• Duration times are approximate.  Labs and activities may vary depending upon availability of materials.


    Unit 1:  Introduction to the Environment and Its Problems                     Duration: 13 days


    Chapter 1: Introduction to Environmental Problems and Sustainability

    Chapter 2: Section 3 – What is Energy and Energy Changes

                      Section 4 – Systems and How They Respond to Change

    Labs and Activities:

    “I’ve Got Mine” Lab – Tragedy of the Commons

    Ecological Footprint Activity – Students will determine their ecological footprints, analyze their

    results and offer solutions as to how they can reduce their ecological footprints.

    “The Lorax” VHS


    Unit 2:  The Living World, Biodiversity, and Earth Systems                   Duration: 33 days


    Chapter 3: Section 1 – Earth’s Support Systems

                      Section 2 – Components of Ecosystems (trophic levels, photosynthesis, respiration)

                      Section 3 – Energy in an Ecosystem (food webs, energy pyramids)

                      Section 4 – Cycles in Nature (carbon, nitrogen, water, sulfur, phosphorus)

    Labs and Activities:

    Biogeochemical Cycles Lab


    Chapter 4: Section 1 – Types of Biodiversity and Its Importance

                      Section 2 – How Life Changes Over Time (evolution, natural selection)

                      Section 3 – Geology, Climate, and Effects on Evolution

                      Section 4 – Speciation, Extinction, and Human Impact on Biodiversity

                      Section 5 – Importance of Biodiversity

                      Section 6 – Roles in Ecosystems (niche, keystone species)

    Labs and Activities:

    Loss of Biodiversity Kit


    Chapter 7: Section 1 - Factors that Influence Climate (atmosphere, weather vs. climate, ENSO)

                      Section 2 – Climates and Biomes (terrestrial biomes)

                      Section 3 – Human Impacts on Terrestrial Biomes

    Labs and Activities:

    Bottle Biosphere Project – Students will construct and monitor a closed system in a  2 liter bottle.  Analysis of their results will include solution to problems encountered as well as an application of what was learned to the earth as a closed system


    Chapter 8: Section 1 – Marine Life Zones

                      Section 2 – Importance of Marine Systems (marine biomes)

                      Section 3 – Human Impacts on Marine Ecosystems

                      Section 4 – Freshwater Ecosystems (freshwater biomes)

                      Section 5 – Human Impacts on Freshwater Ecosystems

    Labs and Activities:

    Benthic Bugs and Bioassessment Lab


    Chapter 9: Section 1 – Human Role in Loss of Biodiversity (extinction, endangered species)

                      Section 2 - Reasons to Care about Sustaining Biodiversity

                      Section 3 – How Humans Accelerate Loss of Biodiversity (habitat loss, pollution,

    introduced species)

                      Section 4 – Protecting Biodiversity (laws, preserves)

    Labs and Activities:

    Allelopathy Lab

    Scientific Frontiers: Alien Invasion DVD  OR  Cane Toads DVD


    Unit 3:  Population                                                                                        Duration: 13 days


    Chapter 5: Section 1 – Species Interactions (competition, predator/prey, symbiotic relationships)

                      Section 2 – Succession

                      Section 3 – Populations (carrying capacity, reproductive strategies, survivorship)

    Labs and Activities:

    Population Dynamics and Biotic Potential Lab

    Population Growth with Lemma Minor Lab


    Chapter 6: Section 1 – Human Population (history, distribution)

                      Section 2 – Factors that Influence Human Population (fertility rates, birth/death rates)

                      Section 3 – Age Structure Diagrams (demographic transitions)

                      Section 4 – Slowing Human Population Growth (case studies, national policies)

                                         Impacts of Human Population Growth

    Labs and Activities:

    Fieldtrip to Cemetery: Population Distribution and Survivorship Lab – Students will gather data

    from tombstones, construct graphs from the data, and analyze trends in survivorship.

    Population Pyramid Activity

    Nova “World in Balance” DVD



    Unit 4:  Land Use                                                                                          Duration: 26 days


    Chapter 10: Section 1 – Forest Types and Methods of Harvesting (deforestation)

                        Section 2 – Forest Management – Sustainability

                        Section 3 – Rangelands (threats to, management of)

                        Section 4 – Managing Parks and Preserves

                        Section 5 – Sustaining Biodiversity (ecosystem approach, hotspots)


    Chapter 12: Section 1 – Food Security (human nutritional requirements)

                        Section 2 – Food Production (types of agriculture, genetic engineering, green


                        Section 3 – Environmental Problems from Agriculture (erosion, desertification,

    irrigation, aquaculture)

                        Section 4 – Pest Protection (pesticides: benefits and drawbacks, IPM)

                        Section 6 – Producing Food Sustainably (crops, aquaculture)

    Labs and Activities:

    Soil: The Wealth Beneath Your Feet Lab

    Soil Factor: How Does Your Garden Grow? Lab

    Agriculture & Feeding a Growing Human Population Lab – Students will analyze information to

    offer solutions as to how we can feed an ever growing human population.


