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High School AP Environmental Science

Pre Requisites

Algebra 1 and two years of high school science, with labs


With the current changes in global climate, rising sea levels, and warming oceans, it is important for students to discover the state of Earth's systems and the consequences of human activities. AP Environmental Science provides students with a global view of their world and their role in it. It examines the scientific principles and concepts required to understand the interrelationships between ocean, land, and atmosphere that guide the natural world and allow Earth to be a planet suitable for life. Laboratory activities within the course support learning of these relationships through reflective, hands-on, or virtual experiences. In addition, students identify and analyze environmental problems that are natural and human-made, determining their own ecological footprint in the world to discover how their activities affect the world around them. Students evaluate the relative risks associated with environmental problems and examine alternative solutions including clean energy, sustainable practices, and conservation, for resolving or preventing future environmental problems.

Segment One

Module 01 - Ecosystems

  • Introduction to Ecosystems
  • Biomes
  • Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Primary Productivity
  • Trophic Levels and Energy Flow
  • Food Chains and Food Webs

Module 02 - Biodiversity and Populations

  • Biodiversity
  • Ecological Relationships
  • Natural Disruptions to Ecosystems
  • Adaptation
  • Ecological Succession
  • Types of Species and Survivorship
  • Population Growth
  • Demographics
  • Human Populations

Module 03 - Earth Systems

  • Plate Tectonics
  • Soil Formation and Erosion
  • Soil Composition and Properties
  • Watersheds
  • Earth's Atmosphere
  • Global Wind Patterns
  • Solar Radiation and Seasons
  • Earth's Geography and Climate
  • El Niño and La Niña

Module 04 - Natural Resources

  • Tragedy of the Commons
  • Agricultural Practices
  • Food Production
  • Mining and Urbanization
  • Ecological Footprints
  • Sustainability
  • Integrated Pest Management

Segment Two

Module 05 - Energy Resources

  • Energy Sources
  • Global Energy Consumption
  • Fossil Fuels
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Energy from Biomass
  • Solar Energy
  • Geothermal Energy
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell
  • Hydroelectric Power
  • Wind Energy
  • Energy Conservation

Module 06 - Air Pollution

  • Introduction to Air Pollution
  • Smog
  • Thermal Inversion
  • Air Pollutants
  • Acid Deposition
  • Noise Pollution

Module 07 - Water and Land Pollution

  • Sources of Pollution
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  • Effect on Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Solid Waste Disposal
  • Waste Reduction Methods
  • Sewage Treatment
  • Lethal Dose Response
  • Pollution and Human Health
  • Pathogens and Infectious Diseases

Module 08 - Global Change

  • Ozone Depletion
  • Greenhouse Effect
  • Global Climate Change
  • Effects on Oceans
  • Invasive Species
  • Endangered
  • Threats to Biodiversity

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