Environmental Science Syllabus

 Environmental Science Syllabus 

Kari Luckett 337-0330 ext. 543


Course Description from Course Bulletin

This is a student centered inquiry based course designed to allow students to collaborate and conduct research that will help them further understand their impact on the natural world.  Through critical thinking and problem solving, students will identify, analyze, and debate both natural and human made environmental problems.  Environmental science is interdisciplinary embracing a wide variety of topics from both Earth Science and Biology. 

Length of course:1 trimester (12 weeks) = 0.5 Academic Credit 

Classroom Expectations:In order to create a positive learning environment, we must be PRO. 

Be Prepared – This means that students will…..

  • Come to class with student id, homework, writing utensil, etc.
  • Come to class ready to work with others and learn.
 Show Respect – This means that students will….
  • Be open and courteous to others ideas, beliefs, and questions.
  • Use positive, non-offensive language and gestures.
 Take Ownership – This means that students will…..
  • Be present, arrive on time, and participate.
  • Maintain an organized science notebook.
  • Help maintain a clean classroom.
  • Follow school rules and procedures.

Make-up policy:It will be the students’ responsibility to contact teachers and make arrangements within a 3 day time period from the date of returning to school, the sharing of grades or the posting of grades.  Work from absences will be accepted for full credit if turned in within a week of the due date. 

Course Objective or Core Concepts:The student will be able to: / Students will learn to:

  • Conduct scientific investigations using appropriate tool and techniques.
  • Evaluate data from a scientific investigation to draw conclusions and generate new questions.
  • Examine how the Environmental Decision Making Model can be applied to any environment decision.
  • Recognize that, and describe how, human beings are part of Earth’s ecosystems.  Note that human activities can deliberately or inadvertently alter the equilibrium in ecosystems.
  • Recognize that and describe how the physical or chemical environment may influence the rate, extent, and nature of population dynamics within ecosystems.
  • Explain how freshwater is a limited resource and is impacted by land use decisions.
  • Analyze the impact of the ocean on the global earth system. (e.g. food, travel, transportation, weather and climate)
  • Recognize the fragility of the atmosphere and the importance of it to sustain all life on earth.
  • Explain the impact of humans on air pollution and the consequences each type of air pollution carries.
  • Determine the effect of the use of renewable and nonrenewable resources on our environment.
  • Describe the life cycle of a product, including the resources, production, packaging, transportation, disposal and pollution.

 Course Outline:This course includes nine measurement topics.  These are intended to develop a student’s ability to answer essential content area questions related to Chemistry.

q       Science Processq       Introduction to the Environmentq       The Biosphereq       The Hydrosphereq       The Atmosphereq       The Geosphereq       Environmental Policy 

Each unit of study includes the same core components, including…..q       Academic and content vocabulary developmentq       Lecture and note-takingq       Scientific Inquiry – including labs, projects and other hands on activitiesq       Regularly scheduled homework q       Ongoing assessment in the form of quizzes or tests 

Evaluation/Grading Criteria:Student grades will be calculated as a percentage of total points possible. 

Category:                                                                            Weight:

Assignments                                                                       10%

Labs                                                                                         20%  

Tests/Projects/Performance Assessments                     30%

Quizzes                                                                                    20%

Homework                                                                             20% 

The semester work will account for 80% of the total grade. 

An “X” in the grade book means “excused.” A “Z” in the grade book means that a student refused to turn in an assignment or complete an activity. 

Homework:Students will receive an A (100%) for completing the homework on time and with quality. Students will receive a D- (60%) for turning in homework late.  Incomplete homework will be assessed based on the level of completion when due and is up to teacher discretion.   

Exams: The exam will be a final project worth 20% of your final grade. 

Textbook and Other Materials:While there is no assigned textbook for this course, we will be referencing three textbooks. 

  • Arms, Karen.  (2008). Environmental Science. Austin: Holt, Reinhart and Wilson.
  • Tarbuck, Edward J. & Lutgens, Frederick, K. (2003) Earth Science (10th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
  • Feldkamp, Susan (ed). (2002) Modern Biology. Austin: Holt, Reinhart and Wilson.