AP Environmental Science Course Policies and Requirements

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1 AP Environmental Science Course Policies and Requirements Mr. R.B. Conlan Office: 928 Classroom: This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Environmental Science exam administered in May by the College Board. Due to the quantity of material in the course and the depth to which it must be covered, the course will move quickly. Inasmuch, it is imperative that each student recognizes and understands that she/he is making a significant commitment in terms of time. AP Environmental Science the equivalent of a one-semester introductory college course in environmental science that includes laboratory and field study components. The course is designed to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems, both natural and man-made, to evaluate the risks associated with these problems and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Important: As a GHS student in an AP science course, the departmental expectation is that you WILL take the AP Examination in May. Gmail account. All documents shared with teachers must occur via a student s school-provided Google Docs account. As a reminder, the school-provided student Gmail/Google Docs account format is: GHS Honor Code: The Honor Code is in the Student Planner and I fully expect that students will abide by it. General Information: Textbook: Living In The Environment, Miller, G. Tyler, Jr., 15 th edition. Thomson- Brooks-Cole Publishers, Your textbook offers a resource site with chapter objectives, practice quizzes, vocabulary lists and internet resource links to enhance your reading and understanding: Required Class Materials

2 3" 3-ring binder; You may use a spiral notebook as long as you have a binder in which to keep handouts and returned work. Only loose-leaf paper will be accepted for assignments that are handwritten and collected. It is recommended that you obtain dividers for your notebook so that returned items can be categorized and organized more efficiently. Pens, pencils & paper for binder Scientific calculator available for every class Textbook: not needed for class work; you may leave it at home unless directed otherwise. Access to the internet, MS Word, MS Excel on a regular basis. Course Requirements: Class attendance is critical for success in this course. Independent reading of the assigned material. Completion of all assignments and activities. Tests, quizzes and exams will be taken when scheduled. Laboratory and fieldwork must strictly adhere to safety standards. Team work and collaborative problem solving is encouraged. Complete a midterm and comprehensive 4 th quarter exam. Internet and Online Use: Homework and other classroom related information will be posted and updated daily. Tests, quizzes, lab work, etc, will be posted to the website. The homework calendar will specify the assignments for the upcoming week. You will be required to use the internet extensively to supplement text assignments as well as to do research, access articles, etc. Field Trips and Outdoor Activities: On days when we venture outdoors, appropriate attire and footwear is required; sneakers or closed shoes, long pants and appropriate outerwear. The campus has lots of poison ivy and stinging nettles. If you come to class inappropriately attired for the day, you will be assigned to the Learning Center and will lose credit for the activity. You will not be allowed to go to your car to get your things; everything should be with you before we go outside. Grading: Each quarter, grades will be calculated according to the following guidelines: Tests: will be averaged and will comprise 60% of the quarter grade. Participation in Class Activities: will comprise 40% of the quarter grade. Categories of grades that will be included here are: o Labs o Projects o Current event reports o Quizzes 2

3 o Collaborative assignments o Attendance (including tardiness): excessive absences and tardiness will affect your final quarter grade. Exams: Midterm and Final exams are each 10% of the final year end grade. 3

