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Summer Curriculum Work 2011

Submitted by: Mitzi Wieduwilt and Chris Gabriel

Canyon Del Oro High School
Presented herein is a curriculum outline for the International accalaureate !I" course
Environmental Systems and Societies. #he aims and ob$ecti%es of the course are &rimarily to
&romote students' understanding of en%ironmental &rocesses at a %ariety of scales( from local to
global( and enable students to a&&ly this understanding( along with field methodologies and
s)ills( towards a critical e%aluation of en%ironmental issues* Students will become more aware
of different cultural &ers&ecti%es on en%ironmental issues and begin to a&&reciate the %alue of
international collaboration in resol%ing these issues* #hey will understand the human
connection to the en%ironment at multi&le le%els* #he curriculum outline &resented is designed
to be a two+year course*
Grade Range:
and ,-
ig !deas"#$eme:
#he &rimary focus of this course is to &ro%ide students with a sound( well+reasoned
understanding of the interconnectedness of the different earth systems and a global &ers&ecti%e
of the relationshi&s between en%ironmental systems and societies* #his a&&reciation of .arth
as a com&le/ and dynamic entity will enable students to ma)e wise &ersonal and social
decisions related to 0uality of life and the sustainable management of .arth1s finite resources
and en%ironments*
%ssential &uestions:
,* How can we %iew the .arth as a collection of interacting systems2
-* How can we use models to hel& understand this %iew of .arth2
3* What is an ecosystem and how do abiotic and biotic factors influence the manner in which
an ecosystem o&erates2
4* How can we best analyze &o&ulation growth and the changing human &o&ulation2
5* What ty&es of resources are necessary to su&&ort the growing human &o&ulation2
6* How can we use models to hel& us de%elo& sustainable growth2
7* What is the meaning of biodi%ersity and what are the im&acts of changing ecosystems on
biodi%ersity at local( national and international scales2
8* What are the different ty&es of &ollution affecting a0uatic( terrestrial and atmos&heric
9* How does the international community wor) together to address global en%ironmental
issues( such as ozone de&letion and global warming2
,:* What are the contro%ersies surrounding global warming( and how can we de%elo& a global
&lan for action2
,,* What are en%ironmental %alue systems and how do they differ on a global scale2
Sco'e: Content"Skills"Assessments" 21
Century Skill #$eme
#he sco&e of this course is too broad to summarize all the content( s)ills and assessments that
will be introduced* #o&ics to be co%ered include;
#o&ic ,* Systems and Models
#o&ic -* #he .cosystem
#o&ic 3* Human Po&ulation( Carrying Ca&acity and <esource =se
#o&ic 4* Conser%ation and iodi%ersity
#o&ic 5* Pollution Management
#o&ic 6* Global Warming
#o&ic 7* .n%ironmental >alue Systems
?s a com&rehensi%e science course incor&orating multi&le social &ers&ecti%es( this course
naturally lends itself to the inclusion of all the -,
century s)ills* ? systems a&&roach will be
used to &ro%ide a holistic &ers&ecti%e on en%ironmental issues( allowing students to %iew the
en%ironment on local and global scales* Com&rehensi%e assessment of student wor) will
include fieldwor) and in%estigations that in%ol%e research using all technology a%ailable@
formulating testable scientific 0uestions@ de%elo&ing a hy&othesis based on research@
de%elo&ing an a&&roach to collect field data@ analyzing and e%aluating the data@ and formulating
%alid conclusions* Much of this wor) will be done coo&erati%ely in grou&s( and students will be
re0uired to &resent their data and analysis in written form and using media for a class
&resentation* ?ssessments may also include short laboratory &racticals( com&uter simulations(
case studies and analysis of real world data* ?ll assessments will be designed to allow students
to demonstrate their understanding of core conce&ts( lab methodologies and s)ills with regard to
en%ironmental issues*
Se(uence: #imeline o) a''ro*imately )our semesters
#his timeline is a&&ro/imate and sub$ect to change de&ending on student res&onse*
Semester one;
systems and models !incor&orated throughout the course"
human &o&ulation change
carrying ca&acity
Semester two;
resource use
Semester three;
&ollution management
Semester four;
global warming
en%ironmental %alue systems !incor&orated throughout the course"
!nternational accalaureate: %nvironmental Systems and Societies
Name of the teachers who prepared the outline:
Mitzi Wieduwilt and Chris Gabriel
Name of the course:
.n%ironmental Systems and Societies
Course description:
In two to three paragraphs, describe the course in terms of focus, purpose, aims and
objectives, the inclusion of internationalism, the proposed process, and expected
assessment. This should be a summary.
