AP Environmental Science

VISIT: http://shrvl.com/1A618 to access the Textbook Website for practice tests and more information for Unit 1.

VISIT: http://shrvl.com/E0d20 to access the Textbook Website for practice tests & more info for Units 2 - 8

The AP Environmental Science content corresponds to a one-semester length college environmental science course. The course is interdisciplinary in nature and will cover such topics as ecology (biology), the processes involved in the build-up of ground-level ozone (chemistry), the fundamental laws of thermodynamics (physics), and the global effects of the population explosion (social science and economics)


The AP Environmental Science course is an excellent option for any interested student who has completed two years of high school laboratory science— (one year of biology and one year of chemistry (chemistry may be taken concurrently).)  Due to the quantitative analysis that is required in the course, students should also have taken at least one year of algebra. Because of the prerequisites, AP Environmental Science will usually be taken in either the junior or senior year.

Units of Study:

1. Introduction to Environmental Science: Issues and Methods
2. Earth’s Systems and the Human Population
3. Earth and Ecology: Biogeochemical cycles and basic geology concepts, Ecosystems and Ecosystem Management, Biological Diversity, Biogeography, Biomes, & Invasive Species, Biological Productivity and
Energy Flow, Ecological Restoration & Succession
4. Food and Agriculture: World Food Supply, Effects of Agriculture on the Environment
5. Bioresources, Biodiversity, & Land Use: Forests, Parks and Landscapes; Wildlife, Fisheries and
Endangered species
6. Environmental Health, Pollution, & Hazard
7. Energy Resources and Human Energy Use: Basics (sources, consumption, units, efficiency), Fossil Fuels,
Alternative Energy, Nuclear Energy
8. Water: Supply, Use, Management, Pollution and Treatment
9. The Atmosphere: Structure, Dynamics, Climate, Global Warming, Air Pollution, Indoor Air Pollution, Ozone
10. Minerals and Mining
11. Waste Management
12. Environmental Economics, Urban Environments, Environmental Planning
13. Environmental Legislation

Sample AP Test Questions ( from http://apcentral.collegeboard.com)
Here are some sample multiple choice & free response questions from a recent AP Environmental Science Test:

Sample Multiple Choice Questions

1.When X joules of nuclear energy is used to produce Y joules of electrical energy, which of the following is true?

a)  In every case, X > Y   b)  In every case, X = Y   c)  In every case, X < Y
)  Either X < Y or X > Y, depending on the efficiency of the generator e)  Either X < Y or X > Y, depending on the amount of heat produced

2.Of the following, which has the greatest permeability?
     a)  Clay     b)  Loam    c)  Sand      d)  Silt       e)  Humus

3. The dangers of disposing of toxic chemicals underground came to public attention in which of the following locations?

 Bhopal, India b)  Chernobyl, Ukraine c)  Love Canal, New York d)  Minamata, Japan e)  Three Mile Island, Pennslyvania     

Sample Free Response Question from the 2002 AP Exam

The Colorado River runs 1,450 miles from the headwaters of the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California.  The river has many dams, aqueducts, and canals that divert water in order to supply water for electricity, irrigation, recreation, and domestic use.

a)     Describe and discuss two environmental problems that are associated with water diversion.
     If  there is a shortage of water, choices will have to be made as to whether water should be diverted to urban areas, agricultural areas, or natural ecosystems.  Make an argument for diverting water for urban consumption and an argument for permitting the flow of water to natural areas.
     Identify another example (other than the Colorado River) of a large-scale water-diversion project.  Discuss two environmental problems that have resulted, or might result, from this project.