1. Understanding Our Environment, Ethics and Philosophy-9/4-9/9
Environmental History of the World
Introduction to Environmental Problems
*Environmental Ethics and Philosophy
*Aesthetics vs. Economics
*Cultural Influences and Considerations
**Story of Easter Island
What are the main problems facing our environment today?
What are some of the hot local environmental issues today?
What are some of the current national/international environmental issues?
How have anthropogenic actions affected our ecosystems in America?
Know how to construct good arguments in favor of, or against, a particular position on an environmental issue.
Know how to use the internet to research environmental issues.
Intrinsic (Inherent) value
NIMBY (not in my backyard)
Estimates and Accuracy in Science
Don't take it for Granite
Environmental news article summaries
Video: Nova- Secrets of the Lost Empires 2
Recording: Mercy, Mercy, Me- Marvin Gaye
2. Matter, Energy and Life- 9/10-9/20
*First/Second Law of Thermodynamics
What physical laws govern ecosystem dynamics?
How do you make a food chain and food web for organisms in the regional ecosystems in our area?
What are the steps to the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles?
Construct food chains and food webs
Conservation of Matter
First law of thermodynamics
Second law of thermodynamics
Rapter Study: Owl Pellets
Marine Ecology Lab: Food Web and Energy Pyramids
Carbon Cycle Matching
Food Web String Activity
Reading: Beyond Global Warming. DBQ
Lenape Rainforest Food Web Scramble Game
Small mammal skeletons reference guides
Video: The Carbon Cycle
3. Biological Communities and Species Interaction- 9/23-10/4
*Tolerance Limits and Species Abundance
*Natural Selection and Adaptations
What causes changes in ecosystems?
What are the various stages of ecological succession in our area?
What are the main types of species interactions?
What is the relationship between physiological adaptations and evolutionary success?
What limits species abundance?
Constructing and analyzing graphs.
Know how to construct a formal lab report
Be able to utilize the transect sampling method.
Identify the ecological succession occurring in New Paltz High School fields and woods.
Be able to set up an experimental ecosystem and understand what abiotic or biotic conditions affect organisms.
Calculate the statistical analysis of a phenomenon using the Chi square test
Chi Square test
Competitive exclusion principle
Gross Primary Production
Law of limiting factors
Net primary production
Range of Tolerance
Transect sampling method
Ecological Succession: Evolution of Community Structure in a terrestrial environment
Nitrogen as Limiting Factor in Soil on Plant Growth
Environmental Factors and Organism Distribution in Pillbugs- experiment construction, hypothesis testing and Chi-Square Statistical Analysis
Graphing Detective: An exercise in critical reading, experimental design and data analysis.
Studying Forest Succession
Tribolite fossils scramble lab
Statistics and Hypothesis Testing
Chi Square modeling with M&M's
Plant identification guide books
New Paltz High School woods
4. Biomes, Restoration and Management- 10/7-10/21
Ecological and Terrestrial Biomes
*Temperate Deciduous Forest
*Tropical Rain Forest
*Lakes and Ponds
*Streams and Rivers
*Preservationists vs. Restorationists
*Federal and State Agencies
What are the characteristics of the major biomes of the Earth?
What are the ways to protect, repair and manage ecological hot spots?
Know how to do the Grinnell method of field journaling
Be able to use the Quadrant sampling method
Know how to write a scientific paper
Be able to identify local flora.
Know how to design, conduct and report the results of a scientific research experiment.
Quadrant Sampling method
Parking Lot Ecology
Collecting and Recording Ongoing Ecology Data- Grinnell method of Field Journaling, slope and quadrant plotting, plant identification, graphing
Critical Thinking Field Experiments and Formal Lab Reports
plant identification guide books
New Paltz High School woods
Slides/ Powerpoint- Ecosystems Around the World
Recording: Sounds of the Tropical Rainforest
Optional Field Trip: Canoeing Tivoli Bay
5. Biodiversity, Land Use and Nature Preservation- 10/22-10/31
*Hot Spots of the World
*Endangered and Extinct Species
Loss of Biodiversity
World Land Use
*Land Use Distribution
*Forest Land Use and Abuse
Parks, Preserves and Refuges
*Wildlife Preservation vs. Tourism
*Mineral Extraction and Timber Company Rights
*Fragmentation and Corridors
How do the mass extinctions in the pass differ from the rate of biodiversity loss experienced today?
What are the major challenges to preserving the biodiversity on the planet?
How has land use changed throughout human history?
What are some threats to our national parks?
What are some of the negative results of deforestation?
Why are wetlands so valuable as a resource?
