Environmental Science is designed to be an elective course for students with a special
interest and high motivation for an in-depth study of environmental science. Information
is presented in an integrated approach with science as inquiry, science & technology,
science & social perspectives, and the history & nature of science. The course
integrates unifying science concepts and processes of systems, order & organization,
evidence, models & explanation, change, consistency & equilibrium, and form &
Scientific inquiry and understanding about inquiry are emphasized through practical
implications and meaningful applications. Topics students study include, but are not
limited to, the laws of matter & energy, ecosystem analysis, population dynamics,
renewable & nonrenewable resources, human impact on the environment, and the
relationships among economics, politics, ethics, and the environment.
Holt Environmental Science (Arms) Holt, Rinehart & Winston. 2004.
Supplementary Reading Materials (Magazine, Internet and Newspaper Articles)
PLANNING PERIODS: 4th and 5th
Please bring the following materials to class every day.
Textbook and Notebook
Pencils/Black or Blue Ink Pens
Loose Sheets of Paper
Pocket Folder or Binder
90-100 = A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D
59 or below = F
Articles and Presentations 15%
Homework and Seatwork 25%
Labs and Projects 25%
Quizzes and Exams 25%
First Quarter: 45%
Second Quarter: 45%
Semester Exam 10%
Your grade in this class will be a reflection of the quality and quantity of assignments
that you have submitted. These are the kinds of assignments that you will encounter
EXAMPLES OF ASSIGNMENTS
A. PROJECTS. A majority of the assessment grades for this class will consist of
projects that will be completed individually and/or in groups. These projects may
include a written component, an oral presentation and/or the construction of
B. QUIZZES. There will be regular quizzes given each grading term. The quizzes
will consist of short essay questions, multiple-choice, true or false, and/or fill-in
C. TESTS. Tests are mostly made up of essays. There will be few multiple-choice,
matching, and true and false questions, with the exception of the final exam. The
final exam is comprehensive of just the quarter.
D. HOMEWORK. Homework is assigned every period. Assignments are questions
from the textbook and chapter worksheets from a resource book.
E. ARTICLES AND PRESENTATIONS. Two current articles on an environmental
issue must be read each quarter. A written summary for each will be submitted,
and followed with a PowerPoint presentation on one of the articles.
F. NOTEBOOK. A notebook is required for the course to take notes during class
every period. Cornell note format will be used. Notebooks will be collected and
checked at mid- and end of the quarter.
G. LABS. Hands-on activities include conducting experiments, building models,
collecting and analyzing data, field work, and observing environmental systems.
I encourage you to work with friends on problems that may be difficult to work through
on your own. This does not mean that one person does the work while others copy.
Copying just means you’re letting others do the thinking for you.
Homework is due at the beginning of class. Please have your assignments ready to be
collected shortly after attendance has been taken. Assignments should be done on a
full clean sheet of paper and your writing should be legible.
LATE WORK POLICY:
Late work is accepted for full credit for an excused absence. However, you must
provide a note for your excused absence to receive credit. You are allowed a grace
period equal to the number of days absent. Please check with a classmate to get the
notes and assignments for that period.
Work submitted from an unexcused absence, or submitted after it has been collected on
the due date, will only earn half credit.
If you are absent for a quiz, exam, or a lab, and you have an excused absence, you
must make it up within the next two Seminar periods. Make-ups beyond this period can
only earn up to a maximum of 50% of original credit. Make-ups for unexcused
absences are also limited to a maximum of 50% credit. Labs cannot be made up after
five class periods (two weeks).
I will be available for tutoring during Seminar. Please obtain a pass from me in the
morning before Seminar.
1. Have all appropriate materials and supplies at your table and be in assigned seat
when the bell rings. You are tardy if you are not near your seat.
2. Respect the people, equipment, and furnishings of science room and school.
3. Adjust the level of voice to suit the activity of the class.
4. Listen carefully and follow directions the first time they are given.
5. All other rules and procedures from the PHS handbook apply to this course.
GENERAL CLASSROOM PROCEDURES:
1. Submit homework due that day at the beginning of class.
2. Students will take notes during class lectures.
3. Handouts will be passed out only once. If lost, they must be copied from another
4. At the close of class, students will be dismissed by the teacher.
5. Before leaving the room students must insure that their work areas are clean and
chairs have been returned to their proper places and pushed into the tables.
6. Students are expected to follow safe procedures at all times.
7. Students are expected to take proper care of their textbooks and all equipment.
8. Students will be charged the replacement value for a damaged or lost textbook.
9. Students are not to bring nor consume drinks or food in class.
10. Students are not to bring to class any materials other than science materials.
ESSENTIAL OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of Environmental Science, students
should be able to:
Engage in full and partial scientific inquiries to design, conduct, and communicate
scientific investigations to explore ideas about the natural world.
Use scientific inquiry to design and conduct scientific investigations to meet a
human need, make a decision, solve a human problem, or develop a product.
Recognize and describe the interrelationship between science and technology.
Apply the tools of technology (e.g., computers) in scientific endeavors.
Identify qualities inherent in scientific behavior (e.g., reasoning, insight, energy,
skill, and creativity)
Discuss contributions of men and women of various social and ethnic
backgrounds to science and technology.