4 Due Dates: Work is DUE on the date assigned. If you are absent (assuming it is excused), the work that is due is acceptable the next day without penalty. Otherwise, LATE WORK WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED under any circumstances. Test Makeup due to Absence: If you are absent for any test or quiz, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to make up the test, according to GHS policy (within 2 days for each day absent). You must make an appointment with me upon your return to school. Communication with me is YOUR responsibility. Any tests not made up within 4 days of the original test date, will not be allowed to be made up and will be given a grade of F (50%) Website: The website will be updated everyday to keep the class current. If you are absent, it is a resource for you to be able to stay on top of what we're doing in class. Attendance Policy: The new schoolwide attendance policy will be strictly enforced in this class. You will have a MAXIMUM of three (3) additional minutes to get to class after the bell has rung. Failure to be IN class at the three minute mark will result in a tardy. Electronic Devices: Not only are cell phones, ipods, headphones of any type, etc. are not allowed to be on during class, I don't even want to see them including before or after class. Loss of credit on the daily assignment will result for failure to comply with his rule. Food, Water, Drinks: Room 928 is an active environmental science laboratory and inasmuch, food, water and drinks of any kind are not permitted. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in a loss of credit on the daily assignment. As stated above, APES is a college level course in which the primary form of instruction will be lecture followed by a class discussion. You may expect a minimum of two to three full-period tests per quarter. While you will not have written homework every night, you will have homework every night.. Lab work and lab reports and the importance thereof speak for themselves and they comprise an integral portion of the AP exam in May. I consider reading outside of class to be a fundamental aspect of the course. When assigned, it is important that you remain current by reading and understanding of the material. Conduct, Rules and Expectations: First and foremost, I expect you to get to class on time. Tardy is defined as anything beyond passing time plus three minutes. Tardiness of >15 minutes will result in a cut. Students are expected to behave in a manner that is consistent with the expectations of a student attending GHS, as delineated in the student handbook. There is no place for inappropriate behavior in class, especially during laboratory sessions where the risk of personal injury or 4

5 damage to equipment is greatest. Misbehavior during lab will result in immediate removal from class and will be dealt with severely. 5

6 Studying: Suffice it to say, AP Environmental Science is an information intensive subject best studied by daily review of the areas and topics covered in class. You are encouraged to work with your fellow classmates when appropriate, as they are one of your best resources for information and feedback. Of course, any and all work you ultimately submit to be graded must be your own. Plagiarism and cheating are serious offences and will be dealt with according to GHS policy. Extra-Help: Extra-help sessions may be scheduled either before or after school by speaking with me in advance. My schedule is posted in several places: on the APES website, and outside of the APES lab (928). Be sure to speak with me or inquire via about scheduling an appointment for extra-help. Inasmuch as meetings and other commitments also fill my schedule, don't wait until the last minute... plan ahead. It is your responsibility to seek extra-help when needed. AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE COURSE DESCRIPTION Save this sheet! It will be helpful when you begin to review for the exam. The course, is organized by the College Board, into three broad topic areas. The percentages given in the outline below reflect the emphasis placed on that topic on the exam. Topic Outline The following outline of major topics serves to describe the scope of the AP Environmental Science course and exam. The Development Committee has reorganized the outline in order to better present the course content in terms of major concept areas. However, it is important to note that this reorganized outline does NOT represent a change in the content of the course or the exam. The order of topics in the outline holds no special significance, since there are many different sequences in which the topics can be appropriately addressed in the course. The percentage after each topic heading shows the approximate proportion of the multiple-choice questions on the exam that pertain to that heading; thus the percentage also indicates the relative emphasis that should be placed on the topics in the course. I. Earth Systems and Resources (10 15%) A. Earth Science Concepts (Geologic time scale; plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanism; seasons; solar intensity and latitude) B. The Atmosphere (Composition; structure; weather and climate; atmospheric circulation and the Coriolis Effect; atmosphere-ocean interactions; ENSO) 6

7 C. Gobal Water Resources and Use (Freshwater/Saltwater; ocean circulation; agricultural, industrial, and domestic use; surface and groundwater issues; global problems; conservation) 7

8 D. Soil and Soil Dynamics (Rock cycle; formation; composition; physical and chemical properties; main soil types erosion and other soil problems; soil conservation) II. The Living World (10 15%) A. Ecosystem Structure (Biological populations and communities; ecological niches; interactions among species; keystone species; species diversity and edge effects; major terrestrial and aquatic biomes) B. Energy Flow (Photosynthesis and cellular respiration; food webs and trophic levels; ecological pyramids) C. Ecosystem Diversity (Biodiversity; natural selection; evolution; ecosystem services) D. Natural Ecosystem Change (Climate shifts; species movement; ecological succession) E. Natural Biogeochemical Cycles (Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, water, conservation of matter) III. Population (10 15%) A. Population Biology Concepts (Population ecology; carrying capacity; reproductive strategies; survivorship) B. Human Population 1. Human population dynamics (Historical population sizes; distribution; fertility rates; growth rates and doubling times; demographic transition; age-structure diagrams) 2. Population size (Strategies for sustainability; case studies; national policies) 3. Impacts of population growth (Hunger; disease; economic effects; resource use; habitat destruction) 8

