Environmental Systems Syllabus
What is Environmental Systems?
Environmental Systems is a scientific elective class that seeks to discover and explore Earth’s interconnected systems that support life.
What will we be learning?
This class looks at the many different ecosystems where life on Earth exists and thrives, and how they interact with each other. We also investigate human impact on the environment as well as the growth of human civilizations.
Why is it important?
Topics we will look at in this class will explain how we got to the world we have today and how we can continue to impact the world both positively and negatively moving forward.
How to communicate in this class:
I will be available each morning, Monday through Thursday, from 7:45 to 8:30 for walk-in tutorials. If the classroom light is on and the door is locked I am in the building making copies or running errands. Tutorials are also available by appointment.
Our primary book will be Texas Environmental Science by Heithaus and Arms. Textbooks are available to be checked out by students.
It is recommended that students have some method of taking, organizing, and maintaining their notes through the class as we will be connecting ideas through Units and over time and it will be beneficial for students to have the ability to look back at previous topics.
45% Tests (Tests/Projects)
25% Daily (Quizzes/Homework)
30% Labs (Labs)
Final semester grade consists of 40% for each grading period (80%) and 20% for final exam. At the end of each 9 week grading period the lowest daily grade will be dropped.
An assignment calendar will be available in Google Classroom. The calendar will provide a list of all homework assignments, labs, quizzes, and tests. This calendar will be linked to a page on the Weebly website.
Make Up Work
Students who miss assignments due to an excused absence are permitted to make-up the work according to school policy (one day per excused absence). You will find the work listed on the assignment calendar and it is up to you to retrieve any handouts missed from the given day.
Major TESTS are to be made up in the testing center, in accordance with the school’s make-up policy. A maximum of one week is allowed for test make up. Exceptions can be discussed on a case by case basis at my discretion. No new material is taught the day before a test. Therefore, if a student is absent the day before a scheduled test, he/she is expected to take the test the day of return. Any test taken after the scheduled test day may be a different test/different format.
QUIZZES will need to be made up in the testing center, in accordance with the school’s make up policy. Make up quizzes will be different from the quiz given on the scheduled day.
LABS will either be made up in the laboratory or data can be found online. It is the student’s responsibility to get the data from Mr. Murphy.
HOMEWORK in a traditional sense will be rare, but it is an individual assignment and copying is not permitted. NO LATE HOMEWORK WILL BE ACCEPTED. If a student has an excused absence, work due the day they were absent is due at the beginning of the period the day that they return. The work must be turned into me without prompting. One day of make-up time is given for each day of excused absence.
In the case of extended absences or extenuating circumstances, special arrangements will be made at the teacher’s discretion.
Make Up Policy
For traditional tests, if you score below an 80, you can retest to receive credit up to an 80. You can use hand written lecture notes as well as the book. No iPads, no cellphones, no digital media of any kind.
For projects, we will have periodic check-ins where each group will consult with me and the rubric to see where they stand on each category. This will provide all students the opportunity to ensure they get an appropriate score to their work and for me to assess to what portion of each project different members of the group are contributing.
It is the responsibility of the teacher to maintain a classroom environment that will promote learning and be safe for all students. Any behaviors interfering with that responsibility will be addressed by the Eanes ISD Step Discipline Model. Serious lab safety violations will result in the student being sent to the appropriate assistant principle and receiving a zero (0) for the lab.
You should be familiar with the WHS Honor Code and the consequences associated with violations.
First Semester Second Semester
Human Population Biodiversity
Terrestrial Ecology Waste Management
Aquatic Ecology Energy
Soil Water Pollution
Pesticides and Toxicology Air and Atmosphere
**Please note this course outline is subject to change, please consult your unit schedules for details on each unit**