Apply science concepts to make decisions (weighing risks and benefits) about
students' personal health and well-being.
Design and conduct individual research.
Use proper procedures for collecting, analyzing, and organizing data.
Analyze a local ecosystem both qualitatively and quantitatively by means of field
and laboratory techniques.
Recognize major causes and solutions of air, water, and land pollution.
Identify the economic, social, legal, and ethical issues affecting the globe.
Present an understanding of basic principles of the biological, geological, and
physical aspects of environmental science.
Describe how environmental science interacts with technology and society.
Display critical thinking skills.
Develop an awareness of current environmental issues.
1. QUARTER 1. The student will demonstrate an understanding of how scientific
inquiry & technological design, including mathematical analysis, can be used
appropriately to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions. The
student will identify and describe current environmental issues, and considers of
the role of beliefs, attitudes, and values in proposing solutions to environmental
A. Science and the Environment
B. Tools of Environmental Science
C. The Dynamic Earth
D. The Organization of Life
E. How Ecosystems Work
G. Aquatic Ecosystems
2. QUARTER 2. The student will identify the effect of human activities on natural
processes and interrelationships within ecosystems. The student will identify a
variety of Earth’s finite natural resources, and assess the availability &
sustainability of resources.
A. Understanding Populations
B. The Human Population
F. Atmosphere and Climate Change
3. QUARTER 3. The student will identify a variety of Earth’s finite natural
resources, and assess the availability & sustainability of resources. The student
will explain how geochemical cycles and ecological processes on Earth interact
through time to cycle matter & energy and how human activity can alter the rates
of these processes.
B. Food and Agriculture
C. Mining and Mineral Resources
D. Nonrenewable Energy
E. Renewable Energy
4. QUARTER 4. The student will analyze ecology as interrelationships, explain the
transfer of matter and energy within ecosystems, relate the theory of biological
evolution to geologic time, and address speciation and biodiversity in the context
of the environment.
B. The Environment and Human Health
C. Economics, Policy, and the Future
LAB REPORT FORMAT:
After some of your laboratory exercises you will be asked to complete a report carefully
constructed to express your major observations and findings. The length of the report
will vary depending on the lab, but should not be fewer than 2 pages nor more than 6
pages, excluding graphs. When writing your reports you want to ask yourself an
important question: Does your report provide the details that would enable someone to
duplicate your experiment? The brevity of your report requires that you use a concise
writing style, touching only upon your most important observations and results.
Nevertheless, you must also present as much supporting detail as is necessary to
support your conclusions and allow the reader to understand the logic by which you
Think of the report as a scientific essay. It will have a title and sections containing:
A brief description of what should be included in each of these sections is included
Title. The title should summarize, as specifically as possible, the subject of the
Introduction. Your introductory paragraphs must include:
o Purpose: A single, concise statement of the major objective of the lab, i.e.
what are the questions you are trying to answer.
o Background: A brief summary of the topic being investigated, including
any information which may be necessary in order to understand your
stated purpose of the lab.
Procedure. Include the information necessary to allow someone to repeat what
o What data did you use? How did you collect the data?
o How did you set up and conduct your investigation?
o Include geographic locations, definitions of key terms, and anything else
necessary in order to understand exactly what you did.
Observations and Results.
o What did you observe in each part? Include all observations made at the
suggestion of the lab exercises. Always include the units of physical
quantities and label axes of plots.
o Describe any relationships that you observed between variables.
o Where appropriate include figures, graphs and calculations.
Discussion. This is the most important part of the lab, as it is where you
interpret your observations and results.
o Give explanations for and implications of any relationships observed.
Were the relationships as you expected from underlying physical
o Support your ideas with specific, quantitative references to the results of
your analyses. How do your observations lead to the conclusions you
o What are the main sources of uncertainty in interpreting your
o Address any interesting questions you may have had as you were working
through the lab exercises, as well any general questions included in the
o Can you make any generalizations? Why or why not?
Conclusion. Summarize your results, the main points of your discussion, and
how they relate to your stated purpose of the lab. It is a good idea to include how
the main points of your discussion are connected, in order to demonstrate the
overall significance of your findings and the concepts you learned.
NOTE TAKING FORMAT:
Taking Notes via
This side is used for key
statements that refer to This sides is large (about 2/3 of the page) and is used for
notes on the right-hand regular notes. When note taking, it is important to pay
side. attention to information presented and look for:
When studying, the right * Key words/ideas
side of the page can be * Important dates/places/people
covered up or folded back * Repeated or stressed information
and the student can ask * Ideas written on the board or overhead
the left-side questions or * Ways to abbreviate (Do not write every word.!)
explain the key * Diagrams and pictures that explain Formulas.
statements. If they get
stuck they can always go
to the right side for help.
Dear parents and students,
I am looking forward to working with you and teaching the Environmental Science
course. I hope students will do well and be enthusiastic throughout the course, parents
will be supportive and regularly involved with their child’s education, and that our class
be an enjoyable, safe and productive environment for learning.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me through our main
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Please fill-out this sheet and return to teacher
I have read the course syllabus and will keep it in the science folder or binder for future
reference during the school year.
Student Name (print)/Period # Parent/Guardian Name (print)
E-mail address Telephone Number