9 IV. Land and Water Use (10 15%) A. Agriculture 1. Feeding a growing population (Human nutritional requirements; types of agriculture; Green Revolution; genetic engineering and crop production; deforestation; irrigation; sustainable agriculture) 2. Controlling pests (Types of pesticides; costs and benefits of pesticide use; integrated pest management; relevant laws) B. Forestry (Tree plantations; old growth forests; forest fires; forest management; national forests) C. Rangelands (Overgrazing; deforestation; desertification; rangeland management; federal rangelands) D. Other Land Use 1. Urban land development (Planned development; suburban sprawl; urbanization) 2. Transportation infrastructure (Federal highway system; canals and channels; roadless areas; ecosystem impacts) 3. Public and federal lands (Management; wilderness areas; national parks; wildlife refuges; forests; wetlands) 4. Land conservation options (Preservation; remediation; mitigation; restoration) E. Mining (Mineral formation; extraction; global reserves; relevant laws and treaties) F. Fishing (Fishing techniques; overfishing; aquaculture; relevant laws and treaties) G. Global Economics (Globalization; World Bank; Tragedy of the Commons; relevant laws and treaties) 9

10 V. Energy Resources and Consumption (10 15%) A. Energy Concepts (Energy forms; power; units; conversions; Laws of Thermodynamics) B. Energy Consumption 1. History (Industrial Revolution; exponential growth; energy crisis) 2. Present global energy use 3. Future energy needs C. Fossil Fuel Resources and Use (Formation of coal, oil and natural gas; extraction/purification methods; world reserves and global demand; synfuels; environmental advantages/disadvantages of sources) D. Nuclear Energy (Nuclear fission process; nuclear fuel; electricity production; nuclear reactor types; environmental advantages/disadvantages; safety issues; radiation and human health; radioactive wastes; nuclear fusion) E. Hydroelectric Power (Dams; flood control; salmon; silting; other impacts) F. Energy Conservation (Energy efficiency; CAFÉ standards; hybrid electric vehicles; mass transit) G. Renewable Energy (Solar energy; solar electricity; hydrogen fuel cells; biomass; wind energy; smallscale hydroelectric; ocean waves and tidal energy; geothermal; environmental advantages / disadvantages) VI. Pollution (25 30%) A. Pollution Types 1. Air Pollution (Sources primary and secondary; major air pollutants; measurement units; smog; acid deposition-causes and effects; heat islands and temperature inversions; indoor air pollution; remediation and reduction strategies; Clean Air Act and other relevant laws) 2. Noise Pollution (Sources; effects; control measures) 10

11 3. Water Pollution (Types; sources; causes and effects; cultural eutrophication; ground-water pollution; maintaining water quality; water purification; sewage treatment/septic systems; Clean Water Act and other relevant laws) 4. Solid Waste (Types; disposal; reduction) B. Impacts on the Environment and Human Health 1. Hazards to human health (Environmental risk analysis; acute and chronic effects; dose-response relationships; air pollutants; smoking and other risks) 2. Hazardous chemicals in the environment (Types of hazardous waste; treatment/disposal of hazardous waste; cleanup of contaminated sites; biomagnification; relevant laws) C. Economic Impacts (Cost benefit analysis; externalities; marginal costs; sustainability) VII. Global Change (10-15%) A. Stratospheric Ozone (Formation of stratospheric ozone; ultraviolet radiation; causes of ozone depletion; effects of ozone depletion; strategies for reducing ozone depletion; relevant laws and treaties) B. Global Warming (Greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect; impacts and consequences of global warming; reducing climate change; relevant laws and treaties) C. Loss of Biodiversity 1. Habitat loss; overuse; pollution; introduced species; endangered and extinct species 2. Maintenance through conservation 3. Relevant laws and treaties 11

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