Be able to compare the biodiversity between two areas using Shannon-Weaver index
Common pool resources
The Changing Earth From Space
Use the Shannon-Weaver Index to compare the biodiversity between different ecosystems
Endangered Species- What's Happening
Comparing Diversity in Human Managed Habitats
Ant biodiversity lab
Comparing Species Diversity in Islands of Different Sizes
What Price Open Space
Intro to Sampling Populations and Communities: Shannon-Weaver Index
Biodiversity/Endangered Species Research Paper
The story of squirrels and scopes
How much do you know about biodiversity?
Video: Cane toads
Video: National Geographic- America's Endangered Species
Video: Earth on the Edge
New Paltz High School Woods
Recording: Big Yellow Taxi- Janis Joplan
6. Population Dynamics- 11/1-11/8
*Exponential Growth and Doubling Time
*Catastrophic Population Decline
Factors that Increase or Decrease Populations
Factors that Regulate Population Growth
How do you estimate the population of groups of organisms in a large area?
What factors might regulate the population growth of an organism?
Know how to estimate the population of an organism in an area
Introduction to Sampling Populations and Communities
Field Population Ecology Lab- sampling techniques, data collection and analysis
Estimating Population Size
Rabbits versus population change
New Paltz High School fields and woods
7. Human Populations- 11/12-11/25
*Human Population History
*Demographics- birth rates, death rates, life expectancy
Impact on Resources
*Global Carrying Capacity
Population Projections and Solutions
*Estimated Demographic Transitions
**Fertility Decline in Rich Countries
**Female Education and Economic Status
What are some possible solutions to the soaring world population growth?
How does the growth rate of humans affect the use of world resources and health of the environment?
How do developed and underdeveloped countries differ in age structure, birth rates, infant mortality, death rates, male to female ratios and population growth?
How do you calculate the doubling time of organisms and the growth rate of a population?
Be able to calculate the doubling time of a population using the rule of 70
Know how to read age structure histograms
Interpret graphs of population data such as infant mortality and fertility rate.
Calculate the percent growth rate of a population over a given time period.
Age structure histograms
Crude birth rate
Crude death rate
Replacement fertility level
Rule of 70
Making an Age Pyramid
Modeling Exponential Growth
Population Demographics Lab
Human Population Changes in Survival Lab (survivorship curves, age pyramids, death per age group): Cemetery Field Trip
UN Conference of Population
Population- More is Less
Food for Thought: Human Population Issues
Food? What food?
Field trip: New Paltz Huguenot cemetery
Slides/ Powerpoint: Overpopulation
Video: Zero World Population
Video: The People Bomb
Recording: My City Was Gone- The Pretenders
8. Environmental Health and Toxicology- 11/26-12/5
*Types of Agents
Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification
*Tests and Ratings
*Acute and Chronic Dose-Response Relationship
*Evaluation and Response
How do you measure the toxicity of a substance?
How do the results of toxicity tests relate to environmental degradation and human health?
What are the affects of radiation on the growth of plants?
How are irradiated organisms affected by the dose and time of exposure?
Be able to conduct a disease risk analysis by measuring toxic materials affect on organisms
Know how to calculate the LD50 for various toxic materials
Be able to graph experimental and control data as a function of time and radiation data.
HAZMAT (hazardous material)
Field Testing and Preparing Reports
Radiation and Growth Factor Lab
Toxicology Lab: Brine Shrimp
Reading Product Labels Investigation
Human Health and Toxic Waste Research Paper
9. Environmental Geology- 12/6-12/11
Geologic Time Scale
Rocks and Minerals
How did plate tectonics affect the diversity of organisms in terms of habitat change and evolution?
How do you read a seismogram?
How do volcanic eruptions affect weather patterns?
How do volcanoes and earthquakes relate to plate tectonics?
Be able to read a seismogram.
Plate Tectonics, Volcanism and Earthquakes Lab
Online Geologic Time Line
CD Rom Activity on Plate Tectonics/Earthquakes
Comparison of weathering rates of limestone and granite
Slides/ Powerpoint: Weathering and landscapes
CD Rom Activity on Plate Tectonics/Earthquakes
10. Food and Agriculture- 12/12- 1/7
Agriculture and the Culture of Eating
*History of Agriculture
*Hunger and Obesity
**Pollution of Soil
Food Scarcity Solutions
What are the ways to retard soil erosion in agriculture?
What are the methods of mechanical and chemical weathering?
How is soil formed?
What are the soil horizons in a soil profile?
What kinds of soil hold water?
What are the chemical components of the soil?
What components of the soil are important for growing healthy plants?
What kinds of soil hold the most water?
Be able to determine the slope of your field study area
Be able to point out examples of weathering in your ecosystem
Be able to test soil for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and pH.
Describe soil characteristics in terms of color, texture, and water holding capacity.
