AP Environmental Science Syllabus

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1 Course Overview The following AP Environmental Science Syllabus will comply with all of the requirements and specifications provided by College Board aimed at preparing students for the AP exam given in May of the 2 nd semester of the school year. The information here is provided to give a good overview as to the basic structure of the course, high-level timeline, primary labs and other miscellaneous activities, such as field trips, all intended to prepare the student for further studies in Environmental Science and success on the AP exam. Our school schedule is an 8-day rotating schedule where each class meets 7 out of the 8 days. While class durations vary slightly, classes average 45 minutes in length. Classes begin the week before Labor Day and end in early June. Class time that remains after the AP exams will be spent covering topics such as relativity and other current and in the news topics of specific interest to the students. Textbook G. Tyler Miller Living In The Environment, 16th Edition Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. Textbook/Supplies 3 ring binder (with lined notebook paper & graph paper), with dividers for Lectures, Exams/Quizzes, Assignments and Labs/Projects Protractor, ruler, mechanical pencil & eraser Grading Policy Exams/Quizzes 60% Assignments 20% Labs/Projects 20% 100% Class Policies 1. Defintions: a. Exam: Will typically be 3-5 per quarter and will cover a major topic (several lessons). Exams will be weighted 2 times a quiz. b. Quiz: Will typically cover a lesson. Numerous quizzes per quarter. c. Deliverable: ANYTHING that is to be turned in or shown. It can be something that s to be done outside of class or in class. d. Assignments: can be homework, such as questions at the end of each chapter, inclass questions. Assignments will be weighted based on degree of difficulty. 1

2 e. Labs/Projects: These are any labs whether they be in or out of class as well as any projects assigned during the year. Labs and projects will be weighted accordingly. f. Due Date: All due dates are defined as when you walk INTO class that day. Most deliverables will have due dates that do indeed fall on a day when you have class. If a due date does not fall on a day when your class is to meet the due date is defined as before classes start that day! 2. Exams/Labs will be given/performed primarily on A-N-H-E-R-S days. 3. Missed exams MUST be made up as soon as possible, ideally within 2 school days. Exams/quizzes cannot be made up during class it MUST be made up either before or after school or during study halls. Each case will be handled individually. 4. Missed exams made up within the 48 hour time frame will be comparable to the missed exam. Exams made up after the 48 hour time frame will be unique to that student and that topic. 5. Missed quizzes will follow the same rules as missed exams. Students will be permitted to miss one quiz per quarter that otherwise would have been required. 6. Late deliverables will be graded as follows: a. No late deliverable will receive full credit. b. 48 hours late and/or the next exam on that topic: one letter grade lower. Example: you turn in a 50 point homework assignment after school the day it was due and your class met 4 th period that same day; it s graded and you receive 45/50 which, if it had been on time, would be entered in the gradebook as a 90. Since it was 48 hours late it is entered as an 80. c. More than 48 hours late and/or before the next exam on that topic: 2 letter grades lower. d. After the next exam, no credit will be given for that deliverable! It goes in the gradebook as a #2 pencils are required for use on many exams/quizzes as there will be Scantrons. If you prefer to use pens for all other work here s the deal. Since you can t erase you must practice the following rules. If you make a mistake simply draw a line thru the mistake in question. Do not scribble all over the mistake in a vain attempt to make the mistake invisible. 8. What to bring everyday to class: Class notebook & pencils, pens. 2

