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Advanced Placement Environment Science (APES) Syllabus
School Without Walls SHS
Mr. Butler, Ms. Piper
Advanced Placement (AP) Environment Science is a full-year course designed to be the equivalent of an
introductory college level course in environmental science. According to the College Board, “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, and to
examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them.”
Environmental science is interdisciplinary. These several major unifying themes provide a foundation
for the structure of this 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.
During the course of the year, students are expected to achieve the following outcomes:
1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of laboratory safety rules and procedures.
2. Apply the steps of the scientific method to laboratory and field investigations.
3. Outline the flow of energy and the cycling of matter within the natural Earth’s system.
4. Explain the relationships among plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanism.
5. Outline the rock cycle and its relationship to soil formation.
6. Construct a food web showing interrelationships among organisms in an ecological community.
7. Describe and analyze population growth, including the dynamics of human populations.
8. Explain the factors that lead to the endangering of species and the loss of biodiversity.
9. Describe the problems associated with agriculture and good production in today’s world.
10. Identify renewable and nonrenewable resources, including distribution, ownership, use and
11. Discuss the state of the atmosphere in terms of weather, climate, air pollution, ozone, and
greenhouse gases.
12. Analyze the environmental quality of air, soil and water.
13. Explain how usable energy is generated from fossil fuels, nuclear fuels, and alternative sources and
the tradeoffs associated with their use.
14. Outline the processes involved in water and sewage treatment.
15. Identify the problems associated with the disposal of solid and toxic wastes.
16. Identify global changes and their consequences.
17. Explain environmental problems in relationship to scientific, social, legal, cultural, and economic
18. Discuss the effects of environmental quality on human health.
Cunningham, William P., Environmental Science: A Global Concern, 9th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2007.
Daily study, organization, timely completion and submission of assignments are essential. All forms of
dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, copying homework, etc.) will not be tolerated, and will result in a
failing grade on that assignment.
Grading Scale:
Homework/Laboratory Reports
Tests 30% - Quizzes 20%
Homework 20% - Laboratory 15%
All students enrolled in APES are required to take the AP Environmental Science examination
administered by the College Board on To Be Determined*. Failure to take this examination will
negatively impact the student’s grade for the course.
Tests will be administered at the end of each unit. A Mid-term examination and a Final Project will be
administered. The Mid-term examination is worth 10% of the course grade. The Final Project will also
be worth 10% of the course grade. Make-up tests and quizzes must be administered within five school
days of the missed assessment.
Attendance is vitally important. Three (3) unexcused absences in an advisory will result in a grade of F.
Name: _________________________________________
(please print)
Grade: _____________________
I have read this syllabus with my class and teacher.
Book Number: _______________
I have asked questions about anything I thought was unclear or ambiguous.
I have shared this syllabus with my parent/guardian and discussed the details.
Signature of Student
I have seen this syllabus, and my child has explained it to me.
Signature of Parent/Guardian
If you have any questions, please call the school at 202/645-9690 or send an e-mail:
[email protected] or [email protected].
**Although all work is important, a student’s progress on Tests/Quizzes best indicates how well she/he
will perform on the AP exam.