Genetically Modified Organisms
Soil Formation and Soil Horizons Field Trip Lab
Soil Salinization affects on Plant Growth Lab
Soil: The wealth beneath your feet
Lettuce Test the Dirt
Dirt ball demonstration
Research paper on American Meat Industry
Soil test kits
New Paltz HS woods
Slides/ Powerpoint: Agricultural Practices
Video: Earth on the Edge
Video: Mystery of the Sphinx
11. Pest Control- 1/8-1/14
History of Pesticide Use and Abuse
**Effects on Nontarget Species
Alternatives to Pesticides
*Integrated Pest Management
How do you measure the success of a pesticide?
What are the negative effects of pesticide use?
What are some alternatives to pesticides?
How can you reduce your exposure to pesticides at home?
Be able to calculate the effectiveness of pesticides.
IPM (integrated pest management)
Natural chemical control
POP (pesticide organic pollutants)
Second generation pesticide
Natural Selection and Pesticide Resistance Lab
Calculating the amount of land needed to grow the food you eat
12. Air, Weather and Climate- 1/16-1/28
*Convection Cells and Global Winds
*Fronts, Storms, Monsoons
**Rising Sea Levels
*El Nino/La Nina
How does the differential heating of the planet create global wind patterns?
What are the major factors influencing the different climates of the world?
What affect does El Nino and La Nina have on global weather patterns?
How does the greenhouse affect work, what are typical greenhouse gasses and how can we reduce the emission of these gasses?
What are the global repercussions of the greenhouse affect?
How has the weather changed since your parents were young?
What will be the impact of global warming on our Midwestern farmland and Northeastern hardwoods?
Be able to measure atmospheric pressure, temperature, relative humidity and wind direction.
Be able to illustrate and explain the greenhouse effect.
Know how to analyze the impact of global warming.
Climates of the World
Investigating the Greenhouse Effect Lab
Investigating the Layers of the Atmosphere
Trends of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide in the US
Trends of Globally Averaged Temperatures
New Paltz weather station
Video: The Greenhouse Effect
Recording: Air- Talking Heads
13. Air Pollution- 1/29- 2/7
Pollution of the Air
*Primary and Secondary Pollutants and Sources
*Indoor Air Pollution
Effects of Air Pollution
Reduction of Air Pollution
*U.S.Air Pollution and Clean Air Acts
*Progress and Prospects
How does air pollution affect organisms including humans?
What are the EPA quality standards for air pollutants and how do they compare to the quality of air in New Paltz?
What are the affects of acid rain on the environment?
How do we reduce the emission of pollutants that cause acid rain?
How do weather patterns affect the deposition of acid precipitation?
How does weather and topography relate to air pollution?
What is causing the thinning of the ozone?
Why is the protection of the ozone layer important to us?
Know how to collect and measure particulate matter
Be able to measure the pH of water.
EPA- Environmental Protection Agency
Nitric acid (NHO3)
Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
Temperature (Thermal) Inversion
Volatile organic compounds
Acid Rain and Seed Germination
Field Testing and Preparing Reports
Detecting Atmospheric Pollution Lab
Investigating the pH of common substances
Acid Precipitation and Natural Buffers
Emissions of Air pollutants in US
Puzzle of the Decline of Amphibious populations
Comparing the pH of water bodies on school property
Video: Acid Rain
Video: Ozone- CFC's and Ozone Depletion
14. Water Use and Management- 2/10 -2/14
Water Availability and Use
*Fresh Water Quantities
*Distribution of Water Resources
*River Water Legal Battles
Methods of Increasing/Preserving Water Supply
What indoor water conservation tips would you give to your family to cut down on your home water use?
Be able to calculate private water use.
Cone of depression
Nonconsumptive water use
Monitoring Personal Water Use and Conservation Study
Gee Whiz Water Quiz
What is a Watershed Activity
Get the Ground Water Picture
Water issues: All the water in the World
World water distribution demo
Video: Earth on the Edge
Video: Cadillac Desert
15. Water Pollution- 2/18- 3/5
Types and Effects of Water Pollution
*Agricultural Waste and Human Sewage
**Pathogenic Organisms and Human Health
Monitoring Water Quality
*Aquatic Species Monitoring
Water Pollution Control
What are the ways that water pollution affects organisms?
What is the relationship between BOD and DO?
How do the EPA water quality standards compare with water quality of New Paltz streams?
What are the ways we can reduce water pollution?
What is the flow chart and operations of a sewage treatment plant?
What is the comparison of nitrogen, phosphorus, dissolved suspended solids, BOD and toxic substances before and after sewage treatment?
Identify and quantify aquatic insects to determine the health of stream
Be able to measure the DO, BOD, pH, nitrates, phosphates, temperature, total solids, and fecal coliform to determine the health of a stream.
Identify each step of the sewage treatment plant from input to output.
