Advanced Placement Environmental Science Syllabus (APES!

)
South Stokes High School, Mrs. T Culler
2013-2014, 4th pd, ―A Day‖
According to College Board: ―The goal of the AP Environmental
Mrs T Culler
Science course is 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
human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative
solutions for resolving or preventing them.‖
The following themes provide a foundation for the structure of the
AP Environmental Science course.
1. Science is a process.
• Science is a method of learning more about the world.
• Science constantly changes the way we understand the world.
2.
Energy conversions underlie all ecological processes.
• Energy cannot be created; it must come from somewhere.
• As energy flows through systems, at each step more of it becomes unusable.
3.
The Earth itself is one interconnected system.
• Natural systems change over time and space.
• Biogeochemical systems vary in ability to recover from disturbances.
4.
Humans alter natural systems.
• Humans have had an impact on the environment for millions of years.
• Technology and population growth have enabled humans to increase both the
rate and scale of their impact on the environment.
5.
Environmental problems have a cultural and social context.
• Understanding the role of cultural, social, and economic factors is vital to the
development of solutions.
6.
Human survival depends on developing practices that will achieve sustainable
systems.
• A suitable combination of conservation and development is required.
• Management of common resources is essential
Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry, Integrated Math I and II
Resources: Textbook: Living In The Environment, Miller , Brooks/Cole – Cengage Learning, 17th Ed,2012
Required Supplies: Lab Manuel, $10 Class Fee

Major Topics:
The percentage after each major topic heading shows the approximate proportion of 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
B.
The Atmosphere
C.
Global Water Resources and Use
D.
Soil and Soil Dynamics
II. The Living World (10–15%)
A.
Ecosystem Structure
B.
Energy Flow
C.
Ecosystem Diversity
D.
Natural Ecosystem Change
E.
Natural Biogeochemical Cycles
III. Population (10–15%)
A.
Population Biology Concepts
B.
Human Population: 1. Human population dynamics, 2. Population size 3. Impacts of population growth
IV. Land and Water Use (10–15%)
A.
Agriculture:
1. Feeding a growing population, 2. Controlling pests
B.
Forestry
C.
Rangelands
D.
Other Land Use
1. Urban land development, 2. Transportation infrastructure, 3. Public and federal lands
4. Land conservation options, 5.Sustainable land-use strategies
E.
Mining
F.
Fishing
G.
Global Economics
V. Energy Resources and Consumption (10–15%)
A.
Energy Concepts
B.
Energy Consumption:
1. History, 2.Present global energy use, 3. Future energy needs
C.
Fossil Fuel Resources and Use
D.
Nuclear Energy
E.
Hydroelectric Power
F.
Energy Conservation
G.
Renewable Energy
VI. Pollution (25–30%)
A.
Pollution Types:
1. Air pollution, 2. Noise pollution, 3. Water pollution, 4.Solid waste
B.
Impacts on the Environment and Human Health
1. Hazards to human health, 2. Hazardous chemicals in the environment
C.
Economic Impacts
VII. Global Change (10–15%)
A.
Stratospheric Ozone
B.
Global Warming
C.
Loss of Biodiversity
1. Habitat loss; overuse; pollution; introduced species; endangered and extinct species
2. Maintenance through conservation, 3.Relevant laws and treaties

Laboratory Component:
The laboratory and field investigation component of this AP Environmental Science course will challenge
your abilities to:
• critically observe environmental systems
• develop and conduct well-designed experiments
• utilize appropriate techniques and instrumentation
• analyze and interpret data, including appropriate statistical and graphical presentations
think analytically and apply concepts to the solution of environmental problems
• make conclusions and evaluate their quality and validity
• propose further questions for study
• communicate accurately and meaningfully about observations and conclusions
Tentative Course Schedule
Chapter
UNIT

1

Time

TOPIC

ACTIVITIES/LABS

Environmental
Problems &
Causes

1

2
weeks

History of
Resources
Use and
Conservation

Activity: The Lorax (Video) & Truax by
Teri Birkett
Activity: Vanishing Frog Project
(by Kathryn Phillips)
Activity: Name Droppers
Activity: Environmental Laws
Activity: Ecological Footprint
Lab: Parts per Million by Successive Dilutions
Test: Introduction and Chs1&2

2

2
weeks

2,3
Critical
Thinking/
Scientific
Method and
Models
Matter and
Flow of
Energy

3

Evolution and
Biodiversity

Lab: Net Productivity
Activity: Acids and Bases
Activity: Predator/Prey
Activity: Lower Tropic Level (Molnar #16)
Activity :Energy from yeast
Activity: Smoky Mt Ecosystem
Activity: Basic Concepts and Tools –
Using Math and Critical Thinking from
Environmental Issues.
Activity: Cycle Flip Chart
Test: Chs.2,3

