MADISON PUBLIC SCHOOLS ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

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1 MADISON PUBLIC SCHOOLS ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE Authored by: Sue Monkemeier Reviewed by: Mr. Lee S. Nittel Director of Curriculum and Instruction Mr. Tom Paterson K12 Supervisor of Science and Technology Approval Date: Fall 2012 Members of the Board of Education: Lisa Ellis, President Patrick Rowe, Vice-President Kevin Blair Thomas Haralampoudis Linda Gilbert James Novotny David Arthur Shade Grahling Superintendent: Dr. Michael Rossi Madison Public Schools 359 Woodland Road, Madison, NJ

2 I. OVERVIEW Environmental Science encompasses topics such as ecology and sustainability, population dynamics, sustaining key resources, toxicity and agriculture, resources and energy, politics and economics and atmospheric issues. The study of environmental science ranges from global to local issues. Examples of global issues include potential threats of nuclear waste or the ramifications of global warming. Several local issues include the overdevelopment of residential neighborhoods, radon, water runoff and water shortages. The study of environmental science is fascinating and extremely relevant to students since it demonstrates the impact that human beings have on their environment. This course will focus on providing students with an introduction to the topics included under the broad term environmental science. The purpose of this semester course is to provide the students with direct observations and case studies as to how humans impact our planet earth. This environmental science course will also allow for the integration of prior science concepts from biology, chemistry and physics demonstrating relevance of information and hands on application. Students will be challenged to weigh potential problems and solutions as well as predict and construct models for change. Students will gain an appreciation of how the earth is changing in response to human activity. II. RATIONALE Environmental Science provides the students the opportunity to utilize and apply their prior knowledge of biology, chemistry and economics to solve and discover issues relating to our planet earth. Topics from biology include ecology, biodiversity, speciation, and biogeochemical cycles. Acid rain, toxicity, and behavior of compounds are all concepts from chemistry. A brief introduction to economics is pursued when studying allocation of natural resources. Application of prior knowledge and the synthesis of concepts allow students to pursue related topics in more detail and with more interest. The study of environmental science allows students to question their values and actions and see how their values and actions impact the earth. Students will be able to examine their own personal use of the earth s resources and energy and determine if a change in personal behavior is warranted. The study of environmental science is motivating and inspiring since it allows the student to see relevance to their future survival within every topic. Studying environmental science allows students to become more locally and globally aware of the planet earth and its inhabitants. III. STUDENT OUTCOMES (New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards) 5.1 Science Practices: All students will understand that science is both a body of knowledge and an evidence-based, model-building enterprise that continually extends, refines, and revises knowledge. The four Science Practices strands encompass the knowledge and reasoning skills that students must acquire to be proficient in science. 5.2 Physical Science: All students will understand that physical science principles, including fundamental ideas about matter, energy, and motion, are powerful conceptual tools for making sense of phenomena in physical, living, and Earth systems science. 5.3 Life Science: All students will understand that life science principles are powerful conceptual tools for making sense of the complexity, diversity, and interconnectedness of life on Earth. Order in natural systems arises in accordance with rules that govern the physical world, and the order of natural systems can be modeled and predicted through the use of mathematics. Common Core State Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects (Grades 11-12) 1. Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.

3 2. Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms. 3. Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text. 4. Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades texts and topics. 5. Analyze how the text structures information or ideas into categories or hierarchies, demonstrating understanding of the information or ideas. 6. Analyze the author s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text, identifying important issues that remain unresolved. 7. Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem. 8. Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information. 9. Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible. 10. By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades text complexity band independently and proficiently. IV. ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS AND CONTENT Introduction to Environmental Problems, Their Causes and Sustainability a. What are seven major themes of environmental science? b. What are the necessary components for life to exist on earth? c. What is an environmentally sustainable society? d. How fast is the human population increasing and why is this important? e. What is the difference between economic growth and economic development? f. What are the earth s main types of resources? How can they be depleted or degraded? g. What are the principal types of pollution, and what can we do about pollution? h. What are the basic causes of today s environmental problems, and how are these causes connected? i. What are the harmful environmental effects of poverty and affluence? j. What major cultural changes have taken place since humans arrived? k. Is our current course sustainable? What is environmentally sustainable development? List and describe seven major themes within environmental science. Explain the components necessary to sustain life on earth. Explain what is meant by an environmentally sustainable society and give examples of potential sustainable societies. Provide a hypothetical model of an environmentally sustainable society. Explain how the rate of human population growth is determined and compare the rates of growth over the last 100 years. Determine how projected population sizes are determined. Explain why the rate of human population growth is important to the study of environmental science. Explain the difference between economic growth and economic development.

4 State a country s gross domestic product (GDP) is related to its economic growth. Explain increasing economic growth can negatively impact our environment. Compare the economic growth and economic development between developed countries and developing countries. Define the term resource and list the different perpetual resources, renewable resources, and nonrenewable resources. Explain and give examples of resources becoming depleted and degraded. List the principal types of pollution and describe possible solutions. Describe the basic causes of current environmental problems and explain how these problems are related to each other. Explain why poverty is a major threat to human health and the environment. Explain how affluenza in developing countries is contributing to environmental problems. Describe how affluence can create positive impacts on environmental quality. Describe how the agricultural revolution and the information globalization revolution have significantly increased our impact upon planet earth. Give examples of environmentally sustainable economic development and explain how each will have a positive impact on planet earth. Explain what is meant by an ecological footprint. Ecology a. What is ecology? b. What basic processes keep us and other organisms alive? c. What are the major components of an ecosystem? d. What happens to energy in an ecosystem? e. What are soils and how are they formed? f. What happens to matter in an ecosystem? g. How do scientists study ecosystems? h. How does a change in an ecosystem affect the entire ecosystem? i. What are the consequences of the destruction of the rainforests and wetlands? j. What are the major impacts of human activities on populations, communities and ecosystems? k. What factors influence and determine biome types? l. Why should humans care for endangered species? m. What lessons can we learn from ecology about living more sustainably? Define the term ecology. Explain the terms atmosphere, troposphere, stratosphere, and hydrosphere and state how they related to each other using a diagram of the earth. Explain the three interconnected factors that sustain life on earth known as: flow of high quality energy, cycling of matter or nutrients and gravity. Define and explain how the following terms are related: organism, population, community, ecosystem, biome and biosphere. Explain and give examples of biotic factors and abiotic factors. Explain what is meant by a population s range of tolerance within an ecosystem. List factors within an ecosystem that limit population growth. Define and explain how the following terms are related: producer, consumer, primary consumer, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, detritivores and decomposers. Explain how photosynthesis contributes to obtaining the energy for all organisms to survive within the biosphere.

5 Give examples of energy flow within ecosystems. Provide an overview of the biogeochemical cycles of water, carbon, and nitrogen. Give specific examples of how change(s) within an ecosystem can affect the entire ecosystem. List and explain the different models and techniques that scientists use to study ecosystems. Explain the term biome and give examples of biomes. List the different characteristics of each biome listed above. Explain the characteristics of a rainforest and given a map of the world, color in the location of the earth s major rain forests. Explain the characteristics of a wetland and given a map of the world, color in the location of the earth s major wetlands. Explain the benefits of rainforests to earth and earth s inhabitants. Explain the benefits of wetlands to earth and earth s inhabitants. Explain consequences of the destruction of rainforests and wetlands. Explain the term biodiversity and why this is important to all life on earth. Explain what is meant by an endangered species. List reasons for humans to care for endangered species. Population Dynamics a. What determines the number of species in a community? b. How can we classify species according to their roles in a community? c. How do communities respond to changes in environmental conditions? d. How do populations respond to changes in environmental conditions? e. How do species differ in their reproductive patterns? f. How do the reproductive patterns of species relate to possible survivorship? g. How is the size of our human population affected by birth, death, fertility and migration rates? h. How is size of human population affected by the percentage of males and females at each age level? i. How can the growth of human population be slowed? j. How do the size of human populations and the growth rate of human populations impact the environment? State the differences between species evenness and species richness. Explain what is meant by a community s niche structure and state how niche structure relates to diversity. Give examples of communities that have high degrees of species richness. Define and explain how the following terms are related: native, nonnative, indicator, keystone or foundation with respect to major niches. State the differences between native, nonnative, invasive and alien species. Explain the following types of species interactions: parasitism, mutualism, commensalism, interspecific competition, and predation. Explain how primary succession and secondary succession are related to ecological succession. List and describe factors that cause changes in population size and limit population growth. State how the following terms are related: carrying capacity, environmental resistance, biotic potential and intrinsic rate of resistance. State how the J-Curve and S-Curve relate to exponential and logistic population growth.