#he &rimary focus of this course is to &ro%ide students with a sound( well+reasoned
understanding of the interconnectedness of the different earth systems and a global &ers&ecti%e
of the relationshi&s between en%ironmental systems and societies* #his a&&reciation of .arth
as a com&le/ and dynamic entity will enable students to ma)e wise &ersonal and social
decisions related to 0uality of life and the sustainable management of .arth1s finite resources
and en%ironments*
#he aims and ob$ecti%es of the course are &rimarily to &romote students' understanding of
en%ironmental &rocesses at a %ariety of scales( from local to global( and enable students to
a&&ly this understanding( along with field methodologies and s)ills( towards a critical e%aluation
of en%ironmental issues* Students will become more aware of different cultural &ers&ecti%es on
en%ironmental issues and begin to a&&reciate the %alue of international collaboration in
resol%ing these issues* #hey will understand the human connection to the en%ironment at
multi&le le%els*
? systems a&&roach will be used to &ro%ide a holistic &ers&ecti%e on en%ironmental issues*
#his a&&roach em&hasizes the e/change and flow of matter and energy within and between
ecosystems( and allows students to %iew the en%ironment on local and global scales* #his
naturally lends itself to the inclusion of internationalism in the curriculum* Aor e/am&le( students
may e/&lore international coo&eration in de%elo&ing solutions to such en%ironmental issues as
ozone de&letion and global warming* Com&rehensi%e assessment of student wor) will include
both the re0uired e/ternal assessment &a&ers as well as multi&le internal assessments( both
formati%e and summati%e* #he most critical element of the assessment will be fieldwor) and
in%estigations used for students' &ractical schemes of wor)* ?ssessments may also include
short laboratory &racticals( com&uter simulations( case studies and analysis of real world data*
?ll assessments will be designed to allow students to demonstrate their understanding of core
conce&ts( lab methodologies and s)ills with regard to en%ironmental issues*
In narrative or outline form, list what you will cover in your course to meet the IB
syllabus requirements. In addition, if IB courses are going to be combined with
Advanced lacement or other curriculums, outlines should address additional non!IB
topics to be covered.
#o'ic 1: Systems and +odels
#he to&ic of systems and models is best used as a theme for teaching all the .SS to&ics rather
than as an isolated to&ic* Howe%er( students need to be introduced to the conce&t of %iewing
.arth as a system( where energy and matter are constantly being e/changed( and using models
to re&resent the wor)ings of some of .arth's systems* It is im&ortant for students to %iew their
study of the en%ironment as a set of com&le/ interactions( rather than as isolated sets of
com&onents* Students will be able to com&are and contrast ecosystems and biological systems
with artificial systems( such as mechanical( communication or social systems* <eading( note+
ta)ing( case studies and lab acti%ities will be designed to em&hasize how the laws of
thermodynamics and &rinci&le of e0uilibrium a&&ly to ecosystems( and how natural systems are
able to regulate themsel%es through &ositi%e and negati%e feedbac)* Students will use
e/am&les such as the water cycle and decom&osition to describe the differences between
transfer and transformation* Sim&le models will be introduced to illustrate the wor)ings of a

,ey Conce'ts:
? system is an assemblage of &arts( wor)ing together to form a functioning whole@
Systems occur on many scales( from %ery small !such as a cell" to local !such as a &ond" to
large !such as the Sonoran desert ecosystem" to global in scale@
O&en( closed and isolated systems occur in theory( although most ecosystems are o&en
#he first and second laws of thermodynamics( concerning the conser%ation of energy and
the dissi&ation of energy( &lay a large role in the transformation of energy and maintenance
of order in ecosystems@
Bi%ing systems tend naturally toward a steady+state e0uilibrium rather than a static
e0uilibrium( with continuous in&uts and out&uts of energy and matter leading to a more+or+
less constant state@
Positi%e feedbac) in an ecosystem leads to increasing( accelerated change !such as
e/&onential &o&ulation growth"@
Cegati%e feedbac) in an ecosystem leads to steady+state e0uilibrium !such as &redator D
&rey interactions"@
Matter and energy undergo transfers and transformations in flowing through ecosystems@
Most ecosystems are %ery com&le/( with many feedbac) lin)s( flows and storages@
Models( although limited in their use( can hel& us understand how systems wor)@
Sim&lified models can hel& &redict changes in a system@ but it is im&ortant to understand
their strengths and limitations@
Study of different ecosystem models
Information about economic( social and %alues systems*
iome acti%ity with com&uter research
ios&here II field tri&
.cocolumnsE#errestrial %s* ?0uatic ecosystems
Information about the laws of thermodynamics and how they relate to an ecosystem
O&en system e0uilibrium information showing different ty&es of succession and reaching
Cegati%e feedbac) information through &redator+&rey relationshi&s &resentation by the
Sonora Desert Museum
Positi%e feedbac) information through e/&onential &o&ulation growth articles
#ransfer and transformation &rocesses e/&lanation through food webEchains and cycles of
the .arth !e/* Water cycle"
Alows through an ecosystem diagrams and gra&hs used to describe how energy is
transferred in a system
In&utEout&ut diagrams
#$eory o) ,nowledge -inks
In this unit students will be as)ed to thin) about how a systems a&&roach to studying science is
