AP Environmental Science

AP Environmental Science

See below for the course information for APES. Please feel free to email me with any questions at cgraham@ashland.k12.ma.us . See the sidebar for links to the class calendar, labs, and summer assignments.

Course Overview:

The AP Program:  (From College Board)

AP Program enables students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. The program provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both. Each AP course is modeled upon a comparable college course, and college and university faculty play a vital role in ensuring that AP courses align with college-level standards. 


AP Environmental Science:  (From College Board)

The AP Environmental Science course provides students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. The course helps students identify and analyze natural and human-induced environmental problems. It enables them to learn how to assess the risks associated with these problems and evaluate alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them.

The five big themes of APES:

-          Energy transfer

-          Interactions between Earth systems

-          Interactions between different species and the environment

-          Sustainability

The APES exam (by College Board) includes 80 multiple choice questions, worth 60% of the exam grade, and three multi-part free response questions (FRQs) worth 40%. The FRQs include one question on designing an investigation and two on analyzing an environmental problem and proposing a solution – one with calculations. Our test date: Mon. May 11th, 2020!

Unit Calendar

Unit 1: Basics of Environmental Science (Ch. 1,2)
September 3-11th

Unit 2: Ecology - Ecosystems, Biomes, Climate (Ch. 3,4)
September 12th – 26th

Unit 3: Population Ecology & the Human Population (Ch. 6, 7)
September 27
th – October 18th 

Unit 4: Water and Water Pollution (Ch. 9, 14)
October 21st – November 7

Unit 5: Earth Science and Agriculture (Ch. 8,11)
November 8th – December 9th 

Unit 6: Biodiversity and Land Use (Ch. 10, 5, 18)
December 11
th – January 8th

Unit 7: Energy and Fossil Fuels (Ch. 12)
January 3rd – January 22nd (test)

Unit 8: Air Pollution (Ch. 15)
February 3rd - 12th 

Unit 9: Global Climate Change (Ch. 19)
February 24th - March 9th

Unit 10: Nuclear Energy and Renewable Energies (Ch. 13+)
March 11th - 31st 

Unit 11: Waste and Human Health (Ch. 16, 17)
April 2nd - 16th 

APES Exam Review
April 27th - May 8th 

AP Environmental Exam: Monday, May 11th

 My favorite aspect of the subject: It really relates to your everyday life & the world directly around you!

Our calendar & daily work:  You will get a calendar with class topics and assignments for every unit. In general, each night we will have a reading assignment plus one additional assignment. Please use the calendar, on the left side-bar here, to help you daily; it will help you stay organized and plan ahead. But know it may be subject to change. 

Course Requirements and Grades:

Grading is on a point system. The range in points is due to an assignment’s length and importance.

         Tests                                        100 points                       Quizzes                        15-25 points

         Lab reports                              20-25 points                    Homework                     5 points

         Lab activities                           10-25 points

Tests and Quizzes:

There will be about three tests per term. Unannounced reading quizzes are given occasionally to make sure you are learning the material as we go. Missed tests/quizzes must made up within 2-3 school days maximum.


Labs and lab activities will always be graded. Other homework assignments will either be collected & graded or we will go over it together in class instead. All work is due at the beginning of class, neatly and completely. Late work is accepted one day late for half credit. The grade breakdown each term will be approximately…

            Tests - 60%                                           Quizzes (generally on reading) – 13%

            Labs & lab activities – 20%                   Homework checked – 5%

Absences & Make-up Work:

It is your responsibility to get missed work due to an absence. If you know you’re going to absent in advance, please let me know verbally or by email! I can email/give you things that will make the make-up much easier. If it’s not an anticipated absence, see me & the papers left in the absence tray. You need to make up any work within 2 class periods unless discussed otherwise. Communication is key if you’re absent as we moving at a fast pace.

Binder: My strong recommendation is to keep a three-ring binder and put all papers in chronologically! 

Class Expectations:


What you can expect of me:

-        Respect for every one of you   

-        Being prepared and ready to roll every day! 

-        Appropriate help whenever you need it 

-        Understanding and flexibility when you need it

-        Thorough and timely evaluation of your work   

-        Hard work and always striving to be a better teacher

What I will expect of you:

-        Respect for me, your classmates, and this classroom, and the class policies

-        Being prepared every day and working efficiently  

-        Being an active learner in class 

-        Doing your best work and your own work

-        Working hard, trying your best and challenging yourself!  


AND, although this is an AP class that requires hard work, I also expect to have a lot of FUN with you all!!!

Any questions? Please feel free to email me at cgraham@ashland.k12.ma.us