welcome to ap environmental science. are you in the right place?

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WELCOME TO AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE.
ARE YOU IN THE RIGHT PLACE?
DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY HAVE HEARD, IT IS NOT “EASY”.
•
•
•
•
•
WE COVER EVERY CHAPTER IN THE BOOK PLUS MANY LABS AND ANCILLARY PROJECTS
THERE WILL BE HOMEWORK ASSIGNED EVERY CLASS
YES, YOU HAVE TO DO MATH/PRESENTATIONS/LABS/PROJECTS AND WRITE ESSAYS/LAB REPORTS.
WE HAVE SEVERAL IN-DEPTH LABS YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR TENDING TO CORRECTLY
AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE IS ONE OF THE HARDEST AP TESTS TO PASS, DUE TO THE WIDE VARIETY OF
MATERIAL YOU WILL NEED TO KNOW
YOU ARE EXPECTED TO:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
CONDUCT YOUR BEHAVIOR AS YOU WOULD IN A COLLEGE CLASSROOM
DO THE MAJORITY OF WORK OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL TIME (JUST LIKE IN COLLEGE)
COMPLETE WORK ON TIME (NO CREDIT FOR LATE ASSIGNMENTS, NO EXCUSES)
BE PREPARED FOR EVERY CLASS, NO EXCUSES
INTELLIGENTLY PARTICIPATE IN LABS AND DISCUSSION DURING CLASS TIME
PAY FOR AND PARTICIPATE IN MANDATORY FIELD TRIPS (UP TO 3 – APPX $15 EACH)
READ AND STUDY (LIKE YOU WOULD IN COLLEGE)
PURCHASE A STUDY GUIDE ($15-$20) AND USE IT!
WORK HARD UNTIL THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR (NO “SENIOR-ITIS”)
TAKE CARE OF LABS AND DATA COLLECTION, SOMETIMES ON DAYS YOU DON’T HAVE CLASS
TAKE THE AP EXAM IN MAY AND PAY THE FEE ASAP
YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO:
•
FORM OUTSIDE STUDY GROUPS AND HELP EACH OTHER BE SUCCESSFUL
A SCORE OF 4 OR 5 ON THE AP TEST (SOME COLLEGES ACCEPT A 3) TRANSLATES INTO:
•
•
•
•
3 - 4 COLLEGE CREDITS EARNED (OF FRESHMAN LEVEL SCIENCE)
APPROXIMATELY $1000 - $1500 IN TUITION SAVINGS (PLUS BOOKS AND LAB FEES)
COLLEGE LEVEL CLASS EXPERIENCE BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY GET TO COLLEGE
BEST OF ALL… THE SELF SATISFACTION AND CONFIDENCE THAT DEVELOPS FROM BEING SUCCESSFUL IN A
CLASS OF THIS RIGOR
IF YOU AGREE TO ALL OF THIS, PLEASE SIGN BELOW. ALSO, MAKE SURE YOUR PARENT/GUARDIAN (A.K.A. THE
PERSON PAYING YOUR FEES AND CHECKING YOUR PROGRESS) IS AWARE AND ALSO AGREES.  THIS CAN BE AN
INCREDIBLY FUN CLASS IF EVERYONE IS PREPARED AND RESPONSIBLE!
______________________________________________________
STUDENT
_________________
DATE
______________________________________________________
PARENT/GUARDIAN
_________________
DATE
WELCOME TO AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE.
ARE YOU IN THE RIGHT PLACE?
DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY HAVE HEARD, IT IS NOT “EASY”.
•
•
•
•
•
WE COVER EVERY CHAPTER IN THE BOOK PLUS MANY LABS AND ANCILLARY PROJECTS
THERE WILL BE HOMEWORK ASSIGNED EVERY CLASS
YES, YOU HAVE TO DO MATH/PRESENTATIONS/LABS/PROJECTS AND WRITE ESSAYS/LAB REPORTS.
WE HAVE SEVERAL IN-DEPTH LABS YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR TENDING TO CORRECTLY
AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE IS ONE OF THE HARDEST AP TESTS TO PASS, DUE TO THE WIDE VARIETY OF
MATERIAL YOU WILL NEED TO KNOW
YOU ARE EXPECTED TO:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
CONDUCT YOUR BEHAVIOR AS YOU WOULD IN A COLLEGE CLASSROOM
DO THE MAJORITY OF WORK OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL TIME (JUST LIKE IN COLLEGE)
COMPLETE WORK ON TIME (NO CREDIT FOR LATE ASSIGNMENTS, NO EXCUSES)
BE PREPARED FOR EVERY CLASS, NO EXCUSES
INTELLIGENTLY PARTICIPATE IN LABS AND DISCUSSION DURING CLASS TIME
PAY FOR AND PARTICIPATE IN MANDATORY FIELD TRIPS (UP TO 3 – APPX $15 EACH)
READ AND STUDY (LIKE YOU WOULD IN COLLEGE)
PURCHASE A STUDY GUIDE ($15-$20) AND USE IT!
