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Environmental Science

Sophomore Class

To explore the topics as outlined by the California State Standards and National Science Educational Standards. To know and understand the complex issues our environment is facing and be able to think logically and critically,  draw conclusions,  interpret and analyze the causes of given environmental issues. To incorporate sustainability in addressing environmental issues.


Goal: This course will  train the students and give them skills essential for acquiring, analyzing, collecting and interpreting scientific information related to our environment. The student will demonstrate the ability to use the scientific skills and processes and major environmental science concepts to understand interrelationships of the natural world and to analyze environmental issues and their solutions.


Purpose: The course will  provide students with the basic principles of the physical and biological sciences and the application of those principles to the earth environment. The course will also  develop the skills needed to understand, assess, predict and mitigate important environmental issues and problems that our society is facing.


I. Introduction to Environmental Science (Chapters 1-3)

  • What is Environmental Science?
    • Define environmental science and compare it to ecology.
  • The Environment and Society
    • Explain the major fields of study related to Environmental Science.
    • Discuss human’s impact on the environment.
  • Scientific Methods
    • Describe the steps of the scientific method.
    • Enumerate the steps in making informed decision.
  • Dynamic Earth
    • Describe the composition and structure of the earth
    • Explain the four interacting components of the Earth
    • Discuss the conditions that allow humans to survive on a constantly changing planet

II. Ecology  (CHAPTERS 4-7)

  • Organization of Life
    • Explain the diversity of living things and how they evolve from single celled organisms
  • How Ecosystems work
    • Explain the energy flow and  geochemical cycles in ecosystems
  • Biomes
    • Compare and contrast the different biomes



III. Populations  (CHAPTERS 8-10)

  • Human Populations
    • Explain how species interact with each other and how population change is size
    • Look at the world population over time
  • Biodiversity
    • Define biodiversity
    • Infer why biodiversity is at risk


IV. Water, Air and Land (CHAPTERS 11-13)

  • Water and Land Resources
    • Explain why fresh water and soil are considered Earth’s limited resources
    • Identify patterns of global water  and land use
  • Water pollution
    • Discuss the causes and effects of water pollution
  • Air, Noise and Light  pollution
    • Discuss the causes and effects of air, noise and light pollution
  • Climate and Climate change
    • Explain the difference between climate and weather
    • Discuss why different parts of the Earth have different climates
    • Describe CFCs, UVs, ozone layer andradiation,
  • Global Warming
    • Differentiate global warming and greenhouse effect
    • Identify the possible explanation for the increase in average global temperature
  • Land Management
    • Distinguish between urban and rural land
    • Explain land management and conservation
  • Food and Agriculture
    • Identify the major causes of malnutrition
    • Explain the importance of green revolution

V. Mineral and Energy Resources

  • Mining and Mineral Resources
    • Discuss mineral exploration and mining
    • Know the mining regulation and mine reclamation
  • Nonrenewable Energy and Renewable Energy
    • Differentiate nonrenewable and renewable resources
    • Give the importance of nuclear energy  and fossil fuels
    • Discuss how alternative energy can be used for survival
  • Waste
    • Identify solid and hazardous waste
    • Explain the environmental problems caused by waste

VI. Our Health and OUR Future

  • Biological Hazards
    • Explain how scientists use toxicology and epidemiology to protect human’s health
    • Describe the relationship between waste, pollution and human health
  • Economics, Policy and the Future
    • Define sustainability
    • Know the environmental policies of the United StatesExplain how economics and environmental science are related

note: Special THANKS to my mentor and master teacher Dr. Barbara Scott of Northridge Academy High School for all her support during my student teaching. She is my inspiration in all the activities I am doing in my class right now.

Subpages (1): Syllabus