Ants to the Atmosphere

[caption id="attachment_177" align="alignleft" width="300"]By Donkey Hote By Donkey Hote[/caption]

Phew! Cant believe it, but we are already almost 5 weeks into the second semester. Time seems to be flying past almost as quickly as AP Environmental chapters. Last year I did not realize what a crunch it was to cover all of the material for APES in just one semester. Mostly it seemed like a cake walk compared to the insanity that was AP Biology. This year, however, with AP Bio rolling along on the languid, yearlong schedule, APES seems like a sprint. Thus far everyone seems to be holding up fairly well. We are making progress on learning how to do things such as debate and it seems that everyone is putting in the work that is necessary to survive and maybe even thrive in APES.

A couple of weeks ago we did a sprint through the atmosphere and biomes. Hence the title Ants to the Atmosphere. I always appreciate looking at the environmental conditions that shape the Earth's biomes. It reminds me how much we really are at the mercy of nature. Reflecting on her experience during the week of January 21-25 is Lily Pham.

Lily Writes:

In Mr. Kite’s AP Environmental Science class we started off the week on Tuesday because of our Martin Luther King holiday on Monday. On Tuesday we started chapter 4, which talks about global climates and biomes. At the beginning of class we did kind of a review about the layers of the atmosphere and their importance. After that discussion we learned about the formation of Hadley cells and the intertropical convergence zone or ITCZ for short. On Wednesday we started off learning about the Coriolis Effect. After a couple of notes we did a lab that helped us better understand the Coriolis Effect. In the lab we used a turntable and marker. We had to draw a line from the inside to the outside while the table was turning and observe the line and the direction it curved. After that lab we watched a video about El Niño and La Niña. On Thursday we watched a video about the rain shadow process and took notes about the different biomes. On Friday we learned about ecosystem richness and evenness. Toward the end of class we learned how to calculate the richness by using the Shannon’s index. It looked scary at first but after the first couple of examples we got the hang of it.

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