Coursemaster: Andrew Kane, Ph.D.
Department of Environmental and Global Health
(352) 273-9090; kane@ufl.edu

Office hours: Tuesday 8-10AM and by appointment
Building 1379 - Aquatic Pathobiology Laboratory

[Class Handouts] [Journal Article Reviews] [Student Presentations]


This team-taught course will provide an overview of aquatic resources including oceans, estuaries, rivers, lakes, streams and ponds, with focus on respective biotic communities and environmental health.  We will address the physical and chemical nature of water, and the hydrologic cycle in order to understand water and land usage, and effects of various types of contamination in different ecosystems.  The course will provide a taxonomic and ecological summary of aquatic biota, from algae and invertebrates to vertebrates and pathogens.  A case study approach will be used to provide resources pertaining to contaminant input, other anthropogenic activities, harmful algae, and changes in the environment such as climate change.  Biotic indices of environmental change, including application of bioindicators, will be discussed and evaluated relative to both environmental and human health.

Students are expected to be on time, and attend and participate in all classes. Each student is required to lead a critical discussion of a journal article at least once during the semester.  Each student is also required to give an oral presentation on an assigned/approved topic.  The approved topic will focus on some aspect of aquatic environmental health.  A PowerPoint “notes” presentation on the same topic will also be developed and submitted by the student as the written component of this assignment. 

Learning objectives:

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Describe the different types of aquatic environments and respective biota;
  2. Discuss outcomes, in a broad sense, of natural and anthropogenically-derived environmental change on aquatic systems;
  3. Describe sources and understand mechanisms of infection for various waterborne diseases;
  4. Describe a variety of contaminants that can enter aquatic systems and understand the mechanism by which a variety of biota may be affected;
  5. Describe the legal and regulatory framework that govern water pollution
  6. Describe biological and water quality factors that influence environmental exposure, uptake and toxicity to aquatic organisms;
  7. Critically review scientific literature pertinent to aquatic biology and environmental health; and
  8. Organize and present well-synthesized scientific discussions on topics relevant to aquatic biology and environmental health.

 Course materials:
Handouts for lectures, and other reading and review materials will be distributed via the course website (http://epi.ufl.edu/aquaticpath/waterbiology) or will be provided in class.

Course requirements and grading:
Grades will be based on class participation and discussions (10%), the critical discussion of a journal article (10%), a midterm (25%) and a final (25%) exam, and both an oral and written presentation of an assigned topic on aquatic environmental health (30%).

Topical Outline:
This outline will take into account weather conditions related to scheduled field trips and may also shift to accommodate lectures provided by the different experts contributing to the course.  Nevertheless, the tentative outline is as follows:

January 10 Introduction, policies, assignments; physical & chemical nature of water; water quality; water systems
January 17 Martin Luther King Jr. Day -  no class
January 24

Hydrogeology of watersheds, wetlands, groundwater contamination;
Overview of aquatic biota; Plants

January 31 Aquatic entomology;
Mosquito- and other vectorborne diseases;
February 7 Fish diversity, anatomy & adaptations;
Aquatic stress and pathology
February 14 Scientific communications; Review of oral & written presentation assignment;
Introduction to aquatic toxicology
February 21 Field trip: Natural Area Teaching Lab
February 28 Endocrine distruption; MIDTERM EXAM
March 7 Spring break-no class
March 14 Toxicity of metals & pesticides
March 21 Biomarkers; Aquatic microbiology
March 28 Environmental vibrios;
Student journal article presentations
April 4 Aquatic vertebrates
April 11 Epidemiology case studies; Aquatic microbiology case studies
April 18 Student final presentations

FINAL EXAM will take place during finals week: April 25th, in the classroom - regular class meeting time.

Class handouts

Physical and chemical aspects of water:
Water Quality Factors (Dr. Andy Kane)

Water Resource Sustainability, Groundwater Hydrology & Contamination
(1/24/11 class PPT presentation, Dr. Jim Jawitz)

Reading Assignment for 1/24/11: Florida Waters (ED Purnam 2002), pages 49-62.

Who's who in the water:
Algae, Vascular plants and HABs
(class PPT presentation, Dr. Andy Kane)
Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning
(ref link)
888Cyanobacteria (ref link)
888Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (ref link)
888Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisioning (ref link)
888Paralytic Shellfish Poisioning (ref link)
888Marine Toxins FAQs (link to CDC)
888Microcystin blooms: a global public health problem (de Figueiredo et al. 2004 - pdf)
888Pseudo-nitzschia blooms along California coast affect marine life (link to NOAA)
888Dinoflagellate neurotoxins: a review (Wang 2008 - pdf)

Taxonomy and Ecology of Aquatic Insects (Dr. Jim Cuda)
Insects and other arthropods that feed on aquatic and wetland plants
General info on North American aquatic insects
Biology and control of aquatic plants

Water-borne Insect Vectors of Disease (Dr. Bernard Okech)
Reading: Surveillance of mosquito breeing habitats

Fish Diversity, Adaptations and Physiology (Dr. Andy Kane)
Support materials: FishGuts website

Aquatic Stressors and Pathology (Dr. Andy Kane)
Support materials: Zodrow et al. 2004 and Fournie et al. 2001

