• Earth/Environmental Science

    Bassett High School

    Darren Holleman

    E-Mail:  dhollema@henry.k12.va.us


    Course Description:  A course in environmental science was developed to increase course options for students of all abilities and interest levels.  Major topic areas of the course include:  introduction to ecological principles and ecosystems; extinction of species; human population dynamics; agricultural systems and pest control; air quality; water quality; solid waste; energy and the environment; and noise pollution.  Laboratory and/or field work will enable a deeper understanding of the material.  Learning from the textbook and doing assigned homework are the responsibility of the student.  Students are encouraged to form study groups to enhance mastery of content.  Class sessions will include lecture, class discussion, group work, field studies and laboratory.  There will be independent projects and group projects throughout the course.


    Text and Resource Materials: 


    Raven/Berg/Hassenzahl, Environment, Sixth Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2008. 


    *Other texts or resources as needed



    ·        To strengthen students’ knowledge and understanding of the environment.

    o       Science as a process

    o       Energy conservation

    o       Earth as an interconnected system

    o       Roll of humans in natural systems

    o       Environmental problems

    o       Sustainability 

    ·        To hold students responsible for their own learning.

    • To have students develop lab skills and field study skills equivalent to those of college freshmen.
    • To have students work hard but also to have fun.
    • To encourage a knowledge-based, positive attitude toward science/technology’s influence on society.


    Evaluation and Grades:  Students will be evaluated based on several criteria.  These items include, but are not limited to:  classroom participation, homework, quizzes, lab reports, projects, tests and exams.  Classroom participation is a daily grade based on student participation in discussion/lecture as well as lab or other activities.  Homework will be given on a daily basis on average.  Quizzes will be both announced and unannounced assessments of recent lectures, labs, activities, etc.  Tests will be given after every 1 or 2 chapters covered.  There will also be several projects throughout the course.  Some will be short assignments that will count as quiz or homework grades, while others are long term projects and will count as a test or exam grade.  The methods and weight for the grading of each project will be announced when the assignment is given.  The final grade for this class will be based on the following:


    ·        Tests/Exams:  35%

    ·        Lab Reports/Quizzes:  15%

    ·        Classwork/Homework:  30%

    ·        Classroom Participation:  20%


    Materials needed for the class: 


    ·        Blue or black pens/pencils

    ·        2” 3-ring binder with dividers (optional)

    ·        Loose leaf paper

    ·        Colored pencils (optional)

    ·        Others TBA


    Warm-Up Assignments:  Every day, as you enter the classroom, you will find a warm-up activity either on the board or otherwise projected within the classroom.  This assignment is a short 2-4 question quiz reviewing the material learned in the previous class and/or the previous night’s homework assignment.  You are expected to neatly copy the questions into your notebooks, date the assignment, and answer the questions to the best of your ability.  For future study needs, once all students have finished, we will review the answers to the questions and you are expected to correct your peers’ or your own responses.  These quizzes will be graded randomly, without prior notice, for validity and will count as a quiz grade.  Other times, the warm-ups will be graded at a participation level only.  The decision of how each particular warm-up will be graded is at the teacher’s discretion.  Students are expected to begin the assignment immediately after entering the classroom, and are expected to have this completed within 5-10 minutes (depending on length of warm-up) after the beginning the class session.




    Policy for Make-Up Work:  Students are expected to be in class every day unless they are involved in a school activity or other excused absence or if they are ill.  Any assignment that is given while the student is present, but the student is absent on the day it is due, the assignment will be due on the day he/she returns to class, no exceptions.  In the event that the student is absent the day the assignment is given, it will be due the day following the student’s return OR at the teacher’s discretion (example:  if the assignment is a project or lab that is designed to take more than 1 day to complete, the assignment will be made up according to the time frame assigned to the rest of the class.  Please see the teacher for timelines and due-dates for these assignments).  Late work will NOT be accepted.  Please make sure to complete the assignments in the time allotted.  A grade of zero (0) will be given for all missing assignments.  Tests and quizzes must be made up in the same manner as described above.  Tests and exams will be announced at least two (2) school days in advance, if not more.  Chapter tests and quizzes should be expected at the end of each chapter, regardless of advanced notice.  *PLEASE NOTE:  I DO NOT GIVE EXTRA CREDIT!  Don’t ask!  Missing assignments, tests, labs, etc. due to absences are the responsibility of the student to make up as described above.  I will not be able to constantly remind you to make up work; it is your responsibility as the student to make sure all work is accounted for and completed.  If you have any questions concerning make-up work or missing assignments, please consult the teacher for an explanation of your options.




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    I/We have read the course description and the outline with my/our student.  I/We understand what is expected for this class and how to contact the teacher for questions/concerns regarding assignments and grading.  Please sign and date this with your student.



    Student name (please print): ________________________________________________



    Student’s signature: _______________________________________________________



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    Date:  __________________________________________________________________