• Update May 22, 2020

    Summer Assignment for 2020-2021 AP Environmental Science Students

    Summer Assignment for AP Envrion Sci 2020-2021




    Update May 18, 2020

    The Latest From the College Board re: AP Exams

    Students who were unable to test last week or who reported technical issues to College Board will automatically receive a makeup exam entrance ticket. Those exams will happen in early June.

    Submitting Exam Responses
    We share the deep disappointment of students who were unable to submit responses.
    Beginning Monday, May 18, and continuing through the makeup window, there will be a backup email submission process for browser-based exams.
    This option will only be available for students who were not able to submit in the standard process—and they must then email their responses immediately following their exam.
    These students will see instructions about how to email their response on the page that says, "We Did Not Receive Your Response." The email address that appears on this page will be unique to each student.
    Any student testing between May 18–22 who can't successfully upload their response through the exam platform or send it to us by email, will need to request a makeup exam.
    To protect the security and validity of exams, we're unable to accept submissions from students who tested May 11–15. However, these students can feel confident that the email option will be in place for them during the makeup exams.
    Email submissions will not be available for the World Language exams.
    Setting Up Your Students for Success
    Given the wide variety of devices, browsers, and connectivity solutions students have access to, we're unable to prevent every possible local error from occurring during the exam. In advance of the administration, we created a testing guide, Exam demo, and test day checklist to help students avoid potential issues. It's important that students review this information and know to:
    Locate their e-ticket, which is emailed two days before each exam
    Use a recommended browser, update it to the latest version, and disable plugins
    Keep an eye on the time and begin their submission at the 5-minute mark
    Additional tips to help your students succeed are available here.

    Students taking World Language and Culture exams, which begin on Monday, May 18, must:
    Download the free AP World Languages Exam App (WLEA)
    Set their device to “Do Not Disturb”
    Check to ensure they have enough storage on their device
    World Language students should also watch the exam walk-through video, and check our website for more guidance.

    Thank you for all you continue to do to support your students during this challenging time.

    With gratitude,

    Advanced Placement Program




    Resources for APES Exam May 18, 2020


    1. Review APES Exam Logistics
    2. Review Resources
    3. Review Exam Content
    4. Review Test Taking Strategies
    5. Additional Suggestions
    1. Logistics
            Monday May 18th, 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time
        Need your Exam ID (See Checklist Below)
        Sign On Early (See Checklist Below)

    2. AP Exam Resources 

    2020 AP Exam Testing Guide

    2020 AP Exam Day Checklist

    YouTube channel with ALL of the exam information you need

    Special instructions for World Language Exams here
    Special instructions for AP Art students here

    Exam Demos. You and your students now have access to an exam demo. Students should use the demo to practice the different ways to submit exam responses. World language students will be able to practice with the AP World Languages Exam App beginning the week of May 11.

    Required and recommended resource list 

    Two days before each exam, students will receive an email with their unique exam e-ticket that includes their AP ID. On exam day, students will use their e-ticket to access the exam. If a student hasn't received their exam e-ticket by email, they can access it through their student account on My AP. E-tickets are nontransferable and shouldn't be shared with anyone. Students who haven't been receiving College Board emails still have time to confirm their contact information.

    Remind students to click their e-ticket to check in 30 minutes before exam start time. Students should allot 80 minutes for each exam—30 minutes to enter their AP ID, name, and other information, and 50 minutes to draft and submit their responses. Make sure your students know their local testing time, since each subject's exam will be taken simultaneously worldwide.

    Ensure your students know what to do if something goes wrong. If a student accidentally closes the browser, their device crashes, or they temporarily lose internet access, they can quickly click their exam e-ticket again to return to the exam. They should continue the exam, and if they feel at the end of the exam that the temporary disruption negatively impacted their performance, they can request approval to take the makeup exam at cb.org/requestmakeup. Students can also request a makeup exam if they've lost too much time due to a technical problem, can't connect to their exam, or experienced some other serious disruption.

    Online AP Classes and Review Sessions will focus on the exam day experience and review new sample questions for all nonportfolio courses. These sample questions are available on each subject's course page.

    AP College Board
    "Get Ready for AP Exam Day"
    "View the AP Exam Schedule"
    "Build Your College List for chance to Earn $500 Scholarship"

    AP Exam PowerPoint - R. Smart
    Slide Show by Ruby Smart
    AP Exams 2020 (by Ruby Smart)

    3. Content

    New this year, the AP College Board has restructured the Curriculum Content from the previous format of 7 Topics/Units to the now 9 Topics/Units.  Due to the school closures this Spring, the college board has said that it will not be testing students for the last 2 topics in APES (outlined below), assuming that we starting with Topic I and progressed in order.

