Course Description - Huntsville City Schools | viewUnlike most other introductory-level college science courses, environmental science is offered from a wide variety of departments, including geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental studies, environmental science

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AP Environmental Science 2016-2017 Syllabus

New Century Technology High School

Teacher: Ms. Hampton Room: 162Email:

School Phone: (256) 428-7800 After School Tutoring Available: Mon. - Thurs. 3:30-5pm

Scoring Components

SC1 The course provides instruction in Earth Systems.

SC2 The course provides instruction in Earth Resources.

SC3 The course provides instruction in the Living World.

SC4 The course provides instruction in Population.

SC5 The course provides instruction in Land Use.

SC6 The course provides instruction in Water Use.

SC7 The course provides instruction in Energy Resources.

SC8 The course provides instruction in Energy Consumption.

SC9 The course provides instruction in Pollution.

SC10 The course provides instruction in Global Change.

SC11 The course provides students with the scientific principles required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world and draws upon various scientific disciplines.

SC12 The course includes methods for analyzing and interpreting information.

SC13 The course includes methods for analyzing and interpreting experimental data.

SC14 The course includes methods for analyzing and interpreting mathematical calculations.

SC15 The course teaches students how to identify and analyze environmental problems.

SC16 The course teaches students how to critically examine various solutions for resolving or preventing environmental problems by evaluating the associated ecological risks and human health risks.

SC17 The course includes a laboratory and/or field investigation component. A minimum of one class period, or its equivalent, per week is spent engaged in laboratory and/or fieldwork.

Course Description

The AP Environmental Science course is a full-year course designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science. Unlike most other introductory-level college science courses, environmental science is offered from a wide variety of departments, including geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography. The AP Environmental Science course has been developed to be like a rigorous science course that stresses scientific principles and analysis and includes a laboratory component; as such, it is intended to enable students to undertake, as first-year college students, a more advanced study of topics in environmental science or, alternatively, to fulfill a basic requirement for a laboratory science and thus free time for taking other courses. [SC11] In both breadth and level of detail, the content of the course reflects what is found in many introductory college courses in environmental science.

The goal of the 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, to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them, and to develop and focus their own political perspective.

Environmental science is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study. Yet there are several major unifying constructs, or themes, that cut across the many topics included in the study of environmental science. The following themes provide a foundation for the structure of the AP Environmental Science course:

Science is a process.

Energy conversions underlie all ecological processes.

The Earth itself is one interconnected system.

Humans alter natural systems.

Environmental problems have a cultural and social context.

Human survival depends on developing practices that will achieve sustainable systems.

AP Exam

Exam Date: May 2, 2017 8AM

100 Multiple Choice Questions, 90 minutes

4 Free-Reponse (Essay/math) Questions, 90 minutes

Required Saturday Sessions 8:30 am - 12:30pm

Feb. 4, 2017 (Prep Session) March 4, 2017 (Mock Exam) April 1, 2017 (2nd Prep Session)

TextFriedland, Andrew and Rick Relyea.Environmental Science for AP*.2nd Edition.W. H. Freeman and Company.

Suggested Supplemental Text: 2016 Princeton Review AP Environmental Science

Other Resources

In addition to the textbook, we will draw information from supplemental environmental science textbooks, lab manuals, periodicals, readings/case studies, and the Internet.


May include but not be limited to: reading the current unit content and answering textbook questions, reviewing lecture notes (from PowerPoints), readings and case studies, making and studying flashcards for unit tests and quizzes, lab reports, essays, creating posters, surveys, projects etc.


Tests will be given approximately as entered on the course calendar and they will be composed of multiple-choice, short answer, and essay questions. At the beginning of the year the tests will be multiple choice only and short answer. Essays will be given as homework assignments. Between Thanksgiving and winter break, essays will be incorporated into the tests, and after the break the essay portion of the test will be timed in order to make the test environment as similar to the AP Exam as possible. The majority of the multiple-choice questions will come from lecture notes, text questions, and critical readings. We will work our way up to 100 questions as the AP Exam approaches. You will be given four free-response (essay) questions on the AP Exam. To be effective, youll need to organize your thoughts and construct an essay in 22 minutes (four questions in 90 minutes). In this class we will take a very pragmatic approach to our writing. Well write training essays early in the year and, again, incorporate timed essays into our tests by the middle of the year.

Possible essay topics may be given to you before the test to allow you to outline your answers.

Students must pass a safety test before participating in labs.

Minimum one quiz and one test are given per unit.

On average, one period weekly is spent engaged in lab and/or field work. [SC17]

Course Outline

Unit 1: Population (10-15%) [SC 4]

Chapters 6 & 7

Human Population (historical population sizes, distribution, fertility rates, growth rates and doubling times, demographic transition, age-structure diagrams)

Population Biology Concepts (population ecology, carrying capacity, reproductive strategies, survivorship)

Impacts of Population Growth (hunger, disease, economic effects, resource use, habitat destruction) [SC4]

Lab [SC17]

Duckweed Population Lab [SC12]

Estimating Population Size

Unit 2: Earth Systems and Resources (10-15%) [SC1] [SC2]

Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, & 9

Introduction to Environmental Science

Earth Science Concept (geologic time scale; plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanism; seasons; solar intensity and latitude)

The Atmosphere (composition; structure; weather and climate; atmospheric circulation and the Coriolis Effect; atmosphere-ocean interactions; ENSO)

Global Water Resources and Use (freshwater/saltwater; ocean circulation; agricultural, industrial, and domestic use; surface and groundwater issues; global problems; conservation)

Lab [SC17]

Life in the Biomes EcoKit

Soil Texture


Unit 3: The Living World (10-15%) [SC 3]

Chapters 3, 4, 5, & 6

Ecosystem Structure (biological populations and communities; ecological niches; interactions among species; keystone species; species diversity and edge effects; major terrestrial and aquatic biomes)

Energy Flow (photosynthesis and cellular respiration; food webs and trophic levels; ecological pyramids)

Ecosystem Diversity (biodiversity; natural selection; evolution; ecosystem services)

Natural Ecosystem Change (climate shifts; species movement; ecological succession)

Natural Biogeochemical Cycle (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfur, water conservation of matter) [SC3]

Lab [SC17]

Ecosystem Fieldwalk

Calculating the Diversity of Trail Mix Using Shannons Index

Exploring the Nitrogen Cycle Kit

Biogeochemical Cycles Kit

Unit 4: Land and Water Use (10-15%) [SC 5] [SC 6]

Chapters 8, 10, 11, & 20

Agriculture: Feeding a growing population (human nutritional requirements; types of agriculture; Green Revolution; genetic engineering and crop production; deforestation; irrigation; sustainable agriculture)

Forestry (tree plantations; old-growth forests; forest fires; forest management; national forests)

Rangelands (overgrazing; deforestation; desertification; rangeland management; federal rangelands)

Other Land Use

Urban Land Development (planned development; suburban sprawl; urbanization)

Transportation Infrastructure (federal highway system; canals and channels; roadless areas; ecosystem impacts)

Public and Federal Lands (management; wilderness areas; national parks; wildlife refuges; forests; wetlands)

Land Conservation Options (preservation; remediation; mitigation; restoration)

Sustainable Land-Use Strategies [SC 16]

Mining (mineral formation; extraction; global reserves; relevant laws and treaties)

Global Economics (globalization world bank; tragedy of the commons; relative laws and treaties)

Lab [SC17]

Tragedy of the Commons Lab

Nonrenewable Resource Depletion Activity

Unit 5: Energy Resources and Consumption (10-15%) [SC 7] [SC 8]

Chapters 12 & 13

Energy Concepts (energy forms; power; unit; conversions; laws of thermodynamics)

Energy Consumption (history of industrial revolution; exponential growth; energy crisis)

Present global energy use

Future energy needs

Fossil fuels and use (formation of coal, oil, and natural gas; extraction/ purification methods; world reserves and global demand; synfuels; environmental advantages/ disadvantages of fossil fuel energy sources(

Nuclear Energy (nuclear fission process; nuclear fuel; electricity production; nuclear reaction types; environmental advantages/ disadvantages; safety issues; radiation and human health; radioactive wastes; nuclear fusion)

Energy Conservation (energy efficiency; CAF standards; hybrid electric cars; mass transit)

Renewable Energy (solar energy; solar electricity; hydrogen fuel cells; biomass; wind energy; small-scale hydroelectric; ocean waves and tidal energy; geothermal; environmental advantages/ disadvatnages) [SC7] [SC8]

Lab [SC17]

Coal Investigations

Capturing the Wind

Alternative Energies

Solar Energy

Unit 6: Pollution (25-30%) ]SC9]

Pollution Types

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 amendments to it) and other relevant laws)

Noise Pollution (sources; effects control measures)

Water Pollution (types; sources; causes, and effects; cultural eutrophications; groundwater pollution)

Labs [SC 15] [SC17]

Field water testing at Greenway and Monte Sano Mountain

Sewage Treatment

Parts per Million by dilution and mathematical calculations [SC 14]

Personal Solid Waste Inventory, including mathematical analysis of data [SC 13]

Salinization Lab

Waste and Its Effects on Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Ozone Sampling

Whats In Our Trash?

Unit 7: Global Change (10-15%) [SC10]

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)

Global Warming (greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect; impacts and consequences of global warming; reducing climate change; relevant laws and treaties)

Loss of Biodiversity (habitat loss; overuse; pollution; introduced species; endangered and extinct species; maintenance through conservation; relevant laws and treaties

Labs [SC17]

How How Is It Here on Earth?

Global Warming and Greenhouse Effects

Climate Change


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