different from the traditional( com&artmentalized a&&roach* #hey will be able to discuss the
benefits of %iewing the .arth as a set of com&le/ and dynamic systems that are constantly
interacting( rather than studying indi%idual elements in an ecosystem*
!nternationalism -inks
Students will recognize that all .arth systems are interconnected( not only locally but also on a
global scale*
#o'ic 2: #$e %cosystem
Students will use field studies( lab acti%ities and research to disco%er what an ecosystem is and
the interde&endency of its inhabitants* y following the flow of matter and energy within an
ecosystem( students will de%elo& an understanding of the interaction and roles of biotic and
abiotic com&onents( and how they contribute to the &yramid structure and functioning of an
ecosystem* Bab acti%ities will teach students how to measure abiotic factors such as salinity(
&H( tem&erature( dissol%ed o/ygen( soil moisture and drainage* Aield studies will allow students
to &ractice measuring biotic com&onents such as identifying organisms or estimating relati%e
abundance and di%ersity of different s&ecies* #hrough these acti%ities students will come to
understand se%eral basic ecological conce&ts( es&ecially the e/change of matter and energy in
&hotosynthesis and res&iration( and biological &roducti%ity( which are )ey to understanding how
e%erything else wor)s in an ecosystem* Ainally( students will be introduced to factors causing
changes in &o&ulations; how they are measured and e%aluated( and the different effects they
,ey Conce'ts
.cosystems are biological systems consisting of organisms and their en%ironment@
.cosystems ha%e biotic and abiotic com&onents( all of which influence &o&ulation size and
growth or decline@
Organisms thri%e within a range of abiotic conditions( and altering those conditions can
ha%e a se%ere im&act on their &o&ulation@
#he transfer of matter and energy during &hotosynthesis and res&iration are )ey conce&ts
in understanding ecology@
Producti%ity is a measure of gains or losses in biomass or energy( and is critical to
understanding the functioning of an ecosystem@
? biome is a collection of ecosystems with similar climatic conditions@
#he location of a biome de&ends on climate and limiting factors@
Preci&itation and tem&erature are the most im&ortant factors influencing biomes@
Po&ulations of organisms interact in different ways@
Im&ortant conce&ts in understanding how ecosystems function include tro&hic le%els( food
chains( food webs and &yramid structures of number( biomass and &roducti%ity@
Photosynthetic organisms are &roducers of food within ecosystems( and are essential to the
sur%i%al of all other s&ecies@
Aood chains are biological a%enues for the flow of energy and the cycling of nutrients in the
S&ecies show different characteristics with res&ect to the ecological niche they fill@
.nergy is constantly added to( esca&ing from and flowing through ecosystems( and most is
e%entually lost as heat@
Humans ha%e learned to mani&ulate ecosystems to get the greatest &roducti%ity from them@
? gi%en area can only su&&ort a certain size of &o&ulation@
Po&ulation numbers may either crash or reach e0uilibrium around the carrying ca&acity(
and are influenced by com&etition@
Human &o&ulation is growing e/&onentially@
Succession is the change in s&ecies com&osition in an ecosystem o%er time@
.arly in succession( gross &rimary &roducti%ity !GPP" and res&iration are low( so net
&rimary &roducti%ity !CPP" is high as biomass accumulates@
In later stages( GPP may remain high( but res&iration increases( so CPP declines@
? clima/ community is reached at the end of a succession where a dynamic e0uilibrium has
been reached and the s&ecies com&osition sto&s changing@
S&ecies biodi%ersity is low in early stages and increases as succession continues( falling a
little in the clima/ community@
Human acti%ities can influence natural succession@
Sonoran Desert food webbing acti%ity
In%estigating food webs using owl &ellets
Sonoran Desert Museum &resentationsEs&ea)ers
#o& of the food chain story+ DD#Ein orneo
.cocolumnE#errestrial %s* ?0uatic ecosystems
#a/onomy &ro$ect
#agging lab using beans
Po&ulation di%ersity using cars in school &ar)ing lots
Power of Doubling F./&onential GrowthG
>ariation in Habitats lab acti%ity
.arth's iome acti%ity
? re%iew of the <osemont Mines .IS re&orts
Plant Pigments and Photosynthesis lab
.nergy #ransfer in an .cosystem acti%ity
Construction and analysis of flow diagrams for ecosystem cycles
Aree&ort McMo<an Co&&er and Gold Mines s&ea)ersE&resentation
Co&&er more than metal acti%ity &ac)ets
Co&&er leaching and electro&lating lab
Aorest fire im&acts &resentation
Inter&retation of sur%i%orshi& cur%es including logarithmic scales
>arious &ower &oints( note ta)ers( study guide 0uestions and %ocabulary
Possible Aield tri&s +
o Sierrita Mines( Green >alley( ?H !Aree&ort McMo<an"
o Sonoran Desert Museum #ucson( ?H
o Aield tri&s D ios&here II Oracle( ?H
o Mt* Bemmon( #ucson( ?H
o White Mountains( S&ringer%ille( ?H
#$eory o) ,nowledge -inks
In this unit( students will begin to com&rehend how a useful understanding of the en%ironment is
different from the more &recise and clear+cut understanding of the &hysical sciences* ?lthough
we a&&ly many of the same laws of the &hysical world( en%ironmental in%estigations are made in
a constantly changing system* Students will be as)ed to thoughtfully reflect on how
en%ironmental in%estigations and measurements may be less &recise than those in the &hysical
sciences( and how that affects the %alidity of our )nowledge of the en%ironment and its
!nternationalism -inks
iomes D study biomes and their distribution locally and globally@
Po&ulation growth D com&arisons of &o&ulation growth in different &arts of the world !more