    These are the 7 Topics/Units of which you may be tested on:
    1. The Earth
        -Geologic Time Scale (Precambrian Time [4.6B - 545M; Paleozoic Era [545M - 245M]; Mesozoic Era     'Age of Dinosaurs/Reptiles' [245M - 65M]; Cenozoic 'Age of Mammals' [65m - Present]), Earth Structure, Plate Tectonics (Convergent, Divergent, Transform Fault), Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Solar Intensity, Latitude, Seasons, Soil, The Rock Cycle (magma > Igneous Rock, Sedimentary Rock, Metamorphic Rock)
    2. The Atmosphere
        -Structure (troposhere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere) Ozone Layer (region), Composition (78% N, 21% O, 1% Other), Weather vs. Climate, El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Atmospheric Circulation (Trade Winds, Westerlies, Easterlies), Coriolis Effect (air/water swirls in opposite directions above and below the equator)
    3. Natural Biogeochemical Cycles
        - Carbon, Nitrogen (i.e. Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria), Phosphorous, Hydrologic (Water), Water Distribution and Properties (97% Ocean Water, 3% Fresh Water)
    4. Ecosystems
        -Ecology, Law of Tolerance, Energy Flow (10% Rule), Biomes, Biodiversity, Riparian Areas (lands adjacent to waterways with ecosystems depending on that water), Ocean
    Zones, Ocean Circulation (Gulf Stream Current; Great Ocean Conveyor Belt)
    5. Populations
        -Population Ecology, Survivorship, Age-Structure Diagrams, Demographic Transition, Human Population (historical, exponential growth, J-Curve, S-Curve, projections to 2050)
    6. Land and Water Use
        -Agricultural Practices (Traditional/Subsistence/Sustainable vs. Modern/Industrialized/Plantation), Single Cash Crop vs. Crop Rotation, Irrigation (drip irrigation best), controlling pests (pesticides), forestry, deforestation (tree harvesting, slash and burn), urban development, mining, "Tragedy of the Commons"
    7. Energy
        -Energy Concepts (Forms of energy, Units of energy), Energy Conversions, Energy Consumption (past vs. present), Nonrenewable Energy Sources vs. Renewable Energy Sources, Energy Efficiency, Energy     Conservation, Transportation

    (Not Covered)
    8. Pollution
    9. Global Change
        -May be questions about your ability to interpret data and analyze graphs in lab investigations

    4. Specific Test Taking Strategies for FRQs
    i. Readability - Be sure info you write is organized in a way such that the answer(s) make sense
    ii. Follow Through (even if you goofed up) - go back and fix mistakes
    iii. Seeing is Believing - explain clearly in sentence(s) and/or graph
    iv. Mandatory Drawing
    v. Avoid Long-Winded Answers
    vi. Capture Gems (opportunity to gain a point; point deceases if)
    vii. Pick and Choose (there are many parts, don't panic if you don't know the answer to one)
    viii. Time in a Bottle - Budget your time ... spend a minute or two reading the question then planning your response
    ix. Points, Points, and more Points - FRQs have different parts with 1 to 3 points. It's important to at least TRY to answer each part... don't just skip a question... all questions need answers (even if they are not your best responses)
    x. Circle The Wagons - Outlines are a good way to organize your thoughts and save time, even though the outline itself is not graded.
    xi. Memory Game - Allow your mind to keep processing all questions if it chooses to ... go back and modify your previous responses if you later have a 'moment of genius'
    xii. Answer What Is ASKED - With FRQ there are no answer choices to choose from (like in a multiple choice test), you either know the answer or you don't.  Concentrate on answering what is asked.

    5. Additional Suggestions
    I.  Study APES Exam Study Book if you have one.   
    II. Go through practice exams if you can access (comes with APES Exam Study Books).  Do in real time.
    III.  Answer in complete sentences
     Get plenty of rest the two days leading up to the exam ... get to bed early
    IV. Eat light meals on day of test (prior to the test)
    V. Try to relax and clear your mind the last hour immediately prior to taking exam.  Cramming immediately before an exam rarely turns out well.  It's important that your brain is relaxed and ready to work.



    Home Learning Plan Week Of May 11 - May 15

    This Week
    -In general will be a slowed pace/fewer assignments so students can
    a) put a little more time into preparing for AP Exam coming up next Monday, and
    b) catch up on missing assignments since April 13th for this 4th Quarter.

