About Me: My name is Marilyn Nales-Torres. I was born in New York and I grew up in Puerto Rico. I got a doctor degree in Education with Specialty in Instructional Technology and Distance Education in Nova Southeastern University of Florida. Also, I have a Master in Environmental Science and a Bachelor in Science Education in Colleges in Puerto Rico. I have 20 years of experience teaching different courses of science and education. This  is my first year working in Spring Woods High.


Personal Philosophy: 

In the topic of environmental science there are many issues. Likewise, in each environmental issue there are people that look at it from different perspective. My goal as a teacher is that my students have the capacity to analyze environmental issues through the scientific method, and can argue environmental problems with scientific evidence. My personal philosophy is that science education must focus on investigation using strategies like laboratory and field activities. Learning dynamic, active and center in the students.



Course Outline:



Earth System

Evolution of present earth system

Geologic time scale

Biological evolution and extinctions

Earthquakes & volcanoes

Plate Tectonics and the rock cycle

3 weeks

Terrestrial Ecology

Population dynamics

Communities and niches

Terrestrial biomes

Energy flow and pyramids

Biogeochemical cycles

Energy flow concepts

3 weeks

Aquatic Ecology

Freshwater biomes

Water chemistry

Surface and groundwater issues

Saltwater biomes


3 weeks

Human Populations

Human population sizes & distribution

Distribution and fertility rates

Growth rate and doubling times

Demographic transitions

Age structure diagrams

3 weeks


Species diversity and related descriptors

Preservation, remediation, mitigation, restoration

Habitat loss

Alien, endangered, and extinct species

Forests and deforestation

Fishing techniques and overfishing

Economic impacts and management

Related legislation

3 weeks

Nonrenewable Resources and Energy

Energy forms, units and conversions

History and global energy use


Fossil fuel resources and use

Nuclear energy

Renewable energy

Energy conservation

Economic impacts and decisions

Related legislation

4 weeks

Meteorology & Climatology

Atmospheric structure and chemistry

Stratospheric ozone and ozone depletion

Seasons,solar intensity and latitude

Atmospheric and oceanic circulation



Climate Change

Related legislation

3 weeks

Air Pollution

Classifications of air pollution

Sources and chemistry

Human health risks

Acid deposition

Economic impacts

Clean Air Act and other related legislation

 2 weeks

Water Pollution

Sources and chemistry

Surface and groundwater issues

Cultural Eutrophication

Ocean pollution

Water purification

Sewage treatment

Human health risks

Economic impacts

Clean Water Act and related legislation

2 weeks

Toxicology and Human Health

Risks and Hazards

Bioaccumulation and biomagnification

Types of pesticides

Cost and benefits of pesticide use

Integrated Pest Management

Solid waste disposal and reduction

Hazardous waste

Related legislation

3 weeks

Soil and Land Use

Soil formation and composition

Physical and chemical properties of soil

Soil types and food production

Food production and land use

Erosion and other soil degradation problems

Forestry and rangeland management

Related legislation

3 weeks



Classroom Rules

  • Turned off and put away all electronic devices (including iPods, cell phones, MP3 players, headphones, video games, etc.) BEFORE you enter the classroom.
  • Be on time
  • Bring your materials to class.
  • Be in assigned seat
  • The passes to hall are limits, only for emergency.
  • Food & drinks are NOT allowed in class
  • Follow instructions
  • Be respectful
  • Use classroom appropriate language

Gum should not be seen or heard.

All Spring Woods High School rules apply in the classroom.

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APES Grading Policy

Multiple Choice Tests/Presentations     40%

Free Response Questions/Lab Reports 25%

Labs/Quizzes                   20%

Daily Work/Homework 15%

The grading scale for all assignments is:

A = 90 – 100%

B = 80 – 89 %

C = 70 – 79 %

D = 60 – 69 %

F = below 60%

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