4,5, and
8,9

2
weeks

Activity: Grocery Store Biodiversity / Parking
Lot biodiversity/ Library Biodiversity
Project: Biomes (student presentation)

Community
Ecology

10,11

Activity: Climatograms
Activity: Simulation of Natural Selection
Lab: Biodiversity in Leaf Litter
Lab: Brine Shrimp Abiotic Factors
Lab: Interspecific and Intraspecific Competition
Video: Sonoran Desert (National Geographic)
Activity: Succession
Case Study: Peppered Moths, Isle Royale
Test: Chapter 4,5 and 8,9,10,11

4

Air and Air
Pollution

6.1-6.2,

2
weeks

17, 18

Climate
Change and
Ozone Loss

Lab: Measuring Albedo
Activity: Particulate Collection
Activity: Testing for Ground Level Ozone
Activity: Acid Rain (Molnar #28)
Activity: Global Warming
Video: El Nino (Nova)
Video : In Search of Clean Air (SciLink,NC State)
Video (Nova: Warnings from the Ice) &
Article: Global Warming, Time Magazine)
Case Study: Bhopal, India
Test: Chapter 6.1-6.2, and 17 and 18

5

Sustaining
Wild Species

10,11

1
weeks

Activity: Tragedy of the Commons
Project: Endangered Animal Research (gallery
Walk, student research
Videos: The Miracle of the Scarlet Salmon,
(Time-Life: Nature Series)
The Beaches are Moving (Environmental
Media Corporation)
Endangered Species (National Geographic
Field Trip: Conservator’s Center
Test: Chapter 10,11

2
weeks

Lab: Power of the Pyramids
Activity: Cemetery)
Activity: Doubling Time
Activity: Something Fishy
Lab: Lemmna: Duckweed Lab or Global Population
Trends, (Molnar #21)
Video: World in The Balance (Nova)
Test: Chapter 6

Terrestrial
Diversity &
Aquatic
Diversity

6

Population
Dynamics

6

7

Risk,
Toxicology,
and Human
Health
Pesticides
and Pest
Control

12,17

2
weeks

Activity: Disease reports
Activity: Risk Perception and Risk Reality
Lab: LD 50-Toxic Tea
Video: Ebola/Outbreak (Nova)
Research: Pesticide
Case Studies: Minamata, Love Canal, Ebola
Speaker: Health Department
Test: Chapter 12,17

8

Geology and
Soil

12,14

2
weeks

Activity: Rocks and Minerals
Activity: Plate Tectonics Project, (Molnar #2)
Lab: Soil Lab- chemical and physical
Activity: Cookie Mining or Birdseed Mining
Activity: Scale Model of Earth
Video: Southern Appalachians A Changing
World (USGS)
Test: Chapter 12,14

9

Food
Resources
and
Urban Land
Use

1week

Activity: Counting Calories
Project: Land Use Planning ( Molnar #1-9)
Or Project Learning Tree or Roa’s What
Price Open Space Debate
Case Study: Easter Island, Sierra Club vs. Disney
Test: Chapter 23 and 25

10

Aquatic
Ecology,
Water
Resources
Water
Pollution

7, 14, 19

2
weeks

Field/Lab: Chemical Testing Water Quality/
Aquatic Sampling
Activity: Water Diversion ( Molnar #14)
Activity: Water Drops (Molnar #13)
Lab: Salinization, Design an experiment)
Lab: Specific Heat (Molnar #3)
Activity: Deadly Water
Video: Cadillac Desert (Time-Life)
Case Studies: Aral Sea
Test: Chapter 7, 14, and 19

11

Energy
Efficiency
and
Renewable

15,16, 21

2
weeks

Lab: Personal Energy Consumption
Activity: Watt’s the Cost?
Lab: Effects of Radiation on Growth of Radish
Optional Field Trips: Wastewater Treatment Plant

Energy

Landfill, Recycling Center, Proximity Hotel)
Activity: Solid Waste Collection (Molnar #30
Activity: Recycle City
Project: How to Market Energy in an Energy
– Challenged Age
Video: Minutes to Meltdown – Nova
Case Studies: Chernobyl, Three Mile Island
Test Chapter 15 and 16 and 21

Solid Waste

12

Review

1 week

EXPECTATIONS:
I expect all students to be in attendance every day. With so little days to complete the course,
every minute of class is precious. I expect all students to complete work to the highest of their
ability, which means that your work should be solely your work and no one else’s. Also, being an
A.P. Environmental student means that you are expected to have a lot of initiative and put a lot
of effort into work and studying outside of class as well as in class.
In conjunction with your outline lecture notes, I will ask you to create many illustrations. Being
able to illustrate concepts makes a large impact on your fully understanding the concept as well
as it making a lasting impression! Class discussions are an integral part of our classroom, so be
prepared! Our discussions will focus on tying in evolution as the underlying foundation of our
learning. Also, small but fun class activities will be incorporated into the daily routine for an
additional hands-on experience. Students are required to complete a series of essays based on
current research to be done outside of class and presented in class).