Biological nutrient removal
BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand)
DO (Dissolved oxygen)
Fecal coliform test
Natural biological control
PCB (polycholorinated biphenyls)
Trickling filter system
Water Quality Testing for Monitoring Stream Health- Field Site Studies
Biotic- aquatic larvae
Aquatic Insect Diversification in Streams
Abiotic- Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Nitrates, Alkalinity, hardness, CO2 Thermal Pollution on Yeast populations
Why is the Water Green- experimental eutrophication
Potable and Wastewater Treatment Lab
The effects of Biodegradable Waste on DO
Tracking Trace Elements
Investigating the Concept of Parts per Million vs Parts per Billion
Water quality in the Lenape river watershed
Determining the ground water contamination
Stream Larvae tag
Water testing and point source pollutant simulation
Seeping Septic Tanks
Video: The Hudson River PCB story
Field trip: Sewage treatment plant
Field trip: Black water creek
16. Solid, Toxic and Hazardous Waste- 3/6- 3/13
Types of Hazardous and Toxic Waste
**Natural Hydrogeologic Setting
**Leachate Collection System
Reduction and Reuse
*Alternatives to Household Chemicals
*Long Term Storage
What kinds and amounts of wastes are generated in a typical house in New Paltz?
How does the amount of solid waste your family generates compare to the U.S. Municipal solid waste data?
How does a solid waste landfill work?
How do you evaluate the effectiveness of waste disposal methods at a landfill?
How can we reduce the amount of material that ends up in solid waste landfills?
Be able to calculate the quantities of solid waste generated by town, county and state.
Integrated waste management
Municipal Solid Waste
Solid Wastes Lab
Investigation of Trash Generation at Home
Throw away quiz
Field trip: Gardiner reclamation center.
17. Environmental Economics, Policy, and Law- 3/14- 3/24
**Renewable vs. Nonrewable
**Tragedy of the Commons
*Natural Resource Management
Environmental Policies and Laws
**Major U.S. Environmental Laws
*International Treaties and Conventions
*The Power of One
What are the local state and national laws that apply to the air, water and toxic waste regulations?
How are cost-benefit ratios determined and how are they used in natural resource management?
Be able to calculate the cost-benefit analysis of various projects or actions.
Utilize the cost-benefit ratio to determine if a project is economically justified.
Endangered species act
GNP (Gross National Product)
NIMTOO (Not in my term of office)
Special Interest group
Tragedy of the Commons
Woburn Toxic Trials: Science in the Courtroom
Superfunds Internet activity
Tragedy of the Commons reading
Musical Chairs and Private Wealth in Perspective simulation
Globalization and World Trade Organization Research Paper
Cookie Mining: Profits, Reserves, Gangue, and Reclamation
Video: A Civil Action
Video: Erin Brokovich
18. Conventional Energy- 3/25- 4/3
History of Energy Use in United States
Energy Use Measurement
*Designs and Disasters
*Radioactive Waste Management
What are renewable and nonrenewable resources?
How do you determine the rate of energy use for a private home?
How can the use of conventional energy resources be reduced?
Know how to analyze energy consumption data for natural gas, electricity and gasoline.
Be able to calculate monthly and annual costs for energy use.
BTU (British Thermal Unit)
Combined-cycle natural gas unit
OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries)
Calculating Non-Renewable Energy Consumption Lab
Measuring Electricity Consumption
Watts the Cost
To Take a Warm Bath
The Nuclear Power Puzzle
Energy and Population Growth Analysis
Your Contribution to Global Warming
What is your horsepower?
Motor vehicle quiz
Home electricity and oil bills
19. Sustainable Energy- 4/4- 4/23
How do the different alternative energy uses compare in terms of consumption rate and efficiency?
How do we conserve and preserve energy resources in terms of reducing use, using efficient energy devices and alternative renewable resources?
Know how to build a solar oven
Maximum sustainable yield
Passive Solar Heating
Renewable Energy Resources
Calculating Renewable Energy Consumption Lab
Hot Water Challenge
Catch the Sun!
Comparison of Fuels
The Effectiveness of Insulation
Solar Oven demonstration
Solar Car Races
Solar water heater activity
Video: Free energy- the race to zero point
20. Urbanization, Sustainable Cities and Personal Action- 4/24- 5/1
*Causes of Growth
*Sustainable Community Design
*Personal Choices and Personal Action
What are some alternative uses of land that create an economical, ecological, uncontaminated and sustainable environment?
What are the goals of sustainable development?
What changes in urbanization are predicted in the next 50 years?
How could American cities be redesigned to be more ecologically sound and culturally amenable?
Be able to design a sustainable urban area
Profession Impact Study on Environment and Preservation Alternatives
Personal Action Document
REVIEW for APES EXAM- 5/2- 5/13
After Exam: Group Volunteer Work for Mohonk Preserve and New Paltz High School Ecology Club/ Beautification Committee. Ideas generated from Do it! Project Ideas. Lenape Presentations and Environmental Games.