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The possible FRQ topics will be:
  • Biodiversity
  • Human population
  • Cycles (biogeochemical & ecological)
  • Land Management (forestry, public lands, etc)
  • Sustainable Agriculture

There will be four FRQs and you will be required to do three of them

Yes! We have made it to the End of the Semester!!!


Here are a few things to help you study (yes, you should study, so don't ask me)

The Midterm will cover UNIT 1 through UNIT 7!
Anything in the notes, chapters, labs, or activities is fair game.

You are more then welcome to exempt this final (if you qualify), but you will still have to take it. Your final grade will be "X" and this test grade will go onto your 3rd 6 weeks as a test. So it WILL affect you even if you exempt. So Study!

Below I am going to post the objectives and a few key points that I think you might miss if I didn't point them out. Please don't take these points as the only important information. If you do, you will regret that decision when it comes to test time.

***Review, understand, and apply the meaning of verbs as they appear in College Board FRQ's


Unit 1: Earth Systems

  • Explain the fundamentals of environmental chemistry and apply them to real-world situations
  • Describe the molecular building blocks of living organisms
  • Differentiate among the types of energy and recite the basics of energy flow (laws of thermodynamics)
    • know and apply the two laws of thermodynamics
  • Distinguish photosynthesis, cellular respiration, and chemosynthesis, and summarize their importance to living things
    • know the chemical formulas for each of these processes

  • Describe the nature of environmental systems
  • Compare and contrast how carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen, sulfur, and water cycle through the environment
    • identify the major processes involved in these cycles (denitrification, ammonification, transpiration, etc)
    • Compare the various cycles (know which cycle doesn't involve the atmosphere, which goes very slowly, etc)
  • Explain how plate tectonics and the rock cycle shape the landscape around us and the earth beneath our feet
    • Identify and explain each of the plate boundaries
    • Compare metamorphic, sedimentation, and igneous rocks
  • Identify the layers of the Earth
    • identify major characteristics and components (silicon, iron, etc)
  • Compare and Contrast the major types of volcanoes
    • don't forget about hotspot volcanoes!
  • Explain the causes and effects of earthquakes (epicenter, S waves & P waves and how they differ)
  • Explain why the Earth experiences seasons
  • Convert numbers in standard notation into scientific notation
  • Convert numbers in scientific notation into standard notation

Unit 2: Natural Selection & Biodiversity

  • Explain and evaluate several hypothesis that explain the origins of life
  • Describe what the fossil record has shown scientists
  • Explain the process of natural selection
  • Cite evidence for natural selection
  • Compare allopatric and sympatric speciation
  • Describe the three major types of selection (directional, stabilizing, & disruptive)
    • Identify and understand the graphs that result from each of these types of selection
  • Contrast background extinction rates with periods of mass extinction
  • Discuss reasons for species extinction and mass extinction events
  • Identify the mass extinction events that have occurred on Earth
  • List the levels of ecological organization
    • I am talking about the mnemonic "Old People Can't Eat Buttered Biscuits"
  • Outline the characteristics of populations that help predict population growth
  • Compare logistical and exponential growth
    • Identify what is occuring at various stages in each graph; be sure you understand the concept of overshoot
  • Explain how limiting factors and carrying capacity impact population growth
  • Compare density-independent and density-dependent limiting factors
  • Describe types of survivorship
    • Come up with good examples of each type (their are three) so that you remember them
  • Use the growth rate formula to determine a population's growth rate
  • Compare K-selected species to R-selected species, give examples and characteristics of each group
  • Describe the ways that evolution influences biodiversity
  • Explain the Theory of Island Biogeography
  • Characterize the scope of biodiversity on Earth (species, genetic, and ecosystem)
  • Evaluate the primary causes of biodiversity loss
    • Explain why some organisms are more prone to species loss than others
  • Describe the major benefits of biodiversity (be sure to know specific examples of each)
  • Describe the field of conservation biology
  • Determine Population Density

Unit 3: Ecology

  • Compare and contrast the major types of species interactions (competition, predation, symbiosis)
  • Characterize feeding relationships and energy flow, using them to construct trophic levels
  • Understand and apply the 10% Rule
    • Be sure that you can determine what 10% of an amount is
  • Distinguish characteristics of a keystone species
  • Characterize the process of succession and the debate over the nature of communities
    • identify and explain the primary versus secondary succession
    • understand that primary succession is very slow
  • Perceive and predict the potential impacts of invasive species in communities
  • Explain the goals and methods of ecological restoration
  • Describe and illustrate the biomes of the world
    • identify major characteristics, autotrophs, heterotrophs, and locals in the world
  • Describe the nature of environmental systems
  • Define ecosystems and evaluate how living and nonliving entities interact in ecosystem-level ecology
  • Outline the fundamentals of landscape ecology
  • Working with Scientific Notation: Adding, Subtracting, Dividing, & Multiplying

