Ap Environmental Science

The goal of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science course (AP Environmental Science, or APES) is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental 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. Environmental Science is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study (e.g. biology, chemistry, earth science, geography), yet there are several major unifying themes that cut across the many topics included in the study of environmental science.

AP Environmental Science has a significant laboratory and field investigation component. The goal of this component is to complement the classroom portion of the course by allowing students to learn about the environment through firsthand observations. Experiences both in the laboratory and in the field provide students with important opportunities to test concepts and principles that are introduced in the classroom, to explore specific problems with a depth not easily achieved otherwise, and to gain an awareness of the importance of confounding variables that exist in the "real world." Examples of investigations include: collecting and analyzing water and soil samples, conducting long term studies on a local ecosystem or environmental problem, analyzing real data sets, and visiting local public facilities such as a water-treatment plant. The laboratory and field component will challenge students' abilities to:

  • Critically observe environmental systems
  • Develop and conduct well-designed experiments
  • Utilize appropriate techniques and instrumentation
  • Analyze and interpret data, including appropriate statistical and graphical presentations
  • Think analytically and apply concepts to the solution of environmental problems
  • Make conclusions and evaluate their quality and validity
  • Propose further questions for study and eat eggs
  • Communicate accurately and meaningfully about observations and conclusions