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The Advanced Placement Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of an introductory college course in environmental science. The goal is to provide you 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 man-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. APES follows the core curriculum learning standards.
APES is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study including geology, biology, chemistry and geography. The course is designed for students who have successfully completed earth science and biology. Due to the quantitative analysis that is required in the course, students should have strong math skills. Experience has shown that the most successful students in AP courses are those who are both well prepared and highly motivated.



1. Understanding Our Environment- - I think therefore, I see the big picture
2. Biological Communities and Species Interaction- There's always a bigger fish
3. Biodiversity, Land Use and Preservation- Extinction is forever
4. Biomes, Restoration and Management- Where will the deer and the antelope play?
5. Matter, Energy and Life- What makes everything go?
6. Population Dynamics- What goes up must come down.
7. Human Populations- And you thought the hallways were crowded!
8. Environmental Health and Toxicology- Living can be dangerous to your health
9. Environmental Geology- Rocks Remember
10. Food and Agriculture- Who's hungry?
11. Pest Control- Don't bug me.
12. Air, Weather and Climate- Our fragile veil
13. Air Pollution- Hold your breath and turn up the air conditioner
14. Water Use and Management- Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink?
15. Water Pollution- Where did all the fish go?
16. Solid, Toxic and Hazardous Waste- Not in my backyard!
17. Environmental Policy, Law and Economics... or How much are you willing to pay?
18. Conventional Energy- Hey, who turned off the lights?
19. Sustainable Energy- Get off the grid!
20. Urbanization, Sustainable Cities and Personal Action- - Get Up, Stand Up



ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: A Global Concern, Glencoe McGraw-Hill
Cracking the AP Environmental Science Exam: The Princeton Review (optional)


Materials Needed

A 3-Ring Binder, Dividers, pencil or pen, and a simple calculator (Although you will not be able to use one on the APES exams!!!!)


Course Expectations

  1. Be on time to class. No excuses, no exceptions. Three latenesses will equal a detention.
  2. It is extremely important to keep up with your homework. A significant amount of material is covered in the course- more than I can present to you in a lecture format. It is assumed that if you are in this course you will stay on top of your assignments and readings. Late assignments will be severely marked down.
  3. If you have been absent, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to make up the work you missed. Some labs may to difficult to redo. Try not to miss class! For each absence you will be given ONE days grace for turning in assignments.
  4. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. If you hand in an assignment that is a replica of someone else's work BOTH of you will receive a zero. (There will be occasional exceptions made for lab partners).
  5. Cell phones and iPods are not permitted to be used in the classroom. If I see them I will take them away from you.
  6. All students must take the AP exam.



EXAMS (50 %)
The bulk of examinations will be multiple choice questions 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.
Free response essay questions will be included in the unit tests that will emphasize the application of the principles studied in greater depth. 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. The three type of free response questions are: data-analysis, document based, and synthesis/evaluation.
There will be unit exams throughout the year. Each exam is worth 100 points and will be worth 50% of your grade. Several large projects assigned throughout the year will count as an "exam" grade.

QUIZZES (25 %)
A quiz will be given at the end of each chapter. Each quiz will be worth 100 points and will be valued at 25% of your overall grade.

These will include textbook outline homework, article reviews, and laboratory investigations. Homework and short activities will be graded on a 10 point scale. Larger labs will be graded on a 100 point scale.

Your participation in class discussions WILL help your grade. Voice your thoughts. Your questions and opinions matter.


Extra Help
I am available for extra help every day after school in room 211 from 2:20 - 2:45 pm. You can also e-mail questions to me at cathy_law@yahoo.com. My school phone number is 845-256-4100 x 61814. Classroom notes and review sheets can be found on my website: cathylaw.com.


Note: Special Thanks to Chris Viasco for 113 Ways to Go APES and curriculm outline phrases! You Rock!