Scientific Communications (Dr. Andy Kane)

Introduction to Environmental Toxicology (Dr. Andy Kane)

Toxicology of Metals (Dr. David Barber)

Toxicology of Pesticides (Dr. David Barber)

Biomarkers (Dr. David Barber)

Aquatic Birds (Dr. Marilyn Spalding)

Aquatic Mammals (Alex Costidis)

Ecology in Impacted Florida Ecosystems (Dr. Don Behringer)

Student Presentations / Contributions:

Sewage Effluents and Runoff in Haiti: Ecosystem Hazards in Port-au-Prince Bay (Marie Pascale St Martin Francois)

Biological Treatment: Applications in Wastewater, Drinking Water and Groundwater Remedation (Stephanie Ishii)

Mycobacterial Disease in Striped Bass (Soojin Jeon)

Enteric Viruses in Recreational Waters (Marianne Fatica)








Journal article review assignments

The journal articles, to be linked below, will be assigned for all in the class to read. All should read and be prepared to participate in discussion. Students will be assigned to present each of the respective articles and will lead the discussion on their articles. Presentations should include background relating to the published article, including a problem statement(s), the expertise of the author(s), the research approach and the methods used, research findings (data summary) and conclusions drawn by the author(s). Presentations should also provide comments relevant to the merits or any questions regarding the research (reference to additional/outside reference materials may be required). Use of PowerPoint to provide visuals from the article or from other references is encouraged, as needed. The formal portion of the presentation should last approximately 20 minutes. After the presentation, the presenter will entertain questions and discussion from the class.

Contamination of drinking-water by arsenic
in Bangladesh: A public health emergency (Smith et al. 2000). Need to also discuss arsenic in Florida and other parts of the world.
March 28, 2011
Climate change and human health: present and future risks (McMichael et al. 2006), (Rose et al. 2001) and (Epstein 2005)
March 28, 2011
Waterborne outbreaks (Yoder et al. 2010), (McKenzie et al. 1994) and (Craun et al. 2010)
March 28, 2011
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Report to the President from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling (Graham et al. 2011) Read Foreward and chapter 6 for discussion (although the entire document has relevance)
March 28, 2011


Student Presentations

Students will choose topics germane to water biology and public health to present to the class. The content development of these presentations is in important part of the course, and complement lectures and discussions lead by Dr. Kane and guest lecturers with expertise in a variety of related disciplines. This assignment also provides an important opportunity to develop well-organized scientific presentations. Please refer to the handout on Scientific Communications for a review of our class discussion on developing PowerPoint-aided presentations.

Gameplan: Presentations are expected to take 25-30 minutes, with no more than 20 minutes for the formal presentation and 5-10 minutes for class questions and discussion. Please take advantage of the full time slot without going over the time limit. Students are expected to provide an emailed draft of their presentation a minimum of two weeks prior to their presentation date for review and comments. Students will make appointments to go over the draft materials in person with Dr. Kane. Additional time slots may be required and/or requested, so please provide the draft material as soon as possible. Remember that a notable percentage of the course grade is based on these presentations (both the class presentation as well as the PowerPoint "notes" version).

Statement of University’s Honesty Policy (cheating and use of copyrighted materials):
All students are expected to abide by the University of Florida’s honor code and code of conduct. Cheating, lying, misrepresentation, or plagiarism in any form is unacceptable and inexcusable behavior, Information pertaining to these codes can be viewed via the two website below, respectively:

Policy related to class attendance, make-up exams and other work:
Students are expected to attend and be prepared to participate in all class sessions.  Personal issues with respect to class attendance or fulfillment of course requirements will be handled on an individual basis.

Statement Related to Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
If you require classroom accommodation because of a disability, you must first register with the Dean of Students Office (http://oss.ufl.edu/). The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to you, which you then give to the instructor when requesting accommodation. The College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to assist students in their coursework.

Counseling and Student Health
Students may occasionally have personal issues that arise in the course of pursuing higher education or that may interfere with their academic performance. If you find yourself facing problems affecting your coursework, you are encouraged to talk with an instructor and to seek confidential assistance at the University of Florida Counseling Center, 352-392-1575, or Student Mental Health Services, 352-392-1171. Visit their web sites for more information: http://www.counsel.ufl.edu/ or http://www.health.ufl.edu/shcc/smhs/index.htm#urgent

The Student Health Care Center at Shands is a satellite clinic of the main Student Health Care Center located on Fletcher Drive on campus. Student Health at Shands offers a variety of clinical services, including primary care, women's health care, immunizations, mental health care, and pharmacy services.  The clinic is located on the second floor of the Dental Tower in the Health Science Center.  For more information, contact the clinic at 392-0627 or check out the web site at: www.health.ufl.edu/shcc

Crisis intervention is always available 24/7 from:
Alachua County Crisis Center: (352) 264-6789.

BUT – Do not wait until you reach a crisis to speak with a councelor.  Councelors have helped many students through stressful situations impacting their academic performance.  You are not alone so do not be afraid to ask for assistance

[College of Public Health and Health Professions]
[Emerging Pathogens Institute]
[Aquatic Pathobiology Laboratory]