Course Description

The AP Environmental Science course is the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science, through which students engage with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. The course requires that students identify and analyze natural and human-made environmental problems, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Environmental science is interdisciplinary, embracing topics from geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography.

Weeks 1 and 2

Exam Format

Section I
Multiple Choice — 100 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 60% of Exam Score

  • Individual questions
  • Questions in sets
Section II
Free Response — 4 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 40% of Exam Score

  • Data Set (1 question)
  • Document-Based Question (1 question)
  • Synthesis and Evaluation (2 questions)

Please note: our in class unit exams will be 60 multiple choice questions and 1 FRQ in 90 minutes. You have 22.5 minutes for each FRQ, and 54 seconds for each multiple choice question. Pacing will be important, extra time will not be given in order to prepare you for the AP Exam. These exams will make up 80% of your overall class grade.


"Environment, The Science Behind the Stories," 5th Edition, AP Edition, written by Withgott and Laposata, published by Pearson in 2014

Course Calendar

Course Outline

Summer Assignment

Please be sure to follow the due dates on the summer assignment below.
My email address is msbabbey@gmail.com

Your information for each law should be brief, maybe 2 sentences, like this fake example: In 1989, the Babbey Law was enacted by Congress; it requires that all high school students in the US take 4 years of science. It is overseen by the US Department of Education, and relates to Unit 2 of APES.

1: Ecology

Biomes, Cycles, Succession, Ecosystems, Food Webs, Biodiversity
Chapters 1-5, 11

Chapter 1

Environmental Science

Chapter 2

Energy Flow in Ecosystems

Chapter 3

Cane Toads: An unnatural history

Population Ecology
Ecosystem Diversity

Chapter 4
Invasive carp: NPR: Asian carp and the Great Lakes

Links for the WQ:

Energy Flow
11 Worst Invasive Species

Chapter 5

15 rare and endangered species
Protecting our local watersheds
Environmental Systems
Ecosystem Ecology
Biogeochemical Cycles

Chapter 11

Ecosystem Diversity
Natural Ecosystem Change

Unit 1 Review

2. Human Interactions

History, Laws, Economics, Human populations, Urban areas
Chapters 6, 7, 8, 13

Human Population Dynamics
Human population size
Human population impacts
Environmental Economics

3. Land

Agriculture, Forests, Land, Soil
Chapters 9, 10, 12

Soil and Soil Dynamics
Forestry and Rangelands
Land Use

4. Water

Fisheries, Policies, Pollution, Oceanography
Chapters 15 and 16

Water Resources
Water Pollution

5. Air

Atmosphere, Pollution, Greenhouse gases
Chapters 17 and 18

The Atmosphere
Air Pollution
Stratospheric Ozone
Global Climate Change

6. Waste

Toxicology, Waste, Mining
Chapters 14, 22, and 23

Solid Waste
Health Impacts of Pollution

7. Energy

Fossil fuels, Alternative energy
Chapters 19, 20, and 21

Energy Concepts
Energy Consumption
Fossil Fuels
Nuclear Energy
Hydroelectric Power
Energy Reduction
Renewable Energy

8. Sustainability

Chapter 24

Global Climate Change
Loss of Biodiversity


Quick study card

Suggested Reading

"Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," by Barbara Kingsolver
"The Sixth Extinction," by Elizabeth Kolbert
"Silent Spring," by Rachel Carson
"Gathering Moss," by Robin Wall Kimmerer
"Desert Solitaire," by Edward Abbey
"The Hidden Life of Trees," by Peter Wohlleben
"Blue Mind," by Wallace Nichols