6 Compare r-selected species to K-selected species with respect to reproductive patterns and survivorship curves. Explain how human population change is calculated. Describe how birth rate, death rate, immigration rate and fertility relate to the size of human populations. Calculate the world s annual population change for any given year or range of time. List and describe factors that affect the birth and fertility rates of humans. List and describe the factors that affect the death rates of humans. Define the terms life expectancy and infant mortality rate and explain why they are useful indicators of the overall health of a particular human population. Define the term age structure and explain how the age structure of a human population relates to predicting the population growth rate of that population. Explain how each of the following would decrease the growth rate of human populations: demographic transition, family planning, education, equal rights, employment and human rights. Describe the following examples of natural capital degradation: land and biodiversity, human health, water, energy, air, climate, and economic effects. Water Issues a. Why is water so important, how much fresh water is available to us, and how much of it are we using? b. What causes freshwater shortages, and what can we do about these problems? c. What causes flooding, and what can we do about it? d. What pollutes water, where do these pollutants come from, and what effects do they have? e. What are the major water pollution problems affecting streams, lakes, and groundwater? f. What are the major water pollution problems affecting oceans? g. How can we prevent and reduce water pollution? h. How can we use the earth s water more sustainably? Describe the various stages of the hydrologic cycle and how it helps to replenish fresh water supplies. Give specific examples of the following benefits of water: helps keep organisms alive, moderates climate, removes and dilutes wastes and pollutants and sculpts the land. Define the following terms and state how they are related: surface runoff, watershed, drainage basin, reliable runoff. Describe how aquifers are recharged and how human structures on the surface can inhibit that process. Define the following terms and explain how they are related to groundwater: zone of saturation, water table, aquifer, natural recharge. State how the amount of fresh water is currently needed to sustain human life is calculated. Explain why the need for greater amounts of fresh water is increasing over time. Compare and contrast the types of water use known as consumptive use and non-consumptive use. Identify how residents, industry and agriculture use water. Explain how freshwater a limited, potentially renewable, resource is as long as it is not withdrawn faster than it is being replaced. Describe causes of freshwater scarcity. Explain the causes of flooding and provide potential solutions. Discuss ways that each of the groups of water users can conserve water.

7 Identify physical, chemical and biological factors that can affect water quality. Explain the difference between point-source and non-point-source pollution and give examples of each, Identify the major forms of water pollution, where they come from and their impact on ecosystems. Illustrate how human activities on the land impact water quality both locally and downstream. Explain some of the laws that are in place to protect water quality. Describe why cleaning groundwater is difficult to do. Analyze their own lifestyle and determine ways to reduce their impact on water resources. Explain how integrated pest management and organic food production can reduce the amount of certain water pollutants. Agriculture and Toxicity a. How is the world s food produced? b. How are green revolution and traditional methods used to raise crops? c. How are soils being degraded and eroded, and what can be done to reduce these losses? d. How much has food production increased, how serious is malnutrition, and what are the environmental effects of producing food? e. How can we increase production of crops, meat, fish and shellfish? f. How do government policies affect food production? g. How can we design and shift to more sustainable or organic agricultural systems? h. What types of hazards to people face? i. What types of disease (biological hazards) threatens people in developing countries and developed countries? j. What chemical hazards do people face and how can they be measured? k. How can risks be estimated and prevented? Describe the major ways in which the world s food is produced: croplands, rangelands, and ocean fisheries. Compare and contrast industrialized agriculture with traditional subsistence agriculture. Explain what is mean by green revolution and give specific timelines and examples. Explain the term land degradation and give specific examples. Give specific examples of soil degradation and describe ways to reduce soil loss. Describe ways in which agriculture can be sustainable through soil conservation. Explain ways in which food production can be increased without negatively impacting the environment. Give specific examples of how government policies affect food production. Give specific examples of sustainable agricultural systems. Distinguish between risk and risk assessment. Describe and give specific examples of the following hazards: cultural hazards, biological hazards, chemical hazards, physical hazards. Give specific examples of biological hazards that threaten people in developing countries. Give specific examples of biological hazards that threaten people in developed countries. State how biological hazards that threaten people can be reduced. Explain and describe the causes of the following types of chemical hazards: mutagens, teratogens and carcinogens. Explain what is meant by the term toxicity describe ways in which toxicity can be measured or estimated.

