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East Greenwich School District Summer Work: AP Environmental Science

Work students from Cole Middle School and East Greenwich High School are expected to complete over the summer, prior to school opening.

AP Environmental Science

AP Environmental Science- 2024 Summer Assignment (no textbook required)
Please use the internet to do your research and answer the following questions


Hello AP Environmental Science Students,


During the summer vacation, you need to complete the following in order for us to adequately get through the curriculum and to expose you to some of the topics and issues related to Environmental Science.  All assignments will be collected and reviewed when school begins in September.  I look forward to meeting you all on the first day of school and I hope you all have a totally enjoyable and fun summer vacation.


Mr. Rath (

Mr. Rath website (


The assignment consists of three parts listed below:

AP Environmental Science - Part 1 Ecology Review

Part 1: Ecology Review:  Examine the following key topics & answer the associated questions

 * Environmental Science: Studying the State of Our Earth

  1. How is environmental science different from environmentalism?
  2. Provide some examples of environmental indicators.
  3. What do you consider to be the two most important environmental indicators and why?
  4. How is consumption impacting the environment?

* Ecosystem Ecology

  1. Summarize how energy moves through an ecosystem.
  2. What is a trophic pyramid and what does it show?
  3. Compare and contrast GPP (gross primary productivity) and NPP (net primary production).
  4. Which terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems generally have high NPP?
  5. Provide an overview of the hydrologic cycle.
  6. Provide an overview of the carbon cycle.
  7. Provide an overview of the nitrogen cycle.
  8. Provide an overview of the phosphorus cycle.
  9. Select any cycle from question 5-8 and summarize how humans have impacted this cycle.
  10. Compare and contrast ecosystem resistance and ecosystem resilience.

* Global Climates & Biomes

  1. Explain why some parts of the earth get very hot and other very cold.
  2. Summarize the major air currents of planet earth and how they move around the world.
  3. Provide an overview of any 5 terrestrial biomes of your choice.
  4. Provide an overview of any 5 aquatic biomes of your choice.
  5. Describe various aspects of the biomes we live in.

Contact Mr. Rath

Mr. Rath classroom website

Click on the image above to access Mr. Rath's classroom website.  You may want to bookmark this site for quick access in the fall.

Contact Mr. Rath at

AP Environmental Science - Part 2 Environmental Issues

Part 2: Environmental Issues

Throughout the year, we will be discussing a number of environmental issues and case studies. Your final summer task is to select and research any environmental issue affecting New England that interests you, and prepare a brief PowerPoint presentation you will share with class the first week of school. 


The presentation should be no longer than 10 slides and include the following:

  • A brief overview of the issue?
  • One or more images
  • A summary of the different viewpoints of the various parties concerned.
  • What do you think needs to be done to resolve the issue?
  • What is your opinion of the issue?

AP Environmental Science - Part 3 Environmental Literature

Part 3:  Environmental Literature (optional)

The following books have had a significant influence on Environmental Science.  Select any one book and write a half to one-page review.  Provide a brief description of the book and share your thoughts & opinions of the text.

  • ‘A Sand County Almanac’, Aldo Leopold, 1949
  • ‘Silent Spring’, Rachel Carson, 1962
  • ‘Walden’, Henry David Thoreau, 1845
  • ‘The Sixth Extinction’, Elizabeth Kolbert, 2014