This is a PowerPoint presentation for class lecture and discussion lasting one hour to one & one-half hours, depending upon the instructor and depth of coverage. As an introduction to crude oil and the environmental impacts of crude oil spills, students will learn about the chemical composition of crude oil, basic terminology used in the oil industry, the mechanics of obtaining, transporting, and refining crude oil, oil spills with a focus on the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. Coverage of marine environmental impacts is addressed with the Deepwater Horizon Disaster, focusing on the effects of oil on wildlife, fisheries, estuarine and habitat disruption. The lecture is completed with a discussion of oil spill containment, recovery and remediation.
Instructors present this lecture in a format that encourages critical thinking. By providing students with a basic understanding of the chemical components of crude oil, the students are then challenged to use this information to suggest the impact of oil on the environment and habitat disruption, on oil weathering, and the separation of crude oil components in the water column and on the bottom, i.e. tar balls.
CONTEXT FOR USE
Students should already be familiar with the principles of wildlife habitat, food chains, trophic pyramids, marine and estuarine environments. Students may have a familiarity regarding the principles of energy sources and use, or this lecture can be tailored as a lead in for future material on energy and society. This lecture was designed for freshman/sophomore college courses in environmental sciences, but may be adapted for use at other levels as well.
ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION AND TEACHING MATERIALS
The PowerPoint presentation is designed for lecturing and triggering discussion among the students.
The attached homework assignment is an example, which can easily be adapted for the setting and level of the students. This homework assignment was given to the students the week before this lecture material was covered.
The PowerPoint should be provided to the students in advance of the lecture covering this material.
This can be accomplished by either quizzes or on the exam, or both.
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
[Notes compiled from over 15 years of teaching environmental toxicology and environmental science courses.]
A PowerPoint presentation for class lecture and discussion that introduces the properties and chemical composition of crude oil and the environmental impacts of crude oil spills, with a focus on the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. PowerPoint is designed for freshman/sophomore college level introduction to environmental sciences, but is adaptable to other educational levels.