This unit gives students a basis for assessing the state of, and human impacts on, various environments. Students learn the different types of pollutants that enter the environment and transport pathways to environmental and human receptors, as well as the potential for attenuation to occur. Natural and agricultural catchments, urban land, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and air quality are discussed. Through case studies, guest lectures from environmental practitioners and a field trip, students will learn the fundamental processes affecting pollutant fate in different environments. Students will also work with practical aspects of environmental quality assessment, including design of sampling programs, analysis of samples, management of data and application of statistical methods for testing hypotheses. The course will result in both a solid grounding in the fundamental controls on pollutant mobility vs attenuation and the practical skills to gather and interpret site-specific data. The result will be a strong basis for formulating conceptual site models, which in turn is key for assessing environmental risk and environmental management.