8 Explain the problems with assessing risk why humans know so little about the potential harmful affects of chemicals. Give specific examples as to how risks can be prevented or decreased. Atmosphere Issues a. What layers are found in the atmosphere? b. What are the major outdoor air pollutants, and where do they come from? c. What are two types of smog? d. What is acid deposition, and how can it be reduced? e. What are the harmful affects of air pollutants? f. How can we prevent and control air pollution? g. What is the greenhouse effect and what are its causes? h. How does air pollution potentially affect climate? i. How is the greenhouse effect related to global warming? List and describe the layers of the earth s atmosphere starting at ground level. Explain the location, composition and benefit of the ozone layer. Explain how the ozone layer is formed. Define the term air pollution and discuss the differences between primary pollutants and secondary pollutants. Distinguish between photochemical smog and industrial smog. Explain how photochemical smog and industrial smog are produced how they can be eliminated or reduced. Explain causes of air pollution by acid deposition and the effects of acid deposition on the environment. Describe how acid deposition can be reduced or eliminated. Distinguish between indoor air pollution and outdoor air pollution with respect to causes and effects on human health. List specific sources of indoor air pollution and how these sources can be eliminated or reduced. Give specific examples of governmental policies or laws that strive to prevent or reduce air pollution. Give specific solutions as to how outdoor air pollution can be reduced. Define greenhouse effect and explain how various factors affect the absorption, reflection and transmission of sunlight and heat. Identify the gases responsible for the greenhouse effect and the sources of those gases. Explain the theory of global warming. Analyze information and arguments on both sides of the global warming controversy. Predict the consequences of a warmer atmosphere. Resources and Energy a. What major geologic processes occur within the earth and on its surface? b. What are rocks, and how are they recycled by the rock cycle? c. How do we find and extract mineral resources from the earth s crust, and what harmful environmental effects result from removing and using these minerals? d. Will there be enough nonrenewable mineral resources for future generations? e. How should we evaluate energy resources?

9 f. What are the advantages and disadvantages of conventional oil, heavy oils, natural gas, coal, and conversion of coal to gaseous and liquid fuels? g. What are the advantages and disadvantages of conventional nuclear fission, breeder nuclear fission, and nuclear fusion? h. How can we improve energy efficiency and what are the advantages of doing so? i. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using renewable energy in forms such as solar energy, flowing water, wind, biomass, geothermal energy and hydrogen? j. How can we make a transition to a more sustainable energy future? List and describe earth s three major zones known as core, mantle and crust. How does the lithosphere and asthenosphere relate to plate tectonics? How does plate tectonics explain the changes in the earth s surface? Compare and contrast divergent boundaries with convergent boundaries. List geologic processes that are at the earth s surface. Explain the term weathering and give specific examples of physical, chemical and biological weathering. Distinguish between minerals and rocks. Briefly describe the properties and characteristics of igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks and explain the formation of the three different types of rocks. Distinguish between nonrenewable and renewable mineral resources. Explain how minerals are detected mined from the earth. Examine the different ways in which minerals are mined from the earth and discuss the harmful effects of each method. Explain the environmental impacts of using nonrenewable mineral resources. Describe the life cycle of a nonrenewable metal resource: smelting, melting, conversion to product, discarding of product or recycling. Explain how the potential supplies of mineral resources can be determined or calculated. Examine and explain different methods to help conserve, recycle, extract or search for new nonrenewable mineral or metal resources. List the essential questions that relate to deciding which energy resources to promote. List and describe the advantages and disadvantages of conventional oil, heavy oils, natural gas, coal, and conversion of coal to gaseous and liquid fuels. List and describe the advantages and disadvantages of conventional nuclear fission, breeder nuclear fission, and nuclear fusion. List and describe different ways to improve energy efficiency by decreasing waste, hybrid cars, fuel-cell cars, and changes in building technology. List and describe the advantages and disadvantages of using renewable energy in forms such as solar energy, flowing water, wind, biomass, geothermal energy and hydrogen. Give specific examples of how humans can move toward a more sustainable energy future. Environmental Economics, Politics, and Worldviews Essential questions: a. How do neoclassical and ecological economists differ in their view of the earth s economic systems? b. How can we monitor environmental progress? c. What economic tools can we use to shift to full-cost pricing? d. How does poverty reduce environmental quality, and how can we reduce poverty? e. How can we shift to more environmentally sustainable economies over the next few decades? f. How is environmental policy formulated in the United States? g. What are some guidelines for making environmental policy? h. What are three major environmental world views? i. How can we live more sustainably?