%s* less de%elo&ed countries" and why we should be concerned@
#o'ic .: /uman 0o'ulation1 Carrying Ca'acity and Resource 2se
Students will be introduced to different models used to analyze &o&ulation growth( and will focus
on the changing human &o&ulation* #hey will study the a%ailability of our natural resources and
analyze their use from the stand&oint of sustainability* =nderstanding the conce&t of
sustainable de%elo&ment and how this is %iewed and &racticed by different cultures will be a )ey
issue for this unit* #his will in%ol%e in+de&th studies of different ty&es of resources critical to
human de%elo&ment( including energy( soil( food and water* Students will research both
sustainable and non+sustainable use of resources( and be able to describe and e%aluate the
resource usage for s&ecific case studies*
,ey Conce'ts:
? gi%en area can only su&&ort a certain size of &o&ulation@
Human &o&ulation is growing e/&onentially@
Po&ulation numbers may either crash or reach an e0uilibrium around the carrying ca&acity@
#he &o&ulation of B.DCs is 8:I of the world's &o&ulation@ and is growing faster than the
&o&ulation of M.DCs*
Crude birth rate( death rate( fertility( doubling time and natural increase rate are all
indicators of &o&ulation change@
Po&ulation &yramids and the demogra&hic transition model are used to analyze &o&ulation
changes o%er time and can hel& &redict future &o&ulation changes@
<esources( or natural capital( are goods or ser%ices that ha%e some %alue to humans( and
can be e/&loited to &roduce a yield( or natural income@
<esources are either renewable( non+renewable or re&lenishable@
#he %alue of a resource is different in different cultures( and can change o%er time as
technology and economic de%elo&ment &rogress@
Sustainability refers to the use of natural resources at a rate that allows its natural
re&lenishment without undue en%ironmental damage or com&romising their a%ailability for
future generations@
Sustainability relies on li%ing within the natural income generated by a%ailable natural
resources without destroying those resources@
#echnology( reducing energy use and recycling are ways of increasing human carrying
.cological foot&rint refers to the land area re0uired to sustainably su&&ort a &o&ulation@
.cological foot&rint can be calculated( and is influenced by a country's stage of
de%elo&ment and its world%iew@
Sustainable yield refers to the amount of natural income that can be e/&loited without
de&leting the original stoc)( and can be calculated@
Societies get their energy from a %ariety of resources( including both renewable !such as
solar( wind and hydro" and non+renewable !such as fossil fuels and nuclear"@
.nergy resources used in a &articular society de&end on many factors( including
a%ailability( economic( cultural( en%ironmental and technological factors@
?ll the food we consume ultimately de&ends on soil( ma)ing it a %aluable resource@
Different soils ha%e different &ro&erties with affect their &roducti%ity@
Human acti%ities( such as irrigation( desertification and to/ification( degrade our soil
? %ariety of measures can be ta)en to conser%e soil and soil nutrients( such as conditioning
the soil or reducing erosion@
Aood &roduction for the current human &o&ulation is sufficient@ howe%er( its distribution
needs to be im&ro%ed@
#he energy efficiency of terrestrial food &roduction systems are significantly higher than
a0uatic food &roduction systems@
Different food &roduction systems ha%e different im&acts and ma)e different demands on
the en%ironment@
Aood &roduction is closely lin)ed with culture( tradition and &olitics@
Most of the water on .arth is salt water and not suitable for human use or consum&tion@
with only about 3I fresh water@
Water mo%es through the water cycle continuously by being transferred !as in mo%ing from
a stream to the ocean" or transformed !as in e%a&oration"@
Global consum&tion of fresh water is increasing 0uic)ly due to human &o&ulation increases@
Areshwater resources can be used sustainably if used wisely@
./&onential growth in human &o&ulations information
#ragedy of the Commons article
Information and e/&lanations of raw data to calculate crude birth and death rates( fertility(
doubling time and natural increase rate
Diagrams showing demogra&hic transition models of M.DCs and B.DCs
Models hel&ing to e/&lain the growth of human &o&ulations com&aring M.DCs and B.DCs
Aree&ort McMo<an Co&&er and Gold Mines s&ea)ersE&resentations co%ering natural
income( renewable( re&lenishable and non+renewable natural ca&ital also co%ering
information about sustainability( sustainable de%elo&ment and sustainable yield from data
gi%en from the mines
Water &ac)et containing groundwater information
.nergy acti%ities for #ucson( ?H
Soil system information outlined in water &ac)et with leaching lab acti%ity focusing around
in&utsEout&uts of a gi%en system
Soil degradation and effects of human acti%ities study by the = of ? and the ios&here II
Soil conser%ation information from = of ? ?griculture &rogram and information from area
>ideo information on global food su&&ly and food &roduction systems
Aood webbing acti%ities
In&utEout&ut diagrams for two named food &roduction systems
Discussion of the lin)s between social and food &roduction systems
I of water distribution lab
=sing a case study describe and e%aluate the sustainability &ractices of freshwater
.co+foot&rint acti%ity touching on information about carrying ca&acity and the human
&o&ulation with B.DC and M.DC information
<ecycling in #ucson with information from Waste Management
Band usage and sta)eholders acti%ities with flow charts
= of ? Hydrology &resentation by Martha Whita)er
#$eory o) ,nowledge -inks
#hrough their own ecological foot&rint students will recognize the im&acts that they alone ha%e
