• Class Philosophy

    This class connects traditional learning styles and techniques with experiential, get-out-and-do-it, hands-on, personally driven inquisitive learning methodology.  Students will spend time both in and out of the classroom, and are expected to fully participate in the fun and not-so-fun aspects of each setting.  As many great adventurers have learned, preparation is key, and there is no such thing as bad weather- just bad clothing.


    Specific Trimester Objectives:


    ·         I will outline a selected ecosystem including all of its parts

    ·         I will be able to explain each part of the following cycles: (water, nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon) and how each one is influenced by outside factors.

    ·         I will be able to describe factors that influence population growth in an ecosystem.

    ·         I will be able to explain how the make up of an ecosystem can be changed when a new species enters the community

    ·         I will be able to explain photosynthesis and respiration (comparing reactants and products) in both words and equations.




    ·         I will pick a type of pollution and explore all of its influences (both positive and negative)

    ·         I will follow the cyclical movement of carbon, oxygen and nitrogen through the soil, water systems, atmosphere and biosphere.

    ·         I will explain how human activity and natural processes are changing (both positively and negatively) the hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere.

    ·         I will be able to discuss the social, economic and ecological risks and benefits of changing a natural ecosystem as a result of human activity. 




    ·         I will be able to look at a system and analyze it from the perspective of all of the inputs, outputs and recognize that it can be easily influenced by outside factors.

    ·         I will look at the rock record and discuss how it provides evidence that the earth has plates, and they move.

    ·         I will explain how the earth’s features effect or cause the earths global climate patterns

    ·         I will describe how carrying capacity and population growth are related.

    ·         I will describe and give some examples of how human activities have affected living things and ecosystems.


    The Classroom: 

    Officially, I149.  But, is subject to change at the discretion of the teacher at any time.  Please check the with classmates and Remind 101 daily to know where you are supposed to go.  It is the student’s responsibility to know where the class will be meeting, and to be at the location in a timely manner. If you do not find us you will be marked absent.  Attendance is taken, and students will be marked tardy if excessively late.


    Earning Your Grade:

    A warning:  In life, fun does not necessarily equal easy.  Fun can be found in suffering/working.  Look at rock climbers…

    While you are suffering through OA, having fun that is, you will be earning points in these categories:


    • Learning Targets          : 90%
    • Final Exam                  : 10%


    To earn an A:  You will need to complete every journal entry at the highest level stated on the grading rubric; participate fully every day mentally and physically as this is the only way to truly learn the material that will allow you to do well on the tests; earn all points on every project big and small; turn everything in on time; NEVER whine or complain; and you must daily bring smiles, stories, giggles, camaraderie, friendship, and a taste for adventure and hard work.


    To earn lesser grades:  Not worth mentioning.  If every student showed up to our class and worked at the “A” level, just imagine how much cool stuff we could do.  You decide.  It sure would be unfortunate to be the one person who brings the whole group down.


    Common Sense, Safety, and Responsibility

    Mandatory.  Seniors are big boys and girls.  Prove it.  No excuses.  No oops.  No second chances.  There is no room for mistakes that endanger yourself or your classmates.  It only takes one to end it all.



    Participation is highly recommended and rewarding, but will not influence a student’s grade.  Additional fees apply to cover transportation and equipment.  Make-up assignments will be required for missed opportunities.



    This course is aligned with the AP Environmental Science curriculum.  A student who completes all three trimesters of the course AND completes the online supplement course will be well prepared to take the AP exam.  The online supplement course is optional and has no grade attached.  However, to take the AP exam with out completing this would greatly reduce your exam score.


    To Access the AP Online Supplement Course:

    1.      Select AHS, then Science, then our class.

    2.      Read the intro.

    3.      Understand that if you are taking the class and prepping for the AP Component you must start immediately.  If you are taking one trimester it is assumed that you are not taking the AP exam.


    Additional Help for AP EXAM 

    Some students have found the Barron’s AP Environmental Science test prep book helpful.  This can be purchased on Amazon.com for less than $10, but is not a required book.





    Please sign below thereby indicating that both you the student and your parent/legal guardian have read the OA syllabus, understand the expectations, addressed pertinent questions, and agree to the class’ policies and expectations.


    STUDENT: PRINT ____________________________ SIGNATURE: ____________________________________


    PARENT SIGNATURE:  ______________________________  Best Phone Number: ______________________


    AP:  I will be preparing for and taking the AP Environmental Science Exam.      YES                                  NO