Research Nutrition/Pollution

Subject Name: 
Natural Science
Course Number: 
Hampshire College
The focus of this research course is on understanding nutrition, pollution and related problems via the chemical analysis of calcified tissues: dentine and especially enamel. Tooth enamel calcifies during the prenatal period and the first decade of life and is them essentially inert. Thus, enamel's chemical composition may reflect conditions during early development. Because enamel and dentine grow somewhat like trees (they also have growth rings!), one may use them as a mirror facing back in time. We are at the right moment to pursue this research because of recent developments in chemical instrumentation. We will look at other biological tissues that can provide evidence about pollution and nutritional information. In this research course we will intensively use our inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) and laser ablation (LA)-ICP-MS. The first part of this course will consist of an introduction to analytical techniques, elemental imaging techniques, the development and chemistry of hard tissues, and problems of metal pollution and elemental nutrition in the past and present. Some of the specific research questions we expect to address include how well enamel chemistry reflects diets and pollution exposure at the time of development. The main purpose of this course is to involve students in research. Thus, students will also almost immediately begin to work in small groups on a project such as those mentioned above. Prerequisite: Chemistry I & II, Nutritional Anthropology, Skeletal Biology or instructor permission required.
Independent Work Writing and Research Quantitative Skills Prerequisite: Chemistry I and II, Nutritional Anthropology, Skeletal Biology or instructor permission. In this course students are generally expected to spend at least six to eight hours a week of preparation and work outside of class time.
Linked Course: 
Multiple required components--lab and/or discussion section. To register, submit requests for all components simultaneously.
Linked Course Comments: 
This course has unspecified prerequisite(s) - please see the instructor.
Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Link to Campus Courses
Schedule #: 

Course Sections

Research Nutrition/Pollution
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
1 4.0 Alan Goodman;Dulasiri Amarasiriwardena; 12:30PM-01:50PM T,TH;02:00PM-05:00PM TH;02:00PM-05:00PM TH Cole Science Center 101;Cole Science Center 2-CHEM;Cole Science Center 110