10 Define and state the relationship between the following terms: economic system, natural resources, natural capital, human resources, human capital, manufactured resources, and manufactured capital. Compare and contrast neoclassical economists to ecological economists with respect to their opinion of the importance of natural capital and he long-term sustainability of economic growth. List specific strategies that ecological and environmental economists have suggested to help make the transition to a more sustainable eco-economy over the next several decades. List ways that that we can monitor or assess environmental progress. Explain what is meant by the term poverty and give specific examples of how poverty reduces environmental quality. List and describe specific ways or strategies for reducing poverty which will then have a positive impact on our environment. Explain how environmental policies are formulated in the United States. List and describe specific guidelines proposed for individuals evaluating existing or proposed environmental policies. Explain the three environmental worldviews known as: planetary management, stewardship, and environmental wisdom. List and describe at least ten different ways or strategies for humans to live more sustainably. V. STRATEGIES Strategies may include but not limited to: Assigned Readings within text book Constructing Models Debates Field Trips/Field Work Group Activities and Projects Guest Speakers Handouts Individual Research Projects Lab Activities Lecture / discussion Instructional Games Online Tutorials Power Point Presentations Science Fair Projects Science League Competitions Small Group Discussions Student Presentations Study Guides Transparencies Videos and Pod Casts Webquests VI. EVALUATION Assessments may include Class Work Debates Field Work / Outdoor Learning Final Exam Homework Laboratory Work Midterm Exam Presentations Practice SAT II Quizzes

11 Research Projects Student Self Evaluation Exercises Tests VIII REQUIRED RESOURCES A. Teacher Resources Miller, G.Tyler Jr., Environmental Science Eleventh Edition, Thomson, Brooks/ Cole Learning Incorporated, United States,. Miller, G. Tyler Jr. Living in the Environment Fifteenth Edition, Thomson, Brooks/ Cole Learning Incorporated, United States,. Web Sites and Links for al.pdf

12 IX. SCOPE AND SEQUENCE Introduction to Environmental Problems, Their Causes and Sustainability Major themes of environmental science Environmentally Sustainable Society Rate of Human Population Growth Earth s main types of rewources Principal types of pollution Basic causes of today s environmental problems Effects of poverty and affluence on the environment Ecology Definition of ecology Populations, communities and ecosystems Energy pathways within ecosystems Biogeochemical Cycles Affects of changes on ecosystems Human impact on ecosystems Endangered Species Living more sustainably Number of Weeks Population Dynamics Factors that determine diversity of species Classification of species according to roles in a community Tolerance Curves Reproductive Patterns of species Survivorship Curves Age-distribution curves of human populations Factors that affect the size and growth rate of human populations Decreasing human population size in the future and reducing growth rate. Water Issues Stages of hydrologic cycle Replenishing fresh water supplies Benefits of fresh water to organisms Aquifers, watershed, reliable runoff. Sources of fresh water. Causes of fresh water scarcity Factors that affect water quality Sources and forms of water pollution Ways to reduce individual s impact on water resources Ways to reduce water pollution Agriculture and Toxicity Production of world s food. Green revolution vs. traditional methods Soil degradation and its prevention Impact of government policies on food production

13 Sustainable agricultural systems Risk and risk assessment Biological, chemical and physical hazards Reducing hazards Detecting, measuring and estimating toxicity. Atmosphere Issues Structure and composition of the atmosphere Ozone Layer Pollutants Indoor air pollution Decreasing air pollution Governmental policies Greenhouse Effect Global Warming Resources and Energy Geologic processes Extracting mineral resources Evaluating energy resources Advantages and disadvantages of nonrenewable energy resources Advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy resources. Improving energy efficiency Politics and Economics Neoclassical vs. ecological economists Monitoring and evaluating environmental progress Poverty and environmental progress Guidelines for environmental policies Formation of environmental policies Living more sustainably Total

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