    -"Energy Consumption and Use" Part II

    APES Students NOW Is the Time To Crash Course That APES Exam Study Book
    Mon - Tue
    "Nonrenewable vs. Renewable Sources Summarized"  TBA
    "A 2nd Look At Nuclear Energy"  TBA

    Wed - Thur
    "Extreme Auto Challenge"  TBA

    "Energy Quiz" for the content this week and last week  TBA
    Next Mon May 11, APES Exam via The College Board

    4th Quarter Progress Reports Update

    4th Quarter 'Distance Learning' Progress Reports Have Been Made and Submitted 5/9/2020

    Scenario 1 - You have 'passed' the 3rd Quarter with B or A grade and have begun to do the 4th Quarter Distance Learning Work assigned in Google Classroom = "Pass"

    Scenario 2 - You 'passed' the 3rd Quarter with a C, B, or A grade and have done very little of the 4th Quarter Distance Learning Work Assigned in Google Classroom = "Inc" or "Pass"

    Scenario 3 - You earned an F, D, C, B, or A for the 3rd Quarter Grade but have not done any of the 4th Quarter Distance Learning Work Assigned via Google Classroom = "Inc"


    "Pass" = C or Higher; You will earn 5 Credits attempted for the Spring Semester.

    "Inc" = D or F; You will NOT earn 5 Credits attempted for the Spring Semester.  Upon the start of Fall Term 2020-2021 you will have 6 weeks to make up the missing work form the 4th Quarter.  If the work is not satisfactorily made of then the "Inc" becomes a "Not Passing" and you will forever loose the 5 Credits attempted for previous the Spring Semester 2020.  In other words, you will have failed the course.





    Spring Semester Grades Notice 5.1.2020


    3rd Quarter Grades were submitted last Saturday 4/25.  They will constitute 1/2 of your Spring Semester Grade

    4th Quarter started Monday 4/13.  We are now into the 3rd week (Wk 12?).  Next Friday May 8th is the end of the 4th Quarter Progress Report Period.  Mr. Gordon intends to send a progress report home to every household.  IF you haven't began the 4th Quarter Assignments then you will receive 'Danger of Failing' notification.  At the end of 4th you will receive a "Pass" or "Incomplete" for the 4th Quarter.

    Spring Semester Grades will be made at the end of the 4th Quarter.  The 3rd Quarter Grade will be Averaged with the 4th Quarter Grade.  You will either be "Passing" and receive credits, or you will be marked "Incomplete" and will not receive credits.  You will have 6 weeks at the start of the Fall Semester to submit missing work otherwise your "Incomplete" will become a "No Pass" and you will have in essence failed the Spring Semester.



    Perhaps you may have heard that the 3rd Quarter and 4th Quarter Grade Marks for this special Spring Semester will average to determine whether you receive "Passing" grade for semester or "Incomplete" (which will become No Pass in the Fall).  Assuming both quarters are graded equally, if you got an A the 3rd Quarter and an F the 4th Quarter that may average to a "C" which is passing.  Any grade less than an A for the 3rd Quarter could result in you receiving an "Incomplete" mark for Spring Term  which will translate into a "No Pass" mark during the Fall. 


    To be even more clear ...

    If your 3rd Qtr Grade is an A, and you do nothing the 4th Qtr, then you will likely earn a "Passing" with the equivalent of C-

    If your 3rd Qtr Grade is less than an A (B, C, D, F), and you do nothing the 4th Qtr, then you will likely receive an "Incomplete" meaning No Credits.  You will have 6 weeks at the start of Fall Semester to make up 4th Quarter assignments.  If you do not make up the work, then the "Incomplete" becomes a "No Pass" and you will have basically failed the Spring Term receiving no credits towards graduation, college, etc. for this class.


    Caution ...

    For colleges D is not considered passing and you risk the possibility of receiving and "Incomplete."  As Environmental Science is a College Prep and/or Advanced Placement Course, such standard will be at play.  D/F = Not Passing ... C or higher = Passing


    Reminder, though the school buildings are closed, the school year is not over yet. You are still a student enrolled in Spring Term (4th Quarter now).  Your job is to do the work that your teacher assigns. It would be safe for you to assume something similar for your other classes.  This is the ONLY way you can guarantee that you will receive a "Passing" Grade for the Spring Semester ... is to complete and turn in all assignments given by your teachers.


    -M. Gordon


    Update April 29, 2020


    The 4th Quarter Grading Period has officially began as of April 13.  I will be using Google Classroom for this 4th Quarter.  These assignments WILL BE GRADED and will factor into whether or not you earn a "Passing" grade or "Incomplete" (which becomes "Not Passing") grade mark for the Spring Semester.  Please keep up from week to week.  Each week has a similar format consisting of 4-6 assignments then a quiz on Fridays.

