AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE INDEPENDENT RESEARCH PROJECT
The primary goal of our course is to learn how to design and carry out independent field or
laboratory work. Think carefully about what your interest are before selecting a topic for this long-
Our first formal discussion of your preliminary data for your report will be due in mid-
December, the exact date to be announced later. The culminating final report will be due in June, after
additional field research is completed during the winter. The scientific paper format will be used in
both cases. A poster presentation will be the culminating event of your project, completed after the
APES exam in May.
As of 10/1 you should have successfully submitted your (1) research problem and preliminary
hypothesis, (2) initial research plan/outline, and (3) a list of specific questions to be answered by your
research. This will require planning ahead and preliminary discussion with me before final approval can
A few ideas to get you started thinking about the project possibilities:
I. Air Pollution
Airborne particulate study
Tropospheric ozone monitoring
II. Bioassays: using living organisms to detect environmental pollutants
UV monitoring using living organisms
Acid rain experiments using appropriate living organisms
Studies involving heavy metals, salts, or other environmental degradation
III. Environmental Toxicity Testing
Using similar protocols to our lab work, determining LD50’s for various toxicants and relating
various toxicity test results to local environmental degradation
IV. Water Quality Testing
Long Island Sound, Ponsett Brook, local streams and numerous local runoff sites are available.
For testing coliform, biological oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen, macroinvertebrate diversity,
E. coli, and various nutrients (nitrate and phosphate)
V. Native plant studies
A variety of possibilities exist for monitoring and mapping aspects of our campus.
Life cycle studies of a select group of native plants.
VI. Natural History Studies
Local bird population/census studies on the HKHS campus: changes with seasons
Local insect population/census study
VII. Biodiversity studies
Using similar protocols to our lab work, doing comparative biodiversity study between two
VIII. Debunking “Green Products”
Researching a reportedly ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly’ product through literature to determine if it is
in fact eco-friendly and testing its viability as a product
REMINDER: THESE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE MANY IDEAS POSSIBLE.
The best long-term field research projects are simple, safe and always scientifically sound!
AP Environmental Science
Independent Field Research Project
I. Topic Category/Title:
II. Overall Purpose/Goal of your field project:
a. Why are you choosing your topic and what do you hope to accomplish?
b. What specific questions will your research project hope to answer? list each question
How will you carry out your experimentation? Describe in detail what your experimental plan
will be. Please use another sheet if necessary.
IV. Materials/equipment needed:
What exactly will you need in order to accomplish your work? LIST these items below: