Ap environmental Sciences



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AP Environmental Sciences

The AP Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science, through which students engage with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. The course requires that students identify and analyze natural and human-made environmental problems, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Environmental Science is interdisciplinary, embracing topics from geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography.


AP Environmental Science – Course Content:

Environmental science is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study. There are several unifying themes that cut across topics. The following are course themes:

• 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 Environmental Science – Topic Outline:

I. Earth Systems and Resources

II. The Living World

III. Population

IV. Land and Water Use

V. Energy Resources and Consumption

VI. Pollution

VII. Global Change


AP Environmental Science Exam: Format of Assessment – 3 Hours

Section I: Multiple Choice | 100 Questions | 90 Minutes | 60% of Exam Score

• Discrete Questions and Questions in Sets



Section II: Free Response | 4 Questions | 90 Minutes | 40% of Exam Score

• Data Set (1 question)

• Document-Based Question (1 question)

• Synthesis and Evaluation (2 questions)


Link to DMPS Grading Resources: http://grading.dmschools.org

Link to Course Resources: http://science.dmschools.org

Link to Course Information @ AP Central: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/2128.html



Semester 1 Topics


College Board Curriculum Framework Alignment

Eco Footprint: Energy and Transportation

V. Energy Resources and Consumption

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 (formation of coal, oil and natural gas; extraction/purification methods; world reserves and global demand; synfuels; environmental advantages/disadvantages of sources)

VI. Pollution

A1. 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)

A2. Noise (sources; effects; control measures)

VII. Global Change

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




Eco Footprint: Alternative Energy

V. Energy Resources and Consumption

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; geothermal; environmental advantages/disadvantages


Eco Footprint: Water/Waste

I: Earth Systems and Resources

C. Global Water Resource and Use (Freshwater/Saltwater; ocean circulation; agricultural, industrial, and domestic use; surface and

groundwater issues; global problems; conservation)

VI: Pollution

A3. Water Pollution (types; source, causes, and effects; cultural eutrophication; groundwater pollution; maintaining water quality; water purification; sewage treatment/septic systems, clean water act and other relevant laws)

A4. 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 (Hypes of hazardous waste; treatment/disposal of hazardous waste; cleanup of contaminated sites; biomagnification; relevant laws)




Semester 1 Topics


College Board Curriculum Framework Alignment

MCE:

Ecology and Biodiversity

II. The Living World

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

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

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

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

VII. Global Change

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




MCE:

Human Population and Land Use

III. Population

  1. Population Biology Concepts (population ecology; carrying capacity; reproductive strategies; survivorship)

  2. Human Population

  1. Human population dynamics (historical population sizes; distribution; fertility rates; growth rates and doubling time; demographic transition; age-structure diagrams)

  2. Population Size (strategies for sustainability; case studies; national policies)

  3. Impacts of population growth (hunger; diseases; economic effects; resource use; habitat destruction)

IV: Land and Water Use

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




MCE:

Pollution

VI. Pollution

A1. 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)

A2. Noise (Sources; effects; control measures)

A3. Water Pollution (types; source, causes, and effects; cultural eutrophication; groundwater pollution; maintaining water quality; water purification; sewage treatment/septic systems, clean water act and other relevant laws)







Semester 2 Topics


College Board Curriculum Framework Alignment

Food:

Earth Systems and Resources

I. Earth Systems and Resources

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

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

E. Natural Biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, water, conservation of matter)




Food:

Land and Water Use

IV. Land and Water Use

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)


I. Earth Systems and Resources

C. Water Resources and Use (freshwater/saltwater; agriculture, industrial, and domestic use; surface and groundwater issues; global problems; conservation)





Foods:

Pollution

VI. Pollution

A3. 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)

B2. Hazardous Chemicals in the Environment (types of hazardous waste; treatment/disposal of hazardous waste; cleanup of contaminated sites; biomagnification; relevant laws)






Semester 2 Topics


College Board Curriculum Framework Alignment

Oceans:

Earth System & Resource

I. Earth Systems and Resources

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


VII. Global Change

A. Stratospheric Ozone (formation of stratospheric ozone; ultraviolet radiation; causes of ozone depletion; effect of ozone depletion; strategies for reducing ozone depletion; relevant laws)




Oceans:

Land and Water Use

IV: Land and Water Use

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)


II. The Living World →

A. Ecosystem Structure (keystone species)




Oceans:

Pollution

VI. Pollution

A. Pollution Types

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)

B. Impacts of the Environmental 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). 3. Economic Impacts (cost-benefit analysis; externalities; marginal costs; sustainability)





Standards-Referenced Grading Basics

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