on the .arth* ?s a class a com&arison of the different foot&rints will enlighten some to start
reducing their economic foot&rint* #his will be re%isited throughout the two years to see changes
that the students ha%e made in their own life will reduce their eco foot&rint which will directly
affect the o%erall im&act*
!nternationalism -inks
Students will com&are &o&ulation numbers and growth in B.DCs and M.DCs worldwide*
Com&arisons of resource use and the %alue of different resources for different cultures will be
considered* Sustainable de%elo&ment is an o&en for inter&retation term and is %iewed
differently by en%ironmentalists and economists* #he students will inter&ret information from
different %iew&oints and ha%e their own o&inion of sustainable de%elo&ment while su&&orting
that o&inion with data and research from &re%ious to&ics and cha&ters
#o'ic 3: Conservation and iodiversity
Students will e/&lore the meaning of biodi%ersity and the im&acts of changing ecosystems on
biodi%ersity at local( national and international scales* #hey will use the fossil record and an
understanding of &late tectonics to consider how and why s&ecies ha%e e%ol%ed throughout
geologic time( and a&&ly their )nowledge to understanding how s&eciation and e/tinction
continue to occur* =sing field acti%ities students will study the im&act of abiotic factors on local
biodi%ersity* Case studies of the rainforest biome will hel& students understand the richness of
biodi%ersity being lost by its destruction* Students will end by studying conser%ation D reasons
and criteria for &reser%ing s&ecies and habitat( and the role of go%ernmental and non+
go%ernmental organizations in accom&lishing this*
,ey Conce'ts:
iodi%ersity refers to the amount of li%ing di%ersity &er unit area( and includes the ideas of
s&ecies di%ersity( habitat di%ersity and genetic di%ersity@
We do not )now the total amount of s&ecies li%ing on .arth( but we do )now many s&ecies
are becoming e/tinct or are endangered@
S&eciation occurs due to isolation of &o&ulations( either geogra&hically or by re&roducti%e
Plate tectonic acti%ity has contributed to s&eciation on geologic timescales as continents
se&arated( causing isolation of &o&ulations@
Some s&ecies are more &rone to e/tinction than others@
#he loss of a )eystone s&ecies can ha%e a bigger im&act on its ecosystem by causing a
great imbalance@
iodi%ersity is lost through natural hazards( habitat degradation( agriculture( introduction of
non+nati%e s&ecies( &ollution( hunting and har%esting@
#ro&ical rainforests are the biome with the most biodi%ersity and are under significant
.cosystem stability is related to biodi%ersity( succession( habitat di%ersity( and human
Many factors are considered to determine a s&ecies' conser%ation status( including
&o&ulation size( numbers of mature indi%iduals( geogra&hic range and fragmentation(
0uality of habitat( and area of occu&ancy@
S&ecies and habitats should be &reser%ed for many reasons( including economic(
commercial( ethical and aesthetic@
oth go%ernmental !GO" and non+go%ernmental organizations !CGO" wor) to &reser%e
biodi%ersity and &rotect ecosystems( on local( national and international scales@
GOs and CGOs often ha%e similar goals( but different a&&roaches to &reser%ation@
Criteria are used to design &rotected areas( including size( sha&e( edge effects( corridors
and &ro/imity@
S&ecies Dbased a&&roaches to conser%ation ha%e strengths and wea)nesses( which need
to be e%aluated*
Catural selection lab acti%ities( bird bea)( Jelly bird and Woolybooger labs e/&laining the
conce&ts of natural selection in a gi%en en%ironment
Conce&t of Pangea and the s&litting of different en%ironments and its relationshi& to
s&eciation( reassembly of ma&s with s&ecies distribution e%idence su&&orting the e/istence
of Pangea and inter&reting that information
.cology &ower &oints and information co%ering )ey %ocabulary terms and e/&lain the
%ulnerability and biodi%ersity in different habitats*
Cational Shooting S&orts Aoundation %ideo collection on conser%ation
Sonora Desert Museum field tri& and &resentation about conser%ation and biodi%ersity
Conser%ation information about areas of ?rizona that are &rotected and why
Case studies of e/tinct( endangered and reco%ered s&ecies
#$eory o) ,nowledge -inks
#he students will build their own o&inions about conser%ation and biodi%ersity* #his sub$ect
raises a lot of debates about rights of animals and should different s&ecies ha%e different rights*
Aacts and data will ha%e to su&&ort the %iew &oints of the students*
!nternationalism -inks
#he students will gain the )nowledge of conser%ation biology and how in different &arts of the
world there are different rules and regulations* #he study of different world organizations and
agencies and how &olitics influence ha%e a lot to do with what regulations and laws are
im&osed* Why what wor)s well for one &art of the world may not wor) as well in other &arts will
be addressed and discussed*
#o'ic 4: 0ollution +anagement
#his unit will gi%e students a broad o%er%iew of different ty&es of &ollution affecting a0uatic(
terrestrial and atmos&heric systems( including eutro&hication( solid domestic waste and
wastewater( urban air &ollution( acid de&osition and ozone de&letion* Students will ha%e the
o&&ortunity to study and com&are different methods of managing &ollution* One im&ortant
e/am&le of international coo&eration in managing &ollution is the limits &laced on emissions of
ozone+de&leting chemicals* Students will re%iew how the international community wor)ed
together to address this issue*
,ey Conce'ts:
Pollution occurs when human acti%ity adds a substance to the en%ironment that cannot be
effecti%ely bro)en down before it affects organisms@
