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AP Environmental Science


AP Environmental Science is a college-level environmental science course intended to prepare students for the College Board Exam on May 7, 2012, and increase the chances of student success in college by providing a college-like experience in high school. Success in AP Environmental Science, as with any AP Class, comes largely from diligent, consistent study and questioning. Answering complex questions, solving complex problems, and active participation in classroom discussions will be major components of the class. Expect to read and outline most of the textbook, Living in the Environment, 14th Edition, by G. Tyler Miller, Jr.


Contents

Twitterfeed

In the feed below, updates that are relevant to AP ES include those with the keywords "APES" and "ALL".
News
External links
Schedule
Major Topics
Files for students
Files for parents
Grading
Passing Rates


News and current assignments



Schedule


APES Schedule

External links


For more environment-related links, visit my science links page. The following links are AP Environmental Science-specific:

Major Topics


The following topics originate from the College Board's topic outline of the course. This outline is further divided in the and available on the College Board's website. The number in parentheses indicates the frequency that questions from that topic appear on the AP exam. I will try to divide our class time according to those percentages.
  • 1. Earth Systems and Resources (10-15%)
    • A. Earth Science Concepts
    • B. The Atmosphere
    • C. Global Water Resources and Use
    • D. Soil and Soil Dynamics
  • 2. The Living World (10-15%)
  • 3. Population (10-15%)
    • A. Population Biology Concepts
    • B. Human Population
  • 4. Land and Water Use (10-15%)
    • A. Agriculture
    • B. Forestry
    • C. Rangelands
    • D. Other Land Use
    • E. Mining
    • F. Fishing
    • G. Global Economics
  • 5. Energy Resources and Consumption (10-15%)
    • A. Energy Concepts
    • B. Energy Consumption
    • C. Fossil Fuel Resources and Use
    • D. Nuclear Energy
    • E. Hydroelectric Power
    • F. Energy Conservation
    • G. Renewable Energy
  • 6. Pollution (25-30%)
    • A. Pollution Types
    • B. Impacts on the Environment and Human Health
    • C. Economic Impacts
  • 7. Global Change (10-15%)
    • A. Stratospheric Ozone
    • B. Global Warming
    • C. Loss of Biodiversity

Files for students







major_themes.ppt
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Files for parents


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Grading


Overall grades are determined by the following types of assignments:
50%
Tests, midterms, and finals
There will generally be one 50-question multiple-choice test and one written test (free-response question) from a past AP exam for every area of the College Board topic outline. A final exam is given at the end of the first semester only.


If your raw test score is...
100-90
89-85
84-81
80-75
74-70
69-66
65-60
59-55
54-51
50-45
44-40
39-0


then the grade I give you is...
A (95%)
A- (91%)
B+ (89%)
B (85%)
B- (81%)
C+ (79%)
C (75%)
C- (71%)
D+ (69%)
D (65%)
D- (61%)
F (55 or 50%)
30%
Homework, labs, vocabulary, and presentations
There will be about one laboratory exercise per chapter. Labs include in-class experiments and also debates, field trips, and other activities. Homework can consist of written work that involves justifying particular points of view with various kinds of evidence and notes from the textbook.
10%
Reading quizzes
Ten-question multiple-choice quizzes will sometimes be given before a lecture on a topic from the book. The quizzes are open-notes, and completing Cornell notes before the quiz is half the quiz grade. Taking notes is the most regular of homework assignments (even though it is in the quiz category).
10%
Participation
You will begin each participation cycle with a grade of 0%. If you do not participate, you will end the cycle with a grade of 0%. Participation cycles will be 3 weeks long, which amounts to about 3 cycles per quarter. I will make adjustments to the starting grade and point values as necessary. Here are ways to earn points:


What
Point value
Notes


Volunteer at the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants, Inc.
+25/hour
Maximum of 50 points per cycle; SEE NOTES BELOW


Post a link to a relevant, online news article on the discussion page. Provide a summary and comments according to the summer work guidelines.
+25
Must be completed by the end of the first week in the cycle.


Comment on others' articles or comments or respond to their comments on your article. Refer to the summer work page for the rubric.
+6 each
Can be done throughout the cycle.


In-class participation (asking a question, answering a question, helping me or another student, involvement in discussions, etc.).
+5 per instance
All, Even days.


Other (such as facilitating the sharing of lab data on the website).
flexible
Any time.


Attend Environmental Club.
+5 each
Wednesdays at lunch in C-2.


Contribute to Environmental Club (such as in discussions, campus projects, brainstorming, etc.).
flexible
Wednesdays at lunch in C-2.


In-class participation (sleeping, slouching, interrupting others, unsafe lab practices, etc.).
-10 per instance
All, Even days.

Volunteering at the Theodore Payne Foundation

Available times:
  • After school Tuesday through Friday until 4:30 p.m
  • Any Saturday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m
What:
  • Weeding is especially critically needed right now.
  • Maybe some other things.
How:
  • Contact Lisa Novick, Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator at 818/768-1802 or lisa@theodorepayne.org at least a day before you would like to help.
  • Get a form from me to take with you.
Where:
  • 10459 Tuxford Street, Sun Valley CA 91352
Special:
  • "ALSO, March 26 is our Poppy Day Spring Festival. We very much need 3 students for a morning shift from 8:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and 3 students for an afternoon shift from 12:00 to 4:30 p.m. to help customers with their plant purchases (students staff a holding area for the carts of plants, then, when customers have paid, the students help them take their plants to their cars, and then repatriate the nursery carts to the Sales Yard). This is our HUGE spring native plant sale, and we serve more than 600 hundred people in one day. Our TPF volunteers are typically forty years plus, and the cart duty is too exhausting for them. Some energetic high school students would be fantastic! We will provide breakfast and lunch, and students should bring a hat and water and wear comfortable shoes." (Lisa Novick)





Passing Rates


The following table shows the score breakdown for each student taking the College Board Exam since I've been teaching AP Environmental Science. A score of 3 or higher is generally considered passing. Note the higher passing rate of students who have taken AP Biology.

Number of students
Year
1
2
3
4
5
Total
% Passing
% Passing w/o AP Bio
% Passing w/ AP Bio
2008-2009
5
5
4
6
0
20
50.0
41.2 (7/17)
100.0 (3/3)
2009-2010
1
1
0
3
2
7
71.4
66.7 (4/6)
100.0 (1/1)
2010-2011
0
0
1
5
4
10
100.0*
100.0 (1/1)
100.0 (9/9)
2011-2012
1
0
2
5
2
10
90.0
100.0 (4/4)
83.3 (5/6)
Cumulative
7
6
7
19
8
47
72.3
57.1
94.7

*Highest at Village