    Friday May 8th will be the end of the Progress Report Period for th 4th Quarter.  Notifications will be sent to homes whether you are keeping up and on track to pass the Spring Semester or have fallen behaind and are not on track to pass the 4th Quarter.

    The District will loan to you a chromebook if needed.  Comcast/Xfinity, and at least one other internet service provider, has special internet packages in which you can get free internet service.  Check school mailings, Parent Square notifications, etc.


    Update March 27, 2020

    Try this!  Earth Day 2020 (the 50th Anniversary) is coming up April 22, 2020.  Quiz your knowledge of Earth Day related topics!  If you don't know the answers now then you will learn them as your online quizzes are corrected:

    Earth Day Quizzes

    Earth Day Info

    Earth Day  


    Update March 21, 2020

    APES Students, if you haven't already, please do check link below re: "AP Updates for Schools Impacted by the Coronavirus"

    AP Updates for Schools Impacted by the Coronavirus


    Berkeley/CAL News Link

    UC Berkeley News re: Coronavirus



    Update March 19; 2020

    Link to CA Official Website about Novel Coronavirus Covid-19



    Links to some educational resources:





    Updated March 18, 2020

    For AP Studennts: See link below to info about "AP Udates for Schools Impacted by Coronavirus:


    There will be a major announcement on March 20.  Also, there will be online resources for AP Students.  Check in frequently.



    Updated March 17, 2020

    Hello students, parents, families, community I truly hope that this message finds you well.  As we all face this unprecedented threat in our lifetimes of the novel Coronavirus pandemic we are instructed to shelter-in-place and practice "social distancing" when out in order to reduce risk of exposure to ourselves and our loved ones.  I encourage you to check news websites daily to monitor the situation i.e. abc7newsSF, Fox2Oakland, CNN, BBC, etc.

    The school district faculty and staff will make a reasonable effort to maintain some degree of education via Home Learning Plan.  Likely within the next day or so the school/district will be sharing lessons created by teachers with parents & students.  The assigned textbook is all that is necessary to do the assignments I have crafted, though access to the internet may help as well.  I encourage all students to do as much of the assigned work as possible at a pace that is comfortable for you, though at present the work is optional learning and enrichment.

    FYI in Environmental Science we had just started a Vermicomposting Project in class.  The Red Worms are fairly hearty and can survive tough times for a while.  Likely they will lay cocoons and there will be lots of baby worms when we return!  At worst, if our return to school gets postponed, the worms will donate their organic material to the compost itself ... the cycle of life continues.


    Here are a few links with info about the novel Coronavirus:


    CBS News Top 5 Covid-19 Q&A

    Taiwan News



    Updated December 2019

    Updated links to Conservation.org re: Biodiversity Hotspots

    (1st Link is New/BEST)




    Link about Threatened and Engandered Species, Extinction Crises via "Center for Biodlogical Diversity"



    Link to City of San Leandro Climate Action Plan Outreach Survey

    Participation in the survey will only take 10 min and will help shape the plan development and outreach efforts. Thank you for your time and assistance!



    Link to Cengage, Publisher of our AP Text "Living In The Environment" (Link Updated 11/5/2019)



    Link to info about "Environmental Science" by Karen Arms (College Prep Course Textbook)



    Hello and Welcome to Mr. M. Gordon's Homepage

    Mr. Gordon Teaches
    Preparation Period Period 1
    Environmental Science College Prep Periods 2, 3
    Environmental Science Advanced Placement Periods 4, 5
    Off Period Period 6
    Block Day Office Hours Wednesdays After School 2:34-3:15
    Other Office Hours Generally Before School, Lunchtime, Afterschool
    Protect Our Planet


    Room: 345
    Phone Ext: 2345

    "Gorge Yourself With All Enlightenment"


  • What is the single most importatnt term or concept in Environmental Science?

    Posted by:

    Sustainability. Sustainability has many similar but different meanings across different fields.  Basically it refers to humans using resources modestly so that the same resources are available for future generations.  It refers to humans living within their means, sonsuming resources at a rate below the sustainable yeield.

    Comments (-1)
  • What is environmental science?

    Posted by:

    Environmental science is the study of how humans impact the envirnment.  It focuses on how humans use resources and alter the environment in the atmosphere, biosphere, geophere, and the hydrosphere. A major goal of the course is for students to learn how to identify and solve environmental problems.  It is a science course and is therefore about the science of phenomena related to the environment.

    Comments (-1)
Mr. M. Gordon



Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. M. Gordon

Alma Mater

-UC Berkeley (Cal)



-AA Anthropology

-BA Psychology

-Secondary Teaching Credentials in Biological Sciences and Geosciences

-Ed.D. Educational Leadership and Change (In Progress)(ABD)