Pollution may come from &oint sources !such as effluent from a &i&e" or from non+&oint
sources !such as automobile e/haust"@
Point sources are generally easier to manage and control because they can be easily
Ma$or sources of &ollutants are emissions from combustion of fossil fuels@ domestic and
industrial waste( manufacturing and agriculture@
#here are both direct and indirect methods of measuring and monitoring &ollution in the air
and water or on land@
.utro&hication is caused by an increase in nitrates and &hos&hates leading to ra&id growth
of algae( accumulation of dead organic matter( high rate of decom&osition and a resulting
lac) of o/ygen@
Solid domestic waste includes many different ty&es of material and is generated by
indi%iduals as well as all as&ects of industry@
=rban air &ollution sources are &rimarily generated by the burning of fossil fuels( and the
gases emitted cause &ollution of the lower atmos&here !where life occurs and is directly
?cid de&osition occurs when air &ollutants react in the lower atmos&here to &roduce wea)
acids( which then affect soil( water and li%ing organisms in certain regions@
Strategies for reducing the amount and im&act of &ollution include altering human acti%ity
through incenti%es( regulation of &ollutant discharge( and remediation and restoration of
De&letion of stratos&heric ozone is caused by the release of stable halogenated organic
gases into the atmos&here( and can result in an increase of ultra%iolet radiation reaching
.arth's surface@
International coo&eration has resulted in agreements worldwide to limit the emissions of
these gases@
Cature of &ollution lab acti%ities along with how to detect and monitor &ollutions in air( water
and soil
Pollution management information through web research and guest s&ea)ers from the
<eal e/am&les of human factors that affect &ollution management
DD# article information
Pond water lab acti%ities and the &rocess of eutro&hication
Sewage and water treatment guest s&ea)er and field tri&
?tmos&here ozone information and acti%ities
Kour carbon foot&rint information and how to reduce emissions
Auture strategies for reducing emissions into ozone*
Smog acti%ity around the school cam&us
?cid de&osition and its effects on soil( water and li%ing organisms
Case study information to hel& understand management strategies
#$eory o) ,nowledge -inks
Lnowing that what im&act you ha%e on the en%ironment is not enough( this section will show the
students that by being an indi%idual and no thin)ing of others you can do serious damage to an
ecosystem from an en%ironmental and &olitical &oint of %iew*
!nternationalism -inks
#he students will demonstrate how indi%iduals using a common resource !the commons" for
their own &ersonal gain will ine%itably result in the degradation of the commons( and decrease
the yield for both the grou& and the indi%idual* #here will be data and information to su&&ort this
&roblem and how it can be a%oided or im&ro%ed u&on*
#o'ic 5: #$e !ssue o) Global Warming
#his to&ic allows students to study and re%iew data on a current contro%ersial global issue( and
loo) at how different communities on a global scale are choosing to address !or not address"
this issue* Students will begin by re%iewing some im&ortant factors that influence climate(
es&ecially greenhouse gases* =sing em&irical data( students will e%aluate the effect GHGs on
air tem&erature* Online databases &ro%ide a wealth of historical tem&erature and atmos&heric
data for analysis* Students will be encouraged to critically e%aluate the contro%ersies
surrounding global warming and de%elo& their &ersonal %iew&oint based on their research*
,ey Conce'ts:
Greenhouse gases GHGs( including water %a&or( methane( CO-( chlorofluorocarbons and
others( ha%e the im&ortant $ob of regulating air tem&eratures on .arth( )ee&ing our climate
suitable for life as we )now it@
Human acti%ities( es&ecially burning of fossil fuels( are causing an increase in GHGs in our
Increases in GHGs ha%e been shown historically to correlate with higher tem&eratures( and
may lead to warming of the atmos&here and climate change@
Potential effects of increasing GHGs include shifting biomes( redistribution of agricultural
areas( changing weather &atterns( coastal inundation due to sea le%el rise and thermal
e/&ansion as ocean tem&eratures rise( and s&read of tro&ical diseases@
Aeedbac) mechanisms for global tem&eratures are com&le/( and li)ely include both
&ositi%e and negati%e feedbac)@
#he issue of climate change is contro%ersial( es&ecially among &olitical &arties and in the
general &ublic@
Global climate models contain many uncertainties and are( therefore( inter&reted in
conflicting ways@
Intergo%ernmental and international agreements ha%e been &ro&osed as strategies to limit
human emissions of GHGs@
Some strategies may ha%e limited effecti%eness or a&&licability in B.DCs@
Indi%iduals can act to reduce their GHG emissions*
Greenhouse gas lab D measure the effects of methane( CO-( and water %a&or on air
>ideo; ? Global Warning@ discussing factors influencing climate( how climate has changed
historically( and factors influencing greenhouse gas concentrations today*
?nalyze databases showing historical tem&erature and atmos&heric data*
<esearch how human acti%ities add to greenhouse gasses
Study of how global tem&erature has been effected by human acti%ities
<elate negati%e and &ositi%e feedbac) loo&s to global tem&eratures through research
<esearch and document information about global warming and what arguments surround
global warming( web 0uest acti%ity( &lanet .arth %ideos with study guides
#$eory o) ,nowledge -inks
#he students will learn that with so much ambiguity with in the scientific community it may be
