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Environmental Science
Course Length: 1 Semester
Has Textbook: Yes
Environmental Science will introduce students to the scientific method, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, biomes of the world, trophic interactions, and nutrient and chemical cycles. Students will discuss the various forms of energy, including both renewable and nonrenewable resources. Students will learn ways in which humans can use the land and will also explore the impact humans have on the environment. Students will study ways in which humans can reduce negative environmental consequences. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to learn about numerous environmental issues, laws, and policies.

Course Objectives

Unit 1: Essential Content and Skills

  • Discuss how the geosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the biosphere work independently and are integrated to work together as one complete system on Earth.
  • Define different factors that make up both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
  • Compare and contrast population and community within an ecosystem.
  • Analyze the different ways in which energy and matter can be cycled within an ecosystem.
  • Discuss types and effects of succession.
  • Analyze the different types of biomes located around the world and identify the different characteristics of each.
  • Discuss the demographics of human population and how to predict and develop a sustainable population.

Unit 2: Essential Content and Skills

  • Discuss different global water resources and some of the biggest uses for water.
  • Discuss the ongoing problem of water pollution as well as the different types of water pollution.
  • Discuss noise, light, and air pollution, and their adverse effects on an ecosystem.
  • Analyze the different causes of climate in specific regions of the world.
  • Examine the importance of the ozone layer.
  • Compare Earth’s atmosphere to a “greenhouse” to be able to analyze the overall global climate change.
  • Describe the different types of land uses and their effects on the environment, including solutions.

Unit 3: Essential Content and Skills

  • Define minerals to be able to discuss the different methods used to mine them and the effects of this mining.
  • Describe the different types of non-renewable and renewable resources.
  • Examine the advantages and disadvantages of different types of non-renewable and renewable resources in the production of energy.
  • Discuss different types of alternative energy that are currently being researched, developed, and used.
  • Discuss different types of solid wastes and the different ways in which they can be disposed.
  • Identify and describe ways in which you can ultimately produce less waste.
  • Define and describe different types of hazardous and radioactive waste.

Unit 4: Essential Content and Skills

  • Analyze Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection to be able to further discuss the importance of biodiversity on Earth.
  • Describe the consequences of removing a predator from the ecosystem.
  • Describe the main reasons people want to import exotic animals and problems that it can cause.
  • Describe the benefits and drawbacks of using DDT as a pesticide.
  • Describe energy transfer in a food chain.
  • Examine different types of waste found in oceans and the effects they can have on marine life.
  • Discuss different types of sustainable energy alternatives to benefit our future on Earth.

Course Materials

  • Holt Environmental Science (textbook)

 *Available as an iText course

**NCAA approved