    Chapter 22: Section 1 - Trends in Urban Areas (urbanization, sprawl)

                        Section 2 – Problems with Urban Areas (noise pollution)

                        Section 3 – Transportation and Urban Areas (infrastructure, alternatives)

                        Section 4 – Planned Land Development

    Labs and Activities:

    “Green” Building Activity


    Chapter 14: Section 1 – Earth’s Major Geologic Processes

                        Section 2 – Global Reserves of Minerals

                        Section 3 – Environmental Impacts of Mining (laws)

                        Section 4 – How to use Mineral Resources more Sustainably

                        Section 5 – Earth’s Major Hazards (earthquakes, volcanoes)

    Labs and Activities:

    Yours, Mine, and Ores: Study in Mining and Reclamation Lab Kit


    Unit 5:  Water Resources and Pollution                                                      Duration: 13 days


    Chapter 13: Section 1 - Freshwater Users and Supply

                        Section 2 – Groundwater Issues

                        Section 3 – Expanding Freshwater Resources

                        Section 6 – Using Freshwater More Sustainably

    Labs and Activities:

    Modeling an Aquifer and Groundwater Lab


    Chapter 20: Section 1 – Causes and Effects of Water Pollution

                        Section 2 – Major Water Pollution Problems in Streams and Lakes

                        Section 3 – Major Pollution Problems Affecting Groundwater

                        Section 4 – Major Pollution Problems Affecting Oceans

                        Section 5 – Dealing with Water Pollution

    Labs and Activities:

    Who’s Killing Crystal Creek Lab – Students will analyze water samples to determine the source

    of pollution, analyze the risks to human health, the impacts to the stream ecosystem, and offer solutions to prevent or cleanup the pollution.

    “Wonderful World of Dung” DVD

    Fieldtrip: Waste Water Treatment Plant



    Unit 6:  Energy Resources                                                                            Duration: 13 days


    Chapter 15: Section 1 – Energy Concepts and Consumption (history)

                        Section 2 – Oil (extraction, supplies, advantages, disadvantages)

                        Section 3 – Natural Gas (extraction, supplies, advantages, disadvantages)

                        Section 4 – Coal (extraction, supplies, advantages, disadvantages)

                        Section 5 – Nuclear Power (safety issues, fission vs. fusion, advantages,


    Labs and Activities:

    Which fuel is “better”? Lab

    Impacts of Fracking – Analysis of Information, role play, and debate


    Chapter 16: Section 1 – Energy Efficiency

            Section 2 – Solar Energy (types, advantages, disadvantages)

                        Section 3 – Hydropower (types, advantages, disadvantages)

                        Section 4 – Wind Power (advantages, disadvantages)

                        Section 5 – Biomass (types, advantages, disadvantages)

                        Section 6 – Geothermal Energy (extraction, advantages, disadvantages)

                        Section 7 – Hydrogen Fuel Cells (advantages, disadvantages)

                        Section 8 – A More Sustainable Energy Future

    Labs and Activities:

    Energy Audit Activity - Evaluate energy efficiency of their home and offer solutions for

    increasing energy efficiency

    Ethanol Fuel from Corn Lab


    Unit 7:  Environmental Quality – Pollution and Its Impact                      Duration: 26 days


    Chapter 17: Section 1 - Major Environmental Health Hazards

                        Section 2 – Biological Hazards

                        Section 3 – Chemical Hazards

                        Section 5 - Risk Analysis

    Labs and Activities:


    Chapter 18: Section 1 – Nature of the Atmosphere (structure, composition)

                        Section 2 – Major Outdoor Air Pollution Problems

                        Section 3 – Acid Deposition (associated problems)

                        Section 4 – Indoor Air Pollution

                        Section 5 – Health Effects of Air Pollution

                        Section 6 – Dealing with Air Pollution (laws, remediation and reduction strategies)

                        Section 7 - Stratospheric Ozone Depletion (causes, effects, remediation, laws)