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Environmental Science

Course Standards

Occupational Awareness & Safety

1) Use local news media, organizational websites, and real-time labor market information to

investigate occupations in environmental science. Compare and contrast the knowledge,

skills, and abilities necessary for employment, as well as the typical level of education


2) Review common laboratory safety procedures for tool and equipment operation in the

environmental and natural resources laboratories, including but not limited to accident

prevention and control procedures. Demonstrate the ability to follow safety and operational

procedures in a lab setting and complete a safety test with 100 percent accuracy.

Studying the Environment

3) Define the scope and impact of contemporary environmental science. Describe the

interdisciplinary nature of this field and provide examples of how other sciences such as

biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics relate to environmental science. Research

scholarly, peer-reviewed academic journals focused on the biophysical environment and

identify leading academic and professional organizations publishing results of

environmental research.

4) Define the term biome and indicate on a map the major biomes of the world. Develop an

annotated graphic that can be used to compare and contrast the climates, seasons, soil

characteristics, water availability, and other defining features of each biome. Differentiate

between biomes within the following categories: aquatic, grasslands, forest, desert, and


5) Apply basic business and entrepreneurship principles to plan, set up, operate, or expand an

environmental science related Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program. Compare

the components of SMART goals in relation to evaluating the success of the program.

Accurately maintain the prescribed activity recordkeeping system and apply proper financial recordkeeping skills as they relate to the SAE program.

Human Impact on the Environment

6) Using instructional materials and news media, research the evolving impact of humans on

the environment, from primitive societies to contemporary civilizations. Synthesize analysis

in an explanatory essay or presentation that highlights specific milestones and events, citing

textual evidence of both positive and negative impacts.

7) Synthesize census data and other resources to compare U.S. population statistics to those of

other countries around the world. Specifically examine growth rate, age structure, life

expectancy, and total population, among other key parameters. Analyze the factors that

impact population growth, and assess the impact of population growth in the U.S. and the

world on the following: availability of natural resources, land usage, waste production and

pollution, and global economic health.


8) Research the components of an ecosystem. Synthesize findings by developing a glossary of

terms essential to the study of ecosystems, defining at least the following: habitat, niche,

producers, consumers, and vertical stratification.

9) Compare and contrast grassland, forest, aquatic, and wetland ecosystems including types

and species, and explain how biogeochemical cycles and food webs facilitate the flow of

energy and the recycling of matter, supplying examples of species that fulfill key roles in

each ecosystem. Illustrate similarities in the structure and life processes of ecosystems

despite key differences across types of ecosystems.

10) Analyze how the abiotic and biotic components of the ecosphere interact with and impact

one another. Apply knowledge of these interactions to determine the suitability of an area

for different types of development (such as commercial, industrial, and primary residential).

Develop a claim about a development issue that impacts a selected ecosphere, supporting

the claim with evidence and sound reasoning from research.

11) Create a graphic and accompanying text illustrating primary and secondary succession in a

selected biome. Include a discussion of the pioneer species for that biome. Compare

immature and mature ecosystems and discuss indicators that can be observed to determine

maturity and quality of the ecosystem.

12) Citing case studies from news media, academic journals or instructional materials, discuss

the importance of biodiversity in an ecosystem. Assess how various land uses might impact

biodiversity in a given area. Summarize findings an informational essay on one of the

following topics:

a. Impact of the intentional or unintentional introduction of non-native species to an ecosystem

b. Threatened and endangered species

c. Agricultural Best Management Practices that promote biodiversity

Energy Consumption

13) Identify energy resources used in the United States and abroad, distinguishing between

renewable and nonrenewable resources. Research the global distribution of energy

resources; determine major resource-rich regions and how they intersect with geopolitical


14) Synthesize public data from government agencies and news organizations to compare

energy consumption in the United States to the energy consumption of other countries.

Create a series of graphs and charts to inform an average citizen about energy use trends

and statistics, including the percentage of each resource that comes from domestic and

foreign sources. Investigate claims made about the political and economic implications of

using foreign energy resources, analyzing author’s purpose and assess the extent to which

the reasoning and evidence provided support the author’s claim.

15) Investigate available print and digital tools for conducting an audit of personal energy use.

Compile and analyze self-collected data on total energy use, including transportation, water,

and electricity consumption, among others. Create and implement a plan to reduce personal

energy use. Compare the usage data after one month of implementing the plan, and discuss

key takeaways learned from the project.

Managing Ecosystems

16) Research standard methods for monitoring a variety of environmental conditions, including

but not limited to air, water, and soil, as well as the biological components of an ecosystem.

For each domain, create a fact sheet outlining common tests and procedures and the kinds

of information learned from the analysis of test results. Demonstrate at least one procedure

for learning about each domain.

17) Research sustainability as it applies to ecosystems and natural resources. Explain the

importance of ensuring sustainability when developing a management plan for a specific

resource or ecosystem. Outline the components of a management plan, and summarize

best practices for the management of forest, wetland, aquatic, and grassland ecosystems.

18) Describe the evolution of integrated pest management (IPM) strategies through history.

Create a brochure that explains the purpose and principles of IPM. Present specific IPM

strategies for controlling common home and landscape pests. Create additional

informational sheets for large-scale pest control in a variety of natural and human

engineered environments.

Legal and Civic Responsibility

19) Citing specific legislation and international conventions and treaties, create a timeline

depicting the historical development of environmental regulation at the state, national and global levels. For each regulation represented on the timeline, summarize the intended goals

and ultimate impact of that regulation. Include legislation related to air, water, toxic

substances, wastes, energy resources, and mandated environmental impact studies.

20) Describe the role of federal, state, and local governments in enforcing environmental

legislation. Differentiate between key agencies at each level and justify the need for general

regulations of environmental hazards.

21) Choose a current environmental issue and conduct research on environmental and ethical

implications for potential solutions. Craft an argumentative essay, developing a claim

supporting a specific solution and develop both claim(s) and counterclaim(s) with logical

evidence and reasoning.



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