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Hello Parents!
Sept 11, 2014
I’m David Craig and this is my background…
Contact: 705-2260, ext 2828
My Philosophy as a Teacher
My Job
1. I need to learn about the subject and figure out how to bring that to each of you in a way that each of you
will learn the most and in the best way.
2. I need to learn about YOU in relation to the subject: how you learn it best; what you have learned and
what you need to learn. So I need to constantly assess your learning and then give you feedback (not to
be confused with grades).
My Goals
1. I see a constant improvement in my students’ knowledge, abilities and attitudes throughout the year.
Their confidence grows along with their ability to make good self-assessments.
2. Students WANT TO learn about Environmental Science. They end up saying “It was one of the most
important classes I took.”
3. Students are empowered by your knowledge and skills involving Environmental Science in particular and
science and learning in general.
4. Students feel in some way empowered to work on the challenges we all face involving the environment
and human needs.
5. You do well on the AP exam.
My Overall Goal
At the end of the year all students will say environmental science was one of
the most important courses they took in high school; that it was – if not a “life
changer” – well, at least something that will continue to influence them for a
long time. They will recommend it to all other students.
Environmental Science – Course Description
Environmental science is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different
areas of study. There are several major unifying constructs, or themes, that cut across the
many topics included in the study of environmental science. This makes environmental science
an intensely relevant and interesting course
Major Themes of Environmental Science
The six major themes of the AP Environmental Science course are:
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 place.
● 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
● A suitable combination of conservation and development is required.
● Management of common resources is essential.
Time period
Topic/ Activity
Intro Activities: Class rules and procedures; start bean and sunflower plant; start Plant Journal; tour of campus;
observe motions of the sun
Unit 1:
Introduction to
1.1 Our Island, Earth
1.2 The Nature of Science
1.3 The Community of Science
Science Behind the Stories Feature: The Lesson of Easter Island
Chapter 1 Assessment
Economics and Environmental Policy
2.1 Economics
2.2 United States Environmental Policy
2.3 International Environmental Policy and Approaches
Success Stories Feature: Fighting for Clean Water
Chapter 2 Assessment
Earth’s Environmental Systems
3.1 Matter and the Environment
3.2 Systems in Environmental Science 0
3.3 Earth’s Spheres
3.4 Biogeochemical Cycles
A Closer Look Feature: Nutrients
Chapter 3 Assessment
Unit 1 Field Study: Field Observations ; Unit 1 Project
Unit 2:
Population Ecology
4.1 Studying Ecology
4.2 Describing Populations
4.3 Population Growth
Science Behind the Stories Feature: The Cloudless Forest
Chapter 4 Assessment
Evolution and Community Ecology
5.1 Evolution
5.2 Species Interactions
5.3 Ecological Communities
5.4 Community Stability
Science Behind the Stories Feature: A Broken Mutualism?
Chapter 5 Assessment
Biomes and Aquatic Ecosystems
6.1 Defining Biomes
6.2 Biomes
6.3 Aquatic Ecosystems
Point, Counterpoint Feature: Should Elephant Culling be Allowed?
Chapter 6 Assessment
Biodiversity and Conservation
7.1 Our Planet of Life
7.2 Extinction and Biodiversity Loss
7.3 Protecting Biodiversity
Success Stories Feature: A Couple of Birds Make Big Comebacks
Chapter 7 Assessment
Unit 2 Field Study: Biodiversity Study Unit 2 Project
Unit 3
and the
Human Population
8.1 Trends in Human Population Growth
8.2 Predicting Population Growth
8.3 People and Their Environments
Chapter 8 Assessment
Environmental Health
9.1 An Overview of Environmental Health
9.2 Biological and Social Hazards
9.3 Toxic Substances in the Environment
9.4 Natural Disasters
Point, Counterpoint Feature: Should BPA Use be Regulated?
Chapter 9 Assessment
10.1 Land Use and Urbanization
10.2 Sprawl
10.3 Sustainable Cities
A Closer Look Feature: Geographical Information Systems
Chapter 10 Assessment
Unit 3 Field Study: Mapmaking Unit 3 Project
Semester 1
Final Exam
Unit 4
Forestry and Resource management
11.1 Resource Management
11.2 Forest Resources
11.3 Forest Management
Success Stories Feature: Reforesting Africa
Chapter 11 Assessment
Soil and Agriculture
12.1 Soil
12.2 Soil Degradation and Conservation
12.3 Agriculture
12.4 Food Production
Science Behind the Stories Feature: Dark Earth in the Amazon
Chapter 12 Assessment
Mineral Resources and Mining
13.1 Minerals and Rocks
13.2 Mining
13.3 Mining Impacts and Regulations
Point, Counterpoint Feature: Is it Safe to Mine Salt in Retsof, NY?
Chapter 13 Assessment
Water Resources
14.1 Earth: The Water Planet
14.2 Uses of Fresh Water
14.3 Water Pollution
A Closer Look Feature: Wastewater Treatment
Chapter 14 Assessment
The Atmosphere
15.1 Earth’s Atmosphere
15.2 Pollution of the Atmosphere
15.3 Controlling Air Pollution
Success Stories Feature: The Clean Air Act and Acid Rain
Chapter 15 Assessment
Unit 4 Field Study: Monitoring Habitats Unit 4 Project
Unit 5:
Toward a
Global Climate Change
16.1 Our Dynamic Climate
16.2 Climate Change
16.3 Effects of Climate Change
16.4 Responding to Climate Change
Science Behind the Stories Feature: Climate Clues in Ice
Chapter 16 Assessment
Nonrenewable Energy
17.1 Energy: An Overview
17.2 Fossil Fuels
17.3 Harmful Effects of Fossil Fuels
17.4 Nuclear Power
A Closer Look Feature: Turning Coal into Electricity
Chapter 17 Assessment
Renewable Energy Alternatives
18.1 Biomass and Geothermal Energy
18.2 Hydropower and Ocean Energy
18.3 Solar and Wind Energy
18.4 Energy from Hydrogen
Point, Counterpoint Feature: Are Biofuels Better for the Environment?
Chapter 18 Assessment
Waste Management
19.1 Municipal and Industrial Waste
19.2 Minimizing Solid Waste
19.3 Hazardous Waste
A Closer Look: The Recycling Process
Chapter 19 Assessment
Unit 5 Field Study: Social Survey; Unit 5 Project: Energy Audit
Acknowledgments Thanks to Mr. T. Schinkel of Southington and Ms. Brittany Wierda of Scecina Memorial high
schools for posting their syllabi on-line. I have used them extensively as a basis for this syllabus. His website is at:
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