GRADE CATEGORY WEIGHTS:
Tests 45%

Labs 30%

Quizzes 25%

Unit Tests and the Mid-Term exam grade are weighted together for 40% of your grade. Labs
are 25%-30% of the class and will be weighted as 30% of your grade. All assigned essays will be
counted as Quiz grades along with any short Quizzes given in class and together they will be
weighted 20% of your grade.

Students will maintain a written record (lab notebook) of investigations conducted. In addition,
they will be asked for the following throughout the course:
Formal lab reports will emphasizes the development and testing of a hypothesis, the
ability to organize collected data, and the ability to analyze and clearly discuss the results.
Class presentations (create web 2.0 presentation with main investigation components;
present to small groups or whole class; field questions).
Self-assessments of your ability to work in group investigations that will often be
conducted in teams of 2 or 3 in order for you to develop group skills and learn the importance
of collaboration among scientists.

This class does not have a state exam. This course does offer an AP Exam. The county is
covering the cost of your taking the AP Exam. If you score high enough, you may receive college
credit for this course. Different colleges and universities require different scores for
receiving college credit.
The AP Biology Exam will be administered on Monday May 4th 2015 at 8am.

I will provide you with much review in class, however you are expected to prepare outside of class as
well, if you intend on being successful.
About the Exam (this information is found at: https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/apcourse/apenvironmental-science/exam-practice )

The AP Environmental Science Exam is 3 hours long and has two parts — multiple choice questions and
free response questions.
The multiple choice section contains 100 questions and is 1 hour and 30 minutes long. This section is
worth 60% of the exam grade.
The free response section contains 4 questions and is also 1 hour and 30 minutes long. This section is
worth 40% of the exam grade. Questions included in this section will address multiple topics across the
Environmental Science topic outline. The four questions will include: 1 data-set question, 1 documentbased question, and 2 synthesis and evaluation questions.

Daily Schedule:
1st period BIOLOGY
2nd pd BIOLOGY Inclusion
3rd pd AP BIOLOGY ―B Day‖

Please follow my
Twitter @MrsCullerBio
for news and extra

4th pd AP ENVIRONMENTAL ―A Day‖

credit opportunities

Mrs T Culler
tonya.culler@stokes.k12.nc.us

@MrsCullerBio

AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE SYLLABUS SIGNATURE
You are required to carefully read the AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE class syllabus, initial and sign.
At least one of your parents is also required to initial and sign this form.
I have carefully read through the syllabus for this course and understand your class policies and
expectations, especially the following points:
Students and parents, please initial the following:
Mrs. Culler’s Website: Assignments and homework can be found on the website listed on syllabus (click
on my pic on SS website), However, students remain responsible for any assignment given verbally in
class, regardless!
__________
__________
Student
Parent
Plagiarism: Plagiarism will result in a ―0‖ as your grade for any assignment copied from another
source. Period. Incorporating Sparknotes, Cliffnotes, or any other study aid content is plagiarism and will
result also in a ―0‖ and a referral to the office for disciplinary action.
__________
Student

__________
Parent

Absences & Make-Up Work: Any assignment that is due on the absent day must be presented on the
day you return. You are responsible for any assignment, test, or material missed during the absence. You
are expected to be prepared for any quizzes, test, or exams that are scheduled on the date of your
return.
__________
Student

__________
Parent

Class Materials: Laptops or tablets can be brought to class daily but they must remain closed until it is
time to use them. All necessary pens, paper, pertinent handouts, texts must be present. You must come
to each class prepared with all of your materials.
__________
Student

__________
Parent

Prohibitions: No food or drink or candy is permitted in the classroom. Cell phones and iPods, etc. may not
be used or on your desk during class. Laptops may NOT be used for gaming, social media, etc., unless
otherwise instructed.
__________
Student

__________
Parent

In addition to the above, I have read and understood the AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE class syllabus
in its entirety.
______________________________
Student signature

___________________________

_____________________________
Print name
______________
Date
______________________________

Parent Name

Parent signature

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