confusing what the real issues are* #hey will ha%e to set themsel%es a&art from &olitical
influences and inter&ret data and information to come u& with their own &oint of %iew about the
issues of global warming*
!nternationalism -inks
#he students will ha%e Fwhere they standG on en%ironmental issues at this stage of the .SS
&rogram* #hey will understand that global warming is a world wide threat and gras& that it
in%ol%es the entire world wor)ing together to understand and reduce the effects of global
warming* Sol%ing the issue of global warming can be com&ared to addressing the issue of
ozone de&letion( and how we were successful at a global le%el and can continue to be
successful at that le%el*
#o'ic 6: %nvironmental 7alue Systems
=nderstanding en%ironmental %alue systems is a theme that will be addressed within e%ery to&ic
throughout the course* Students will be introduced to the conce&t of en%ironmental %alue
systems from the start of the class* #hey will ha%e the o&&ortunity to e/&lore en%ironmental
%alue systems on a global scale( and monitor changes in their own thoughts and beliefs as they
&rogress through the course*
,ey Conce'ts:
.n%ironmental concern( considered &rimarily a modern mo%ement started in the ,96:'s(
was e%ident long before@
?n en%ironmental %alue system is a &articular world %iew that sha&es the way an indi%idual
or grou& of &eo&le &ercei%e and e%aluate en%ironmental issues@
.n%ironmental %alue systems are influenced by cultural( religious( economic and socio+
&olitical bac)grounds@
.n%ironmental &hiloso&hies include a range of ideas which may be ecocentric !nature+
centered"( anthro&ocentric !&eo&le+centered"( or technocentric !technology+centered@
? &erson's en%ironmental &hiloso&hy influences their decision+ma)ing &rocess on
en%ironmental and other issues@
? &erson's en%ironmental &hiloso&hy can change dramatically throughout one's life( and it
is im&ortant to re+e%aluate your thoughts and actions &eriodically@
Different societies hold different en%ironmental &hiloso&hies and com&aring these hel&s
e/&lain why societies ma)e certain choices@
#he en%ironment or any organism can ha%e its own intrinsic %alue( which may be measured
differently by different indi%iduals andEor societies@
It is im&ortant to de%elo& your own en%ironmental world%iew( reflecting your &osition on a
range of issues !such as &o&ulation control( resource management( sustainable
de%elo&ment( global warming and &ollution management" and be aware of how it influences
your decisions on a daily basis*
Possible outside reading D Silent Spring, by <achel Carson@ A Sand County Almanac( by
?ldo Beo&old
./&lain and research information about what an en%ironmental %alue system is
Describe and define the three en%ironmental &hiloso&hies with reference to figure 6 of the
I .SS guide
<esearch and &resent different historical influences that has hel&ed to de%elo& the modern
en%ironmental mo%ement
<esearch and de%elo& your own o&inion about different en%ironmental %alue systems of
two societies
Su&&ort( using information that you ha%e researched and learned throughout the .SS
&rogram( your &ersonal %iew&oint on en%ironmental issues
#$eory o) ,nowledge -inks
>alue systems differ( for different countries( systems and e%en &eo&le* Students by this time in
the .SS &rogram will de%elo& %ery strong o&inions su&&orted by e/am&les and data of their
&ersonal stand &oints on en%ironmental issues* #he students will ha%e studied and researched
different %iew&oints about the en%ironment and how s&ecific issues affect the world as a whole*
!nternationalism -inks
>iew&oints as different as they may be are e0ually %alid and students will ha%e gras&ed this
during the I &rogram* #he students will also recognize the &olitical and economical im&acts of
en%ironmental issues facing different &arts of the world( how something that ha&&ens in other
countries has an im&act world wide* Ainally students will $ustify their own &osition within the
en%ironmental %alue system*
"nowledge of IB#!required assessments and descriptors should be evident. All parts of
IB assessment should be addressed, both internal and external. In addition, examples of
non!IB monitoring should be given, if they are part of the course.
Com&rehensi%e assessment of student wor) will include both the re0uired e/ternal
assessment &a&ers as well as multi&le internal assessments( both formati%e and summati%e*
#he most im&ortant element of the assessment will be fieldwor) and in%estigations used for
students' &ractical scheme of wor) !PSOW"* ?ssessments may also include short laboratory
&racticals( com&uter simulations( analysis of real world data( and case studies* ?ll
assessments will be designed to allow students to demonstrate their understanding of core
conce&ts( lab methodologies and s)ills with regard to en%ironmental issues*
Summati%e assessments will be gi%en at the conclusion of each to&ic( with multi&le 0uizzes
throughout* #hese will be used as o&&ortunities for students to &ractice answering e/am&le
.? 0uestions* Students will be taught the basic command terms used by I and s&ecifically
what each term as)s the students to demonstrate* #hese &ractice tests and 0uizzes will hel&
students &re&are for success on their end of course .?*
Internal assessments will be gi%en for .SS to&ics one through si/( and will be s&read
throughout the course* Select labs will be e%aluated using the criteria and as&ects outlined
in the .SS guide* Cot all lab e/ercises will be scored in each of the three criteria D some
may only be planning labs@ some may include &rocedures that are &ro%ided and be scored
only on data collection and processing (DCP); and some may use databases that are
&ro%ided for analysis and then scored only on discussion, evaluation and conclusion (DEC).