Unit 4: Politics & Economics

  • Characterize the influences of culture and worldview on the choices people make.
  • Explain the difference between Eco-centric, Bio-centric, and Anthropocentric perspectives
  • Cite examples of environmental events and how they changed people's perspective on the environment
    • You should know the historical events from the puzzel
  • Explain the three main waves of environmental policy
    • know at least one law that represents each of these waves and explain how each wave had a different goal
  • Describe environmental policy and assess its societal context
  • Identify the institutions important to US environmental policy
  • List the institutions involved with international environmental policy
    • UN, World Bank, UNESCO, etc
  • Describe how nations handle trans-boundary environmental issues
  • Delineate the steps of the environmental policy process
  • Categorize different approaches to environmental policy (command and control, subsidies, taxes, permit trading/cap & trade, market incentives)
  • Explain and give examples of the Tragedy of the Commons
    • Remember this is not just fisheries, what are some other examples?
  • Describe precepts of neoclassical economic theory and summarize their implications for the environment
  • Compare Command Economies and Market Economies
  • Compare the concepts of economic growth, economic health, sustainability, and externalities
    • pay special attention to the ideas of sustainability and externalities
  • Explain the fundamentals of environmental economics and ecological economics
  • Compare and contrast GDP and GPI
  • Perform Cost Benefit Analysis

Unit 5: Human Populations

  • Assess the scope of human population growth and potential limits to its growth
  • Evaluate how human population, affluence, and technology affect the environment
  • Explain and apply the fundamentals of demography
  • Outline and assess the concept of demographic transition
    • Identify the parts of the graph and the characteristics of a population at each point
  • Describe how wealth and poverty, the status of women, and family planning programs affect population growth
  • Characterize the dimensions of the HIV/AIDS epidemic
  • Analyze relationships among changes in population size, economic development, and resource consumption at global and local scales.
  • Define fecundity, fertility, replacement level fertility, natality, mortality, and morbidity
  • Define immigration and emigration
  • Perform math in regards to population
    • Determine population density
    • Determine a population's death rate
    • Determine a population's birth rate
    • Determine a population's growth rate using the formula
    • Determine populations change over time
    • Analyze population pyramids
    • Determine doubling time of a population

Unit 6: Agriculture & Soil

  • Explain the importance of soils to agriculture, and describe the impacts of agriculture on soil
  • Delineate the fundamentals of soil science, including soil formation and soil properties (permeability, porosity, pH, charge)
    • be able to give at least one chemical test and one physical test you could perform on soil to test its quality
  • Describe the major soil horizons and understand how they relate to one another
    • Remember "Octopuses Ate Every Black Cherry Rapidly"
  • State the causes and predict the consequences of soil erosion and soil degradation
  • Recite the history and explain the principals of soil conservation
  • Explain the ways farmers prevent soil erosion & soil degradation (contour farming, terracing, inter-cropping, crop rotation, shelterbeds, and no-till farming)
  • Outline major historical developments in agriculture
  • Explain the challenge of feeding a growing human population
    • undernourished, over-nutrition, malnutrition
    • medical conditions resulting from malnutrition
  • Identify the goals, methods, and environmental impacts of the "green revolution"
  • Categorize the strategies of pest management
  • Assess the need for fertilizers and how these impact watersheds
  • Discuss the importance of pollination
  • Assess feedlot agriculture for livestock and poultry
  • Weigh approaches in aquaculture
  • Evaluate sustainable agriculture
  • Describe the science behind genetically modified food
  • Evaluate the debate over genetically modified food
  • Ascertain approaches for preserving crop diversity
  • Explain the "green revolution"
  • Convert between various food stuffs and the energy/water/land required to produce it
  • Determine the quality of soil using the settling technique

Unit 7: Land Management

  • Identify the principles, goals, and approaches of resource management
    • ecosystem-based management, adaptive management
  • Explain the concept of Maximum Sustainable Yield
  • Summarize the ecological roles and economic contributions of forest
  • Outline the history and scale of forest loss
  • Explain the fundamentals of forest management and describe the major methods of harvesting timber
  • Discuss the debate surrounding forestry and fire policy
  • Analyze the scale and impacts of agricultural land use
  • Identify major federal land management agencies and the lands they manage
  • Recognize types of parks and reserves, and evaluate issues involved in their design.
  • Related the Theory of Island Biogeography to the design of protected lands
  • Describe the scale of urbanization
  • Assess urban and suburban sprawl
  • Outline city and regional planning and land use strategies
  • Evaluate transportation options
  • Discuss the history of transportation in the US and its environmental impacts
  • Describe the roles of urban parks
  • Analyze environmental impacts and advantages of urban centers
  • Describe and evaluate the tenants of SMART growth