• Welcome to AP Environmental Science!


    COURSE OVERVIEW (Source: CollegeBoard)

    A.  Course Outline:

    The AP Environmental Science course is designed to engage students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to inderstanf the interrelationships within 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.

    This course is designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science. 

    B. Science Practices

    The AP Environmental Science practices describe what a student should be able to do while exploring course concepts.  At the end of the course, each student will be able to –

    • Explain environmental concepts, processes, and models presented in written format;
    • Analyze visual representations of environmental concepts and processes;
    • Analyze sources of information about environmental issues;
    • Analyze research studies that test environmental principles;
    • Analyze and interpret quantitative data represented in tables, charts, and graphs;
    • Apply quantitative methods to address environmental concepts;
    • Propose and justify solutions to environmental problems.

    C. Big Ideas:

    The big ideas serve as the foundation of the course and allow students to create meaningful connections among concepts.

    • Big Idea 1: Energy Transfer.  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.
    • Big Idea 2: Interactions Between Earth Systems. The Earth is one interconnected system. Natural systems change over time and space. Biogeochemical systems vary in ability to recover from disturbances.
    • Big Idea 3: Interactions Between Different Species and the Environment. Humans alter natural systems and 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.
    • Big Idea 4: Sustainability. Human survival depends on developing practices that will achieve sustainable systems. A suitable combination of conservation and development is required. The management of resources is essential. Understanding the role of cultural, social, and economic factors is vital to the development of solutions.


    The AP Environmental Science exam is scheduled on the afternoon of May 11th. The exam is 2 hours and 40 minutes long. Students have 90 minutes in Section 1 to answer 80 multiple-choice questions and 70 minutes in Section 2 to answer 3 free-response questions.  Starting this year, calculators are allowed.  The list of approved calculators can be found in the CollegeBoard wesite: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/exam-policies-guidelines/calculator-policies


    • Raven, Peter H., et. al. Environment, 8th ed. WileyPLUS.  2012.


    Students earn a grade based on the quality and accuracy of their completed work.        

    • Tests ......................... 40% 
    • Labs / Projects ......... 30%
    • Quizzes ..................... 20%                         
    • All Others ................. 10%


    • Tests are patterned after the AP Environmental Science exam and are thus a mix of multiple-choice and free response questions.
    • Labs related to the topic will be completed throughout the year. You will be required to write a pre-lab report prior to doing a lab.  Once the lab is done, you will have one week to submit the rest of the report.  Not all labs will require a formal lab report and you will be told when one is required.
    • Projects are long-term assignments and could include presentations to the class as part of the grade. These are mostly done outside of the class period.  You will have at least one project per cycle.
    • Quizzes typically follow reading assignments. Lectures may not come until after the quiz.
    • All Others include classwork, homework, participation, and other similar short-term assignments.


    • Be respectful
    • Be on time and on task
    • Be prepared
    • Be responsible


    • Verbal warning.
    • Student-Teacher conference
    • Lunch detention
    • Parent-Student-Teacher conference
    • Referral to the office


    Practice safety rules at all times! Violations of safety rules will result in a maximum grade of 70.  Depending on the severity of the offense, you may be timed out from the activity. Once that happens, you automatically get a zero for that particular activity, a conduct grade of “P” for the grading cycle, and a referral to the Principal for administrative sanctions.  In order to participate in labs, you must make at least an 80% on the safety quiz and turn in a signed safety contract.


    Upon your return from an absence, YOU are responsible for promptly gathering the assignments that you missed. I will not remind you of missed assignments, you must take the initiative to find out what you missed. If you miss a test YOU must schedule a retest, but keep in mind that the format of the retest is at the teacher’s discretion. It is your responsibility to reschedule your missed test in a timely manner. Any assignments not made up from an absence will result in a zero. Please do not disturb the teacher during class to get missed assignments, wait for a quiet time or come by outside of class time.


    Work may be turned in up to ONE class day late and must be handed in before school starts. The highest possible grade on late work is 70%.  If you are absent or not in class on the day that it is due, you are responsible for finding a way to get it to me in a timely fashion.  Should you turn in a late assignment, you MUST fill out and attach a Late Form, and submit your work directly to me.


    You may retake up to two in-class assessments per grading cycle.  The retake will be an alternate test/quiz on the same content and the highest grade to be entered into the grade book is 70.  To be eligible for a retake, you must fill out the online Retake Form within 24 hours that grades are posted.  You forfeit your chance if you do not show up during the assigned retake date.


    Demonstrate academic integrity by being obedient to Carnegie’s Honor Code.  Cheating, copying, and plagiarism are major offenses in any academic setting.  You will not get credit for that work nor will you be able to make up the assignment.  Additionally, you will automatically get a conduct grade of “P” for the grading cycle and you will be referred to the Principal for administrative sanctions.


    I am available for classroom tutoring either during SSEP or by appointment. To request tutoring, please see me to make arrangements for a convenient time to meet.  The National Honor Society also offers peer tutoring and can be requested online. It is highly recommended that if you are having difficulty in this class that you take these opportunities to get help. 


    1. Come to class on time, sign in, place your cell phone in the basket, and be in your assigned seat BEFORE the tardy bell rings.
    2. Always be prepared and ready to work. Part of being prepared means bringing your school materials to class every day
    3. Always write your name, date, and period in order to get credit for any and all work that you turn in. Five percent (5%) will be taken off your grade for incomplete or missing header information. 
    4. There is always a seat plan to follow. Be in your assigned seat unless you have permission from me to be out of your seat.  If you have poor vision or hearing or if you have any other physical condition that affects your learning, let me know so I may assign you a proper seat.
    5. Food, drink, gum/candy, cell phones, music/video/game players and other such non-school related items are not permitted. Confiscated items will be returned to you only through your parent/guardian.
    6. Leave the room as clean or cleaner than you found it.


    Anything not covered in the syllabus is subject to the rules and regulations of the Student Handbook and/or the teacher’s discretion.