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Environment & Public Health: Chemistry and Biology Resources


Various topics presented in EPH require the comprehension and application of basic principles of the natural and physical sciences. If you plan to enroll in EPH and it has been a while since you've taken a biology or chemistry class, we highly recommend that you check out these resources prior to the start of EPH. Most of these resources came to us from the great reference librarians of Rutgers University--thank you, Librarians!




Chemistry beaker icon filled with colorful circles

Chemistry Resources



Free Tutorials and Videos

  1. Purdue Chemistry: No frills, beginner-level written explanations of chemistry principles. A good place to start to get your bearings.
  2. Khan Academy: Narrated video lessons on various chemistry principles. Also a good place to start, particularly if you learn better from listening and watching, as opposed to reading.
  3. YouTube Playlist by Hank Green: Narrated video playlist based upon the 2021 AP Chemistry curriculum. We recommend checking out #1 through #11 in particular!
  4. Carbon and Nitrogen Cycle YouTube: Simple and cute video on carbon and nitrogen cycling.
  5. ChemCollective: This is a good resource to test yourself on concepts you've already reviewed from the other resources. Includes problem sets and virtual labs. The following topics are particularly applicable to EPH:

    • Stoichiometry
    • Equilibrium
    • Acid-Base Chemistry
    • Solubility
    • Oxidation/Reduction

Free Online Books

  1. Introductory Chemistry by David Ball, Cleveland State University. This is an open textbook, freely available through the Open Textbook Library. It introduces students to basic concepts in chemistry, but without some of the depth as might be found in a general chemistry textbook, according to reviews.
  2. WikiBooks General Chemistry. An open, community created online resource, similar to Wikipedia, the online open encyclopedia. The General Chemistry WikiBook is arranged in chapters, such as Properties of Matter, Bonding, Solutions, Acids and Bases, etc.

Specific Chemistry Topics Important in EPH

  1. Carbonate Chemistry

    • Dr. Belinda Sturm, Alkalinity and Buffering lesson. This video gets a bit technical in the end, but Dr. Sturm gives some very thorough explanations of how carbonates, such as calcium carbonate act as buffering agents to the acidity of water. If you find yourself not quite able to follow along, go back to the previous resources to review reactants and products, equilibrium reactions, and acids and bases.

    • SciencePrimer, Carbonate Buffering lesson. A short video on how oceans absorb carbon dioxide, and what happens when they do.
  2. Chlorination




Bacteria viewed through microscope

Biology Resources



  1. Khan Academy Biology library. There is a plethora of high-quality, relatively short, and easy to digest written tutorials and videos here that cover a wide variety of biology topics. We recommend that you make your way through as many topics as possible, particularly the introductory units ("Intro to biology" through "Cell division"). Be sure to check out the following units after you've reviewed the introductory units:

    • Bacteria and archaea
    • Viruses
  2. Biology courses from MIT OpenCourseware. This link highlights actual biology courses from MIT where the lectures are free and accessible to the public. If you click into a course, you can view the lectures. They are all 40+ minutes long and in-depth, undergraduate-level college lectures. Get an MIT education, for free! Recommended are:

    • Introductory Biology
    • COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and the Pandemic
  3. Biology video tutorials from Sumanas, Inc.
    • These tutorials are easy to digest and cover a range of basic biology topics, but most of them require Adobe Flash player, which means they won't be accessible across all devices. Videos are short but informative. Choose whichever topics are of interest to you!

EPH 2022

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