IB Environmental Systems and Societies Syllabus

    IB Environmental Systems and Societies 


    This course is an interdisciplinary course designed to analyze humanity's relationship with other organisms and the physical environment.  Principles of biology, chemistry, physics and geology will serve as the foundation as ethics, law and policies enter the scientific arena.   Special emphasis will be placed on environmental chemistry with appropriate field analysis.  This is a lab-based, career-focused course.

    Required Materials
  • A three ring binder with a designated section for your class notes and homework
  • A composition style lab notebook
  • Pen/pencil
  • Other materials may be added throughout the course of the semester
  • Grading Policy

    Your grade will be based on a total point system.  The length and difficulty of each assignment will determine the total number of points that each assessment will be worth.  However for the most part, tests will often range from 40-60 points, quizzes between 15-30 points, labs between 40-60 points and almost all homework will be worth 5 points.  Hint: 10 successfully completed homework assignments will earn you an easy 50 points, which is the same as receiving a 100% on a test.  Subsequently, failing to complete 10 homework assignments will be counted the same as receiving a 0% on a test.  Participation, although it will not be granted a specific point value it will be an integral part of your grade.  At the end of each marking period I will factor in each students level of contribution to the class as a whole before determining his/her final grade.

    Extra Credit
    There will be more than ample opportunity for each student to succeed in my class; therefore extra credit should not become a determining factor in their grade.  However, if a student puts forth diligent effort throughout the course extra credit may be awarded on an individual basis.
    Extra Help
    Extra help will always be available to my students, simply speak to me before or after class so that we can choose a day and time that is convenient for the both of us.
    Class Procedures
    • Make sure you have all necessary materials for the class.
    • Enter the classroom quietly.
    • Go directly to your assigned seat.
    • Immediately start the Do Now that will be written on the board.
    • Do not ask to sharpen your pencil during the class; this should be done before the bell rings.
    • Make sure you read or listen to the directions that have been given to you so that you understand the task at hand.
    • Do not speak when I am speaking, if you have a question raise your hand and I will be happy to answer it for you.
    • If you should finish your assignment early, start working on something else related to the class i.e. Homework.
    • For whatever reason, if you are tardy please enter the classroom as quietly and quickly as possible.
    • If you have received a pass from the nurse, guidance etc. place it on my desk and take your appropriate seat and begin working.
    • If you are absent from class it is your responsibility to find out what you have missed.   Hint: all homework will be posted on my web page on a daily basis.
    • Homework is to be done at home, unless otherwise instructed.
    • If you missed a test because of your excused absence, arrange a time with me to make up the test after school.
    • Do not start packing up your stuff until the class has been dismissed.
    Class Rules
  • Be Punctual
  • Be Prepared
  • Be Thoughtful
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Responsible
  • HAVE FUN!!!!

    Course Outline

    Topic 1: Systems and Models


    Topic 2: The Ecosystem


                2.1 Structure


                2.2 Measuring abiotic components of the system


                2.3 Measuring biotic components of the system


                2.4 Biomes


                2.5 Function


                2.6 Changes


                2.7 Measuring changes in the system


    Topic 3: Human Population, Carrying Capacity and Resource Use


                3.1 Population dynamics


                3.2 Resources – natural capital


                3.3 Energy resources


                3.4 The soil system


                3.5 Food resources


                3.6 Water resources


                3.7 Limits to growth


                3.8 Environmental demands of human populations


    Topic 4: Conservation and Biodiversity


                4.1 Biodiversity in ecosystems


                4.2 Evaluating biodiversity and vulnerability


                4.3 Conservation of biodiversity


    Topic 5: Pollution Management


                5.1 Nature of pollution


                5.2 Detection and monitoring of pollution


                5.3 Approaches to pollution management


                5.4 Eutrophication


                5.5 Solid domestic waste


                5.6 Depletion of stratospheric ozone


                5.7 Urban air pollution


                5.8 Acid deposition


    Topic 6: The Issue of Global Warming


    Topic 7: Environmental Value Systems