Topics Explored: Agricultural Practices, Irrigation, Pest Control and Management, Meat Production, Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture
This case study explores the idea of an increasing human population and increasing consumption of natural resources as the average standard of living increases throughout the world, while unprecedented demands are being placed upon agricultural workers, natural resources, and the biogeochemical cycles of the Earth.   Answer key included.

Case Study: Sustainable Agriculture (Teacher & Student Edition)

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  • ZIP file containing 2 PDF files 
    (1 Teacher Edition and 1 Student Edition)

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
    HS-LS2-1. Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
    HS-LS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
    HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
    HS-ESS3-3. Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
    HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.

    AP® Environmental Science Learning Objectives:
    5.3 Describe changes in agricultural practices.
    5.4 Describe agricultural practices that cause environmental damage.
    5.5 Describe different methods of irrigation. Describe the benefits and drawbacks of different methods of irrigation.
    5.6 Describe the benefits and drawbacks of different methods of pest control.
    5.7 Identify different methods of meat production. Describe the benefits and drawbacks of different methods of meat production.
    5.12 Explain the concept of sustainability.
    5.14 Describe integrated pest management. Describe the benefits and drawbacks of integrated pest management (IPM).
    5.15 Describe sustainable agricultural and food production practices.

    AP® Environmental Science Practices:
    Practice 1: Explain environmental concepts, processes, and models presented in written format. 
    Practice 2: Analyze visual representations of environmental concepts and processes. 
    Practice 3: Analyze sources of information about environmental issues.  
    Practice 4: Analyze research studies that test environmental principles.  
    Practice 5: Analyze and interpret quantitative data represented in tables, charts, and graphs.
    Practice 6: Apply quantitative methods to address environmental concepts.
    Practice 7: Propose and justify solutions to environmental problems.

    IB® Environmental Systems Learning Objectives:  
    3.4.3 Outline the processes and consequences of soil degradation.
    3.4.4 Outline soil conservation measures.
    3.4.5 Evaluate soil management strategies in a named commercial farming system and in a named subsistence farming system. 
    3.5.1 Outline the issues involved in the imbalance in global food supply.
    3.5.2 Compare and contrast the efficiency of terrestrial and aquatic food production systems.
    3.5.3 Compare and contrast the inputs and outputs of materials and energy (energy efficiency), the system characteristics, and evaluate the relative environmental impacts for two named food production systems.
    3.5.4 Discuss the links that exist between social systems and food production systems.
    3.6.2 Describe and evaluate the sustainability of freshwater resource usage with reference to a case study.
    7.1.6 Justify your personal viewpoint on environmental issues.


    AP® is a registered trademark registered by the College Board®. IB® is a trademark registered by the International Baccalaureate Organization®. This work/product/service has been developed independently from and is not endorsed by the College Board® or the International Baccalaureate Organization®.