Students will com&lete at least two lab in%estigations that will be scored on all three criteria*
Students will also be re0uired to u&date their .SEPSOW form u&on com&letion of each lab*
./am&les of &ossible laboratory in%estigations to be used for internal assessments include;
#o&ic ,
Design a method to create an o&en( closed M isolated system
Criterium; Pl
Obser%ing closed ecosystems in an ecocolumn
Set u& ecocolumn with different systems D a0uatic N fish( water( snail( algae(
roc)s( elodea
Decom&oser N grass( fruit( worms( fruit flies
#errestrial N soil( seeds( small bugs
<un for ,- wee)s
Collect C( P( L( DO( &H on water
Collect C( P L on soil
Criterium; DCP
De%elo& a teacher generated o&enEclosed and isolated systems*
Students determineEconclude which system is which and why
Criterium; D.C
#o&ic -
Measuring s&ecies di%ersity
Students should &erform a transect and 0uadrant lab in a local ecosystem
#hey should calculate the Sim&son's inde/ for the area and identify limiting
factors that may cause the distribution of s&ecies*
Criterium; PB
Mar)+reca&ture Bab !Bincoln's Inde/"
With un)nown 0uantity of beans
Criterium; DCP
Identify two different locations !disturbed and undisturbed" of leaf litter within the school
Identify the organisms in each location M discuss their difference in abundance
Criterium; D.C
#o&ic 3
Plan an e/&eriment to in%estigate the efficiency of %ermiform detriti%ores and
sa&hrotro&hs on organic material
#esting &H( tem&( biomass( C( P( L !2"( moisture
>ariables; air flow( introduced organism( material( lightEdar)( moisture
Criterium; Pl
?ssign grou&s a resource !air( water( energy" to research
Determine human im&acts and resource use*
Collect indi%idual data regarding use of that resource &er day D e/tra&olate to
What's your im&act com&ared to literature search@ ways to lessen im&act2
Criterium; DCP
<esearch the a%erage ecological foot&rints of indi%iduals from ,: different nations(
including your own*
?lso in%estigate resource distribution for these countries*
Draw conclusions based on what these countries ha%e %s what &eo&le in them
Criterium; D.C
#o&ic 4
Create a closed functioning ecosystem
3 to 4 month lab
#his ecosystem can then be used for other factors
o .%aluating biodi%ersity and %ulnerability
o Conser%ation of biodi%ersity
o Pollution
Criterium; Pl
Identify the biodi%ersity of the trees of your school cam&us
Aind the best way to count the organisms and identify the s&ecies
Criterium; DCP
Com&aring succession and biodi%ersity
Aield tri& to shore of body of water
Create a transect line &er&endicular to shore
Measure biodi%ersity along the line
Students will determine how succession im&acts biodi%ersity
Criterium; D.C
#o&ic 5
Come u& with an e/&eriment to measure the school's FsolidG waste
Gra&h and inter&ret data
Aormulate ideas to minimize waste in the school
Criterium; Pl
Monitor your daily trash out&ut
Categorize M mass !recyclableEnot@ com&ostableEnot"
Share class data
./tra&olate to school( city( state
Bit* search to com&are
Criterium; D.C
How does eutro&hication im&act an ecosystem2
Boo) at how %arying amounts of nitrates andEor &hos&hates im&act algae growth
Criterium; D.C
#o&ic 6
In%estigate one human acti%ity's im&act on Greenhouse gas &roduction*
Criterium; Pl
=sing secondary data( what are the different %iew&oints on global warming2
Sur%eys D age( geogra&hic location( socio+economic status
How do they com&are to your own2
Criterium; DCP
Discuss the albedo effect( and then ha%e students design a lab to in%estigate %arying
amounts of FStyrofoamG !mimics ice" and abiotic factor related to global warming
Criterium; D.C
#o&ic 7
In%estigate %alue system related .nergy Sources D
Aactors influencing choicesEa%ailabilityEcost etc
Criterium; Pl OSur%eyP
Determine the .>S ma)e+u& of - different &o&ulations
Ha%e students create a sur%ey to assess where &eo&le are on the .>S
Students are to gi%e the sur%ey to two different &o&ulations of &eo&le and
com&are results
Criterium; DCP
De%elo& a sur%ey to assess &ublic )nowledgeEo&inionE%alues concerning &ollution(
biodi%ersity and resource useEmisuse*
?ssign indi%iduals a category to de%elo& a sur%ey for*
Pl D &eer re%iew to refine sur%ey
Criterium; Sur%eys+ D.C
$ist the boo%s and other resource materials and software that will be used in the course.
Information should include what is currently available as well as what is being ordered.
In%estigations in .n%ironmental Science; ? Case+ased ?&&roach to the Study of
.n%ironmental Systems( -::5( De%elo&ed by; #he Geogra&hic Data in .ducation !G.OD."
Initiati%e( Corthwestern =ni%ersity( in association with It's ?bout #ime Herff+Jones .ducation
Di%ision( 84 usiness Par) Dri%e( ?rmon)( CK ,:5:4
<utherford( Jill( .n%ironmental Systems and Societies Course Com&anion( O/ford =ni%ersity
Press( Great Clarendon St*( O/ford OQ- 6DP( -::9
Sonoran Desert Museum
Chris annon( ios&here II
Aree&ort McMo<an Co&&er and Gold Mines
Martha Whita)er( = of ? Hydrology