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A Program of the Virginia Department of Education

03207 AP Environmental Science

Field of Study

AP Environmental Science is designed to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them.

Material Covered

In this course, students will explore the following topics: Ecologically friendly living, Seafloor Spreading, Earthquakes, Coastal Erosion, Invasive Species, Air Pollution, Global Warming, El Niño, Water Pollution, Waste Disposal, Sustainability, Nutrient Depletion, Human Population Dynamics, Energy Resources, Chesapeake Bay watershed, Everglade Ecosystem.

Student Expectations

Students will be expected to work on their own time to research and construct their full year project in order to successfully present their findings for the final exam. This course requires attention to detail and motivation. There are textbook readings with each Case Study.

Additional Information

Environmental Science is one of the most important subjects to study. Our society is influenced by it every day. A person’s overall health is affected by the quality of the environment they live in, from the cleanliness of the air they are breathing, to the purity of the water available to drink, to the habitat they live in. Presently environmental issues are embodied in all aspects of our culture, from the political arena to everyday social settings.

This course will provide students with current issues, theories and data and how they relate to the student and society as a whole. Emphasis in this class is placed on science as a process, energy conversions underlying all ecological processes, the Earth as an interconnected system, how humans alter the environment, environmental problems and their social context and developing sustainable practices. The goal for the student is to gain an understanding of the concepts covered in a first year university Environmental Science course and to make connections between the concepts they are learning and relevance to their life and the lives of others. This course adheres to the objectives instituted by the College Board for AP Environmental Science.

Related Requirements

Students are offered the opportunity to take the AP exam in May. Depending on the college or degree path you have chosen, a passing score might be used towards college acceptance. This exam is not mandatory for successful completion of the course, nor does it impact the course grade. Please, see your school counselor to determine if the AP exam is mandatory.


  • Successful completion of Algebra I (required).
  • Successful completion of two years of high school laboratory science – one year of life science and one year of physical science (Biology or Chemistry).
  • Successful completion of Earth Science (recommended).

Course Texts and Materials

Environmental Science for AP by Friedland and Relyea, 2nd Edition
ISBN-10: 1-4641-0868-4
Macmillan Learning

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