3 Course Outline The course is divided into 7 major units which are then further subdivided into a number of lessons. Each lesson is designed to be taught within the school 8-day rotating schedule. Time estimates for each topic and lesson include time spent on labs, quizzes and exams. 1 st Semester Unit 1: Introduction To Environmental Science (15 days) Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Introduction to Environmental Science: Environmental problems & sustainability (Chapter 1) Science, Ecological Principles and Sustainability: Scientific method, chemistry review, energy forms, Laws of Matter, Laws of Energy, Systems (Chapter 2) Unit 2: The Living World (25 days) Lesson 3 Introduction to Ecology: Ecology, ecosystems, energy flow & matter cycling (Chapter 3) Lesson 4 Biodiversity & Evolution: Origins, niches, adaptation, speciation & biodiversity (Chapter 4) Lesson 5 Biogeography: Climate, biomes & terrestrial biodiversity (Chapter 5/7) Lesson 6 Aquatic Ecology: Biodiversity, aquatic systems, coral reefs & the Chesapeake Bay (Chapter 8) Unit 3: Population & Conservation Biology (20 days) Lesson 7 Community Ecology: Structure, species interactions & succession (Chapter 9) Lesson 8 Sustaining Biodiversity: Growth, demography & extinction (Chapter 11) Lesson 9 Human Population and Its Impact: Population dynamics, carrying capacity, age structure & conservation biology (Chapter 6) Unit 4: Land & Water Use, Earth Systems & Resources (35 days) Lesson 10 Terrestrial Resources: Deforestation, forest & grassland sustainability, land use (Chapter 10) 3

4 Lesson 11 Water Resources: Sustainability, fisheries, wetlands, groundwater, water purification, flooding, water use (Chapter 13) Lesson 12 Food Resources: Food management, soil management, pest management (Chapter 12) Lesson 13 Geology Resources: Geological processes, tectonic plates, mining, nonrenewable resources (Chapter 14) 2nd Semester Unit 5: Energy (10 days) Lesson 14 Non-renewable/Renewable Resources: Energy sources, oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, energy efficiency, water, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydrogen energy, energy consumption (Chapter 15/16) Unit 6: Environmental Quality & Pollution (50 days) Lesson 15 Risk, Toxicology & Human Health: Biological hazards, chemical hazards, risk (Chapter 17) Lesson 16 Air Pollution: Atmospheric science, pollution, acid deposition (Chapter 18) Lesson 17 Climate Change & Ozone Depletion: Temperature and climate, predictions, ozone (Chapter 19) Lesson 18 Water Pollution: Cause and effects of water, streams and lakes, drinking water, oceans (Chapter 20) Lesson 19 Solid & Hazardous Waste: Solid waste, hazardous waste, reusing and recycling, burning and burying solid waste, low-waste society (Chapter 21) Lesson 20 Sustaining Wild and Terrestrial Biodiversity: Economic systems and the biosphere, valuing natural capital, dealing with environmental problems (Chapter 22) Unit 7: Sustaining Human Societies (20 days) Lesson 21 Labs and Field Trips Sustainable Future: population trends in urban areas, resources and problems, transportation, role of government, environmental policy, global environmental security (Chapter 23/24/25) Labs and field trips are an integral part of the curriculum and will be performed in concert with the lecture portion of the course. Many of the labs will begin with a teacher-led demonstration followed by the student executing the lab in a hands-on manner. All labs will result in a lab report of some form. Approximately 6 of the labs will result in a formal lab report being developed by the students. 4

5 In addition to hands-on labs and field trips throughout the year students will be assigned on-line simulations to interact with to enhance the lecture portion of learning. The following is a list of proposed labs to be performed during the year. 1) Tragedy of the Commons 2) What is Energy? 3) Mini-Project: Design Your Own Experiment 4) Battle of the Beaks 5) Learning to Use a Field Guide 6) Using Forestry Tools 7) Depth Profile & Compensation Point 8) Water Quality Test 9) Capture & Release 10) S & J Curves, predator-prey relationships 11) Ecological Footprint 12) Chesapeake Bay ( field trip) 13) Making An Age Pyramid 14) Exploring Groundwater Contamination 15) Human Carrying Capacity 16) Grocery Store 17) Tectonic Plates Simulation 18) Cookie Mining & Reclamation Simulation 19) Black Lung Disease 20) Hydrogen Car, windmill, solar cooker (Demonstration) 21) Detecting Ozone 22) Waste Water Treatment Plant ( field trip) 23) School Energy Audit 24) Google Earth & Environmental Science 25) Hurricane/Storm Tracking & Prediction 26) Class Community Service (to be determined each year based on current needs) 5

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