What do you learn in ESS?

learn ESS

What do you learn in ESS?

Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) is a college-level introduction to ecology, which overlaps significantly with the IB Geography syllabus. It is science applied to ideas presented in geography, economics, and TOK. What do you learn in ESS?

We’ll look at the ways different people around the world perceive and respond to various environmental issues, and we’ll dig deeper into their experiences and motivations for taking action (or not taking action). The issues students encounter in ESS are complex and challenging. Students will never be taught what to think about environmental issues; instead, students will learn about the interdependence of the various components of our planet in order to reach their own conclusions.

ESS covers eight major topics:

  • foundations of the course and its major ideas,
  • ecosystem structure and function,
  • biodiversity,
  • water resources,
  • soil systems and food production,
  • atmospheric science,
  • climate change and energy production,
  • the interaction between human populations and resource use.

We study plants, animals, energy, ecosystems, food systems, carbon and nutrient cycling, cultures…basically anything having anything to do with living organisms and the way they interact with people and the physical environment.

Remember that the Diploma Program is demanding, time-consuming, intellectually challenging, and, ultimately, hard. I will do my best to ensure that your experience in my class is a positive, collaborative, mutually-respectful one, and it is my hope that by the time you graduate, I will have somehow helped you exceed your expectations for learning.

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