WORK HARD UNTIL THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR (NO “SENIOR-ITIS”)
TAKE CARE OF LABS AND DATA COLLECTION, SOMETIMES ON DAYS YOU DON’T HAVE CLASS
TAKE THE AP EXAM IN MAY AND PAY THE FEE ASAP
YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO:
•
FORM OUTSIDE STUDY GROUPS AND HELP EACH OTHER BE SUCCESSFUL
A SCORE OF 4 OR 5 ON THE AP TEST (SOME COLLEGES ACCEPT A 3) TRANSLATES INTO:
•
•
•
•
3 - 4 COLLEGE CREDITS EARNED (OF FRESHMAN LEVEL SCIENCE)
APPROXIMATELY $1000 - $1500 IN TUITION SAVINGS (PLUS BOOKS AND LAB FEES)
COLLEGE LEVEL CLASS EXPERIENCE BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY GET TO COLLEGE
BEST OF ALL… THE SELF SATISFACTION AND CONFIDENCE THAT DEVELOPS FROM BEING SUCCESSFUL IN A
CLASS OF THIS RIGOR
IF YOU AGREE TO ALL OF THIS, PLEASE SIGN BELOW. ALSO, MAKE SURE YOUR PARENT/GUARDIAN (A.K.A. THE
PERSON PAYING YOUR FEES AND CHECKING YOUR PROGRESS) IS AWARE AND ALSO AGREES.  THIS CAN BE AN
INCREDIBLY FUN CLASS IF EVERYONE IS PREPARED AND RESPONSIBLE!
______________________________________________________
STUDENT
_________________
DATE
______________________________________________________
PARENT/GUARDIAN
_________________
DATE
AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE COURSE GUIDE 2014/2015
Mr. Capra - Room 158
Direct Communication: [email protected]
Welcome to AP Environmental Science! During the course of this school year you will be participating in
a class that addresses the major ecological topics concerning our planet; taking part in field-based labs;
and gaining an overall understanding of the science behind environmental issues.
It is my goal to make our time together interesting and fun, but keep in mind that this is the equivalent
of a first- year college science class and it will be conducted as such. As with a college science class,
quality of writing, progressive thinking, participation in discussion, mastery of content, completed
assignments, and accurate lab work will be your biggest criteria for scoring. To be successful you
will need the drive, ambition, and self-discipline to complete a majority of
classwork outside of school. If there are questions or problems with assignments the
responsibility is yours to communicate with me – via email or face-to-face – in a timely manner as
deadlines will be strictly adhered to.
A common misconception is that AP Environmental Science is an “easy” class. While it does not cover
50+ chapters or meet outside of school hours for labs like AP Biology, or have the intensive math that AP
Chemistry does… It is NOT easy. In fact AP Environmental Science has one of the lowest AP test pass
rates due to the variety of content you will need to know. Depending on the institution, you will need
to score a 4 or 5 on the AP test to receive college credit.
We have a very tight schedule to cover the required material; therefore, immature behavior will not be
tolerated. You will be asked to drop this class if you are: Not prepared, constantly messing with your
phone, talking with others in the room about non-class related topics, or engaging in any other
distraction that hampers the progression of the group.
GRADING
LATE WORK: NOT ACCEPTED
EXCUSED ABSENCE: The amount of days missed plus one additional day to turn in assignments.
UNIT TESTS: Multiple choice and free response questions covering all included chapters.
GRADE: 60% Unit Tests, 40% Daily Participation, Homework, Labs, Online and Standard Quizzes
THE COURSE
Text: Environmental Science for AP*
Author: Friedland/Relyea
Edition: 1
Website: http://bcs.whfreeman.com/friedlandapes
The pacing and content of this class will follow the curriculum set forth by CollegeBoard’s Advanced
Placement Program. For details and a complete course description please visit the CollegeBoard
website at http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/repository/ap-environmental-science-coursedescription.pdf
SEMESTER 1
UNIT 1: INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
Text:
Chapter 1 - Studying the State of the Earth
Chapter 2 - Environmental Systems
UNIT 2: THE LIVING WORLD
Text:
Chapter 3 - Ecosystem Ecology
Chapter 4 - Global Climates and Biomes
Chapter 5 - Evolution of Biodiversity
UNIT 3: BIOLOGICAL AND HUMAN POPULATIONS
Text:
Chapter 6 - Population and Community Ecology
Chapter 7 - The Human Population
UNIT 4: EARTH SYSTEMS AND RESOURCES
Text:
Chapter 8 - Earth Systems
Chapter 9 - Water Resources
UNIT 5: LAND USE
Text:
Chapter 10 - Land, Public and Private
Chapter 11 - Feeding the World
SEMESTER 2
UNIT 6: ENERGY RESOURCE AND CONSUMPTION
Text:
Chapter 12 - Nonrenewable Energy Sources
Chapter 13 - Achieving Energy Sustainability
UNIT 7: POLLUTION
Text:
Chapter 14 - Water Pollution
Chapter 15 - Air Pollution and Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
Chapter 16 - Waste Generation and Waste Disposal
Chapter 17 - Human Health and Environmental Risks
UNIT 8: GLOBAL CHANGE AND A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Text:
Chapter 18 - Conservation of Biodiversity
Chapter 19 - Global Change
Chapter 20 - Sustainability, Economics, and Equity
The following is taken directly from the College Board web site:
The goal of the AP Environmental 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. 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.
