2020-21 AP Course Audit: What You’ll Need to Do
If you’re teaching an AP Environmental Science course for the first time in 2020-21, you’ll need to submit two items:
- A subject-specific AP Course Audit form
- Documentation showing your understanding of course scope—choose 1 of 4 options:
- adopt a sample syllabus
- adopt the AP unit guides
- claim identical to a colleague’s approved syllabus
- submit your own course syllabus for review (For help creating your syllabus, sign in to your AP Course Audit account and click on the Resource section.)
If you’re teaching a previously authorized AP Environmental Science course, you won’t need to submit anything. Your school administrator can simply renew your course for 2020-21.
Once authorized, you’ll receive:
- Access to AP Classroom (practice exams, formative assessments, etc.) in July 2020
- Inclusion in the AP Course Ledger published in November 2020
- Access to online score reports in July 2021
If you’re teaching an AP science course for the first time in 2020-21, please submit evidence for the hands-on lab curricular requirement following the same process as in a typical school year.
If the coronavirus pandemic is preventing your school from providing onsite access to a laboratory environment, instruments, and materials, the 25% instructional time spent on the hands-on lab requirement can be met in the following ways:
- Virtual labs
- Simulations accompanied by student work (data collection, data analysis, etc.)
- Labs that can be safely conducted at home
Regardless of the way the hands-on laboratory requirement is met, all student laboratory experiences must continue to be supervised by a science educator. As outlined in the curricular requirements, these experiences must be recorded and maintained by the student.
Getting to know the AP Environmental Science Course
The key document for each AP course is the course and exam description. Start by reviewing it to understand the objectives and expectations of the course and exam.
Your course must fulfill these requirements.
AP Environmental Science curricular requirements:
- The students and teacher have access to college-level resources including a recently published (within the last 10 years) college-level textbook and reference materials in print or electronic format.
- The course includes the required environmental legislation and policies.
- The course is structured to incorporate the big ideas and required content outlined in each of the units described in the course and exam description.
- The course provides opportunities for students to develop the skills related to science practices:
- Science Practice 1: Concept Application
- Science Practice 2: Visual Representations
- Science Practice 3: Text Analysis
- Science Practice 4: Scientific Experiments
- Science Practice 5: Data Analysis
- Science Practice 6: Mathematical Routines
- Science Practice 7: Environmental Solutions
- Students spend a minimum of 25% of instructional time engaged in a wide range of hands-on, inquiry-based laboratory investigations and/or field work to support the learning of required content and development of science practice skills throughout the course.
- The course provides opportunities for students to record evidence of their scientific investigations. Evidence can be recorded in lab reports, mini-posters, or other appropriate forms for inclusion in lab reports/notebooks (print or digital format).
AP Environmental Science resource requirements:
- The school ensures that each student has a college-level environmental science textbook (in print or electronic format) published within the last 10 years for individual use inside and outside the classroom. The textbook is supplemented when necessary to meet the curricular requirements.
- The school ensures that the teacher has a copy of the most recent edition of a college-level environmental science textbook or other appropriate materials to support instruction.
- The school ensures that students have access to scientific equipment/materials, all necessary resources, and adequate time to conduct hands-on, college-level environmental science laboratory and/or field investigations as outlined in the teacher’s course syllabus.
The list below represents examples of textbooks that meet the curricular requirements of AP Environmental Science. The list below is not exhaustive and the texts listed should not be regarded as endorsed, authorized, recommended, or approved by College Board. Not using a book from this list does not mean that a course will not receive authorization. Syllabi submitted as part of the AP Course Audit process will be evaluated holistically, with textbooks considered along with supplementary resources to confirm that the course as a whole provides students with the content delineated in the curricular requirements of the AP Course Audit.
The current editions of the following textbooks meet the AP Course Audit curricular requirements. Earlier editions of these texts or other textbooks not listed here may meet the AP Course Audit curricular requirements if supplemented with appropriate college-level instructional resources. For discussions regarding the usefulness of these texts and other teaching materials in the AP Environmental Science classroom, please consult the AP Environmental Science Teacher Community.
- Berg, Linda, Peter Raven, David Hassenzhal. Environment. 10th ed., New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, 2018.
- Botkin, Daniel and Edward Keller. Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet. 9th ed., New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, 2014.
- Chiras, Daniel D. Environmental Science. 10th ed., Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2016.
- Cunningham, William and Mary Cunningham. Environmental Science: A Global Concern. 14th ed., New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2018.
- Enger, Eldon and Bradley Smith. Environmental Science: A Study of Interrelationships. 15th ed., New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2019.
- Friedland, Andrew and Rick Relyea. Environmental Science for the AP® Course. 3rd ed., Bedford, Freeman, and Worth, 2019.
- Hassenzahl, David, Mary Catherine Hager, Linda Berg Visualizing Environmental Science. 5th. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, 2017.
- Laposata, Matthew and Jay H. Withgott. Environment: The Science Behind the Stories. 6th ed., San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education, 2018.
- McKinney, Michael L., Robert M. Schoch, Logan Yonavjak, and Grant Mincy. Environmental Science: Systems & Solutions. 6th ed., Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2017.
- Miller, G. Tyler and Scott Spoolman. Exploring Environmental Science for AP. 1st ed., Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2017.
- Miller, G. Tyler and Scott Spoolman. Living in the Environment. 19th ed., Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2018.
- Withgott, Jay H. and Matthew Laposata. Environment: The Science Behind the Stories, AP Edition. 7th ed. Pearson, 2020.
- Wright, Richard and Dorothy Boorse. Environmental Science: Toward A Sustainable Future. 13th ed., San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education, 2017.