Summer AP Academies: AP Environmental Science Academy

This new AP Summer Academy will help experienced APES teachers dig deeper into their course content, as we hear from college professors about the latest research developments in environmental science, and from prominent area stakeholders as they discuss the real world challenges of applying science to land-use decision-making.

Male student biking through Academic Quad at Rice University

AP Environmental Science applies concepts from the biological and earth sciences into human land-use contexts, placing the course right on the overlap between Science and Social Studies, and requiring students to make meaningful connections between fields of inquiry that are often compartmentalized in high school curricula. Many APES students are able to memorize individual science concepts, but they often struggle when asked to make meaningful connections to complex real-world scenarios. This course will help teachers find ways to bridge this gap, increasing student’s success on the AP exam while building their real world environmental literacy.


Section Instructor Format Schedule start date
CCR42501 Matt Wells On-campus 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, 2018

FORMAT: On-campus
SCHEDULE: 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
START DATE: June 26, 2018

Instructor: Matt Wells

Matt Wells, M.Ed., is an award-winning teacher and educational consultant based in Houston, TX.  Having an ecological research background working in Madagascar and Guyana, Matt launched his school district’s AP Environmental Science program in 2005, co-writing the curriculum, and has now taught APES for 12yrs in a low-income urban public school setting.  He is a College Board/ETS Reader for APES, an APES consultant for the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), a regular conference workshop presenter, and has done several Environmental Science workshops for Rice University over the years.  Matt has conducted Summer Institutes, Mock Readings, Student Study Sessions and other trainings across the US, receiving numerous awards for his work, including the Texas Chemical Council’s Award for Excellence in Environmental Education, the Butler Award for Educational Excellence, and NABT’s Outstanding Biology Teacher Award.  He was selected as a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction, and has been inducted into his school district’s “Wall of Fame” three times.  As a national consultant and Past-President of both the Science Teacher’s Association of Texas and the Texas Association of Biology Teachers, Matt has seen many different ways to do APES around the country.  Whether urban or rural, rich or poor, large or small, Matt believes that APES can be taught effectively in any school setting, and he is passionate about helping teachers launch and develop their programs, so they can connect their students to the world around them in meaningful ways, and prepare them effectively for the rigors of the exam.  

Term: Spring/Summer 2018

Start Date: June 26, 2018

End Date: June 29, 2018

Schedule: 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Length: Tuesday-Friday

Location: Rice campus

Fee: $555 Tuition includes course materials, parking and lunch.

Early Registration: $505 if registering by March 26

Late Registration: $605 if registering after June 11

Continuing Professional Education (CPE): 26

Agenda (subject to change):

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Bayou Land Conservancy and Houston Area Resource Management Challenges
8 - 9:45 a.m. - Becky Martinez & Suzanne Simpson

Modeling Trophic Cascades in Salt Marsh Ecosystems
9:45 - 11:30 a.m. - Helen Snodgrass, HHMI Biointeractive Ambassador

Houston Advanced Research Center and Houston Area Resource Management Challenges
12:30 - 2 p.m. - Lisa Gonzalez

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Houston Area Resource Management Challenges
2 - 3:30 p.m. - Tracie Phillips

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Flooding in Harris County and Hurricane Harvey’s Impacts
8 - 9:45 a.m. - Jeff Lindner

Joining the Harris County Flood Control District in 2004 as the District’s first meteorologist is one of many precedents set by Jeff Lindner. In his primary role as Director of the District’s Flood Operations Program, Jeff implements regular communication with the National Weather Service and the Harris County Office of Emergency Management (HCOEM) during times of flooding while monitoring 154 rainfall and stage gages and collecting data at over 400 bridges located on many of Harris County’s 2,500 miles of channel. In addition, he oversees the operation of the Harris County Flood Warning System, the Discharge and Rating Curve Program, and is currently developing a real-time flood forecast system. Jeff has developed multiple presentations and preparedness materials on hurricane impacts, flooding, and drought and how to prepare and respond to these weather episodes. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology from Texas A&M University. He is a member of the national and local chapters of the American Meteorological Society and of the Texas Gulf Coast Emergency Managers Association, the National Hydrological Warning Council, Texas Flash Flood Coalition, and ALERT Users Group.

National Weather Service
9:45 - 11:30 a.m. - Dan Reilly & Katie Landry-Guyton

Dan Reilly has been with the National Weather Service for the past 25 years, the last 10 years as the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Houston/Galveston Weather Forecast Office.  He spent several years as a Lead Forecaster for coastal areas of Virginia and North Carolina and has worked on several significant hurricanes including Isabel, Floyd, Ike, and Harvey.  Dan received his Master’s degree in Meteorology from M.I.T. and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Virginia.  He and his family reside in League City, TX.

Katie Landry-Guyton currently serves as the Senior Service Hydrologist for the Houston/Galveston National Weather Service office. Katie is the liaison between the West Gulf River Forecast Center, the local Weather Forecast Office, and hydrologic partners in the Houston/Galveston area. Prior to joining the Houston office in January 2017, Katie worked as a Hydrometeorologist for the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, LA, for over five years. Before beginning her career with the National Weather Service, Katie earned her B.S. in Geosciences with an emphasis in meteorology from Mississippi State University. Katie is an active member in both the meteorological and hydrologic community as she serves as a member of the American Meteorological Society, the Texas Flash Flood Coalition, and the Texas Floodplain Managers Association.

Rice University Correa Lab and Climate Change and Coral
12:30 - 3:30 p.m. - Dr. Adrienne Correa

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Texas Fisheries Management
8 - 9:45 a.m. - Paul Cason

Our changing coastal ecosystems: Causes and consequences
9:45 - 11:30 a.m. - Dr. Anna Armitage

Dr. Anna Armitage is an Associate Professor of Marine Biology at Texas A&M University at Campus. Dr. Armitage is a community ecologist with research interests in food webs and coastal habitat restoration. The ultimate goal of her research program is to use an understanding of coastal ecosystem ecology to improve restoration success in the marsh, mangrove, and seagrass habitats.

12:30 - 2 p.m. - Dr. Evan Siemann, Rice University

Field Trip: Houston Arboretum
2 - 3:30 p.m. - Trudi Smith

Friday, June 29, 2018 

NatGeo Young Explorer and Human Adaptability in Changing Environments, Pt. 1
8 - 9:45 a.m. - Alize Carrere

Alizé Carrère is a National Geographic Explorer researching and documenting climate change adaptation in practice. Raised in a treehouse in Ithaca, New York, her childhood primed her for a unique perspective on what it means to innovate and adapt in response to environmental change. After moving to Montreal to complete a B.A. at McGill University in Environmental Sciences and International Development, she spent time living in Panama before returning to McGill to complete an M.Sc. in Bioresource Engineering. During this time, she lived in the Middle East working on water resource management and electronic waste between Israel and Palestine. In 2012, Alizé received support from National Geographic to conduct research in Madagascar, where she spent several months uncovering an unlikely agricultural adaptation in response to severe deforestation. Learning of farmers who were turning erosional gullies into fertile pockets of farmland, her work evolved into a greater story of creativity and resourcefulness amongst the oft-repeated narrative of climate doom. She continues to spearhead research on innovative adaptations to climate change and is working on a web series that highlights the remarkable resilience of the human species. Most recently, Alizé has been working with Lindblad/National Geographic Expeditions designing and leading expeditions aboard the National Geographic Orion, and she