Advanced Placement (AP)Download PDF Environmental Science

Credit Hours: 1.0

Course Length: 2 Semesters

Course Description

This course is designed to acquaint students with the physical, ecological, social, and political principles of environmental science. The scientific method is used to analyze and understand the interrelationships between humans and the natural environment. The course shows how ecological realities and the material desires of humans often clash, leading to environmental degradation and pollution. The course consists of six chapters covering the following topics: Earth’s Systems, Human Population Dynamics, Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, Global Changes, and Environment and Society. Chapters are divided into several subsections, each of which contains text, animations, laboratory simulations, and video presentations by experts.

After completing the course, the student will be able to:

  1. Read, understand, and interpret a variety of scientific information.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in explaining, analyzing, and evaluating environmental problems and their solutions.
  3. Apply the concepts and procedures of scientific reasoning to understanding the natural world.
  4. Perform field studies and experiments, interpret the results of observations, and communicate results and conclusions.

Course Prerequisites

Biology, Chemistry, Algebra 1 and teacher recommendation. The prior completion of Physics and honors level English courses is highly recommended.

Required Textbook(s) and/or Materials

Title: Environmental Science
Edition: 10th
Authors: Miller
Publisher: Thompson

Course Outline

Semester I:

  1. Environmentally Sustainable Societies
  2. Environmental Problems Part I
  3. Environmental Problems Part II
  4. Principles Of Sustainability
  5. Science, Matter, And Energy
  6. Earth Structure And Systems
  7. Ecology
  8. Biodiversity And Evolution
  9. Impacts Of The Human Population


  1. Climate And Terrestrial Biodiversity
  2. Aquatic Biodiversity
  3. The Species Approach
  4. The Ecosystem Approach
  5. Sustaining Aquatic Biodiversity
  6. Food, Soil, And Pest Management
  7. Water Resources
  8. Geology And Nonrenewable Minerals
Semester II:

  1. Energy Conservation and Efficiency
  2. Nonrenewable Energy
  3. Renewable Energy
  4. Biological and Chemical Hazards
  5. Air Pollution
  6. Water Pollution
  7. Solid and Hazardous Waste


  1. Climate Change
  2. Sustainable Cities
  3. Economics and the Environment
  4. Politics and the Environment
  5. Ethics and the Environment
  6. Issues in Environmental Science