation with discussion on the topic of the review paper
ContentTopics are offered in the domains of the major 'Human Health, Nutrition and Environment' covering 'Public Health', 'Infectious Diseases', 'Nutrition and Health' and 'Environment and Health'.
Lecture notesGuidelines will be handed out in the beginning.
LiteratureLiterature will be identified based on the topic chosen.