APES        Advanced Placement Environmental Science

Instructor: Mrs. Karavites-Uhl         Room : 2232

Email:  Deborah_karavites-uhl@glenbard.org        

Website:   http://mrs.kuhl.educatorpages.com  

Text: Living in The Environment, 15th Edition by Miller

The goal of the GBN AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze scientific problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them.

Course Description

Advanced Placement classes are very challenging and rewarding. The AP Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of a one semester, introductory college course in environmental science. A combination of lecture, class discussion, field experiences and student projects will be used to explore the school’s local community and global issues.

Course Syllabus **

For each unit, students will be assigned a variety of activities and assignments.  These may include chapter outlines, worksheets with practice AP questions, study guides, practice essays, teacher demonstrations, concept maps, small group projects, labs, quizzes and tests.  Students will be responsible for reading the text and adhering to due dates.

** please note – syllabus is subject to changes and additions





Assignments & Labs


Review- Science & Systems




The Omnivore’s Dilemma

Sustainable Agriculture


Saturday Lab:  Date TBA


Current Event


Weekly Quizzes on Lecture Material and Labs


Quarter Exam









Math Review

Omnivore’s Dilemma Concept Map

Tragedy of the Commons


Carbon Cycle Game

Biogeochemical Cycles

School Yard Lab

Trophic Levels – Food Webs/Chains

Dirt! (Movie)

Soil Labs

Water Labs

Sustainable Meal

Vanishing of the Bees ( movie)

Journal Readings/Questions

Vocab Challenge – FRQ’s




Chapters Covered

Assignments & Labs


Population Ecology

Sustaining Biodiversity

Species, Aquatic, Food


Saturday Lab:  Date TBA


Current Event


Weekly Quizzes on Lecture Material and Labs


Quarter Exam

7, 8, 9

10, 11



Doubling Time

King Corn ( Movie)

Water Loss, Drop by Drop

Population Labs

Age Pyramid Structures

Are there enough Turkeys?

Mark & Recapture

Journal Readings/Questions



Vocab Challenge – FRQ’s


Non Renewable Resources

Renewable Resources

Environmental Hazards

Air Pollution & Climate Change



Saturday Lab:  Date TBA


Current Event


Weekly Quizzes on Lecture Material and Labs


Quarter Exam

15, 16







Cost of  Shower

Geo Blox


Fossil Dating

Global Warming

Who Killed the Electric Car ( Movie)

Journal Readings/Questions


Vocab Challenge – FRQ’s


Sustainable Cities


Environmental World Views


Saturday Lab:  Date TBA


Current Event


Weekly Quizzes on Lecture Material and Labs


AP REVIEW   Saturday before test

In Class Review






Insulation Study

Solar Labs

Solar Challenge

Low Impact Man ( movie)

Journal Readings/Questions


Vocab Challenge – FRQ’s


Teaching Strategies                  I use a variety of the following teaching strategies to engage my students.

  • Lecture: introduces new subject matter
  • Debates/Discussions : to provide students with a more extensive viewpoint of the subject matter
  • Internet Research: Students should engage in independent research to further their knowledge of difficult concepts presented in class.  Internet research is also used for projects and assignments. DO NOT ASSUME EVERY DETAIL WILL BE COVERED IN CLASS.
  • Current Events: Students will be responsible for 1 current event per unit of study, provide discussion questions and will lead small group discussions.  Every 4 weeks, 1 lab group will be chosen to highlight their current events on the bulletin board.
  • Lab Activities and Experiments: All lab equipment is to be handled with care. Carefully read instructions and if still in doubt, ask your instructor. Lab instruction sheets are not used for grading. Please record final results in your notebook.   Group investigation DOES NOT mean group grades. Each student will be responsible for an individual response per lab activity. Be prepared for quizzes on all labs and lab activities.
  • Videos and Video Clips: I believe many students are audio/visual learners and educational videos are essential to their understanding and comprehension of the material presented.
  • Project based Assignments: Projects help assess students on a level that sometimes is not addressed in tests or quizzes.  This format allows students to use skills and talents from other discipline areas to enhance their study of Environmental Science.
  • Field Excursions/Studies: Students working in the field with actual scientific equipment is rewarding and challenging. It provides them the opportunity to experience firsthand problem solving and team work. The Field trips are not mandatory, however, the material covered in a field excursion will be required material on tests, quizzes and class assignments. Data collected on field excursions will be used for in-class lab experiences and each student is individually responsible for their lab write-up.   
  • Saturday Labs:  These labs will be announced at the beginning of each quarter. They are not mandatory –the data collected may be used for a required in-class assignment. We would meet from 9-12 on the assigned date, in our classroom 2232. We may use this time for a field trip experience. Plenty of notice and the required permission slips will be given out in class. These labs are meant to provide additional experience using equipment or collecting data.


Lab Component

In AP Environmental Science, we will be spending 100 to 150 minutes per week performing or investigating environmental problems/concepts in the lab. Attendance is crucial to your success. The students will work in groups of 4-5 students to complete the work. Students are required to complete any pre-lab, lab write ups and post lab activities individually. Lab Instructions Sheets are not lab write ups and will not be collected. USE NOTEBOOK.

Student Evaluation

  • Grades are based upon total points earned. Projects, tests and quizzes are point based.
  • Tests and Quizzes may be in AP format, multiple choice or essay.
  • Labs and activities  are graded with the following rubric:




Present for Lab Assignment, no work handed in (Student will make arrangements to complete lab outside of class time)


Lab attempted, not completed and needs to be redone. (Student will make arrangements to complete lab outside of class time)

3 /4

Lab completed, key concepts missing or incomplete. (Student may redo and make arrangements to complete lab outside of class)

4 /4

Lab completed, write up format followed. Student understands key concept.


  • Absent Work: Students must make arrangements to complete missed assignments.
  • Quizzes: may or may not be announced. Quiz topics will include labs, class discussions, homework assignments and readings.
  • Zero Grade:  Zero grades will be assigned for any missing work not completed before the second to last week before the end of the quarter. NO incomplete – missed work will be accepted the last week of class before the end of the quarter.
  • REDOS: At the discretion of the teacher.

The district assigned grading scale will be used and can be found in your Panther Planner.


The AP Environmental Science test is scheduled for May 2012. The test is comprised of multiple choice questions and essay responses. There is a 5 point grading system, a score of 3 or better will earn college credit.  For more information on AP testing, visit the College Board Website




Supply List

Text Book                                                                            Pencils, pens, erasers

Calculator with log function                                         Highlighter

Lab Notebook                                                                   Folder/binder/loose leaf paper