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.
TOPIC OUTLINE
The following outline of major topics serves to describe the scope of the AP Environmental Science
course and exam.
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 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)
C. Global Water Resources and Use
(Freshwater/saltwater; ocean circulation; agricultural, industrial, and domestic use; surface and
groundwater issues; global problems; conservation)
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)
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)
5. Sustainable land-use strategies
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)
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; CAFE standards; hybrid electric vehicles; mass transit)
G. Renewable Energy
(Solar energy; solar electricity; hydrogen fuel cells; biomass; wind energy; small-scale 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)
3. Water pollution
(Types; sources, causes, and effects; cultural eutrophication; groundwater 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
LABORATORY AND FIELD INVESTIGATIONS
Because it is designed to be a course in environmental science rather than environmental studies, the AP
Environmental Science course must include a strong laboratory and field investigation component. The
goal of this component is to complement the classroom portion of the course by allowing students to
learn about the environment through firsthand observation.
Experiences both in the laboratory and in the field provide students with important opportunities to test
concepts and principles that are introduced in the classroom, explore specific problems with a depth not
easily achieved otherwise, and gain an awareness of the importance of confounding variables that exist
in the “real world.” In these experiences students can employ alternative learning styles to reinforce
fundamental concepts and principles. Because all students have a stake in the future of their
environment, such activities can motivate students to study environmental science in greater depth.
Colleges often require students to present their laboratory materials from AP science courses before
granting college credit for laboratory, so students should be encouraged to retain their laboratory
notebooks, reports, and other materials.
Laboratory and field investigation activities in the course should be diverse. As examples, students can
acquire skills in specific techniques and procedures (such as collecting and analyzing water samples),
conduct a long-term study of some local system or environmental problem (such as the pollution of a
nearby stream), analyze a real data set (such as mean global temperatures over the past 100 years), and
visit a local public facility (such as a water-treatment plant). Although there is a great diversity in the
laboratory and field activities that would be appropriate for the course, activities should:
• always be linked to a major concept in science and to one or more areas of the course outline
• allow students to have direct experience with an organism or system in the environment
• involve observation of phenomena or systems, the collection and analysis of data and/or other
information, and the communication of observations and/or results
The relative magnitudes of these elements may vary from activity to activity. As a whole, the course’s
laboratory and field investigation component should encompass all of the elements.
The laboratory and field investigation component of the AP Environmental Science course should
challenge the students’ 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
It is expected that students will perform as many labs/field investigations as possible; these
investigations should fulfill the criteria outlined above. Depending on location, students could perform
water tests on a freshwater pond, a river, or an estuary/marine environment. Opportunities
to perform experiments and analyses involving the study of air, water, and soil qualities as an essential
core for the lab/field investigation activities.
THE AP EXAM
The AP Environmental Science Exam is 3 hours long and is divided equally in time between a multiplechoice section and a free-response section. The exam will take place on May 2, 2011 at 8am.
The multiple-choice section, which constitutes 60 percent of the final grade, consists of 100 multiplechoice questions that are designed to cover the breadth of the students’ knowledge and understanding
of environmental science. Thought-provoking problems and questions based on fundamental ideas
from environmental science are included along with questions based on the recall of basic facts and
major concepts. The number of multiple-choice questions taken from each major topic area is reflected
in the percentage of the course as designated in the topic outline.
The free-response section emphasizes the application of principles in greater depth. In this section,
students must organize answers to broad questions, thereby demonstrating reasoning and analytical
skills, as well as the ability to synthesize material from several sources into cogent and coherent essays.
Four free-response questions are included in this section, which constitutes 40 percent of the final
grade: 1 data-set question, 1 document-based question, and 2 synthesis and evaluation questions.
This outline comes directly from the AP Environmental Science website, and can be downloaded
at: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/sub_envsci.html
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