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Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science Course Description 

AP Environmental Science

The goal of this course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, and to evaluate the risks associated with these problems and examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Students learn methods for analyzing and interpreting information as the scientific principles and disciplines are an integral part of the course. Students are encouraged throughout the course to consider scientific principles and disciplines when completing activities, and laboratory and/or fieldwork.

Text: Living in the Environment, 19th ed., by G. Tyler Miller and Scott E. Spoolman, National Geographic Learning, Cengage Learning, 2018.

Other Resources: In addition to the textbook, we will draw information from supplemental environmental science textbooks, lab manuals, periodicals, readings/case studies, and the Internet.

Course Description:

The AP® Environmental Science course is a full-year course designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, an introductory college course in environmental science. Unlike most other introductory-level college science courses, environmental science is offered from a wide variety of departments, including geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography. The AP Environmental Science course has been developed to be like a rigorous science course that stresses scientific principles and analysis and includes a laboratory component; as such, it is intended to enable students to undertake, as first-year college students, a more advanced study of topics in environmental science or, alternatively, to fulfill a basic requirement for a laboratory science and thus free time for taking other courses. In both breadth and level of detail, the content of the course reflects what is found in many introductory college courses in environmental science.

Laboratory Work:

A variety of laboratories/fieldwork includes data collection, the application of mathematical analysis by the student and data interpretation.  All laboratory/fieldwork includes an analysis and an interpretation component as well.  The laboratories and/or also include identification and analysis of environmental problems. Students discuss possible resolutions to the problem and sustainable ways in managing the environmental problem.  Students spend a minimum of one class per week engaged in laboratory and/or fieldwork.


The content of the course reflects what is found in many introductory college courses in environmental science.

Summary Info:


Format: Online

Approval: UC a-g/NCAA

Duration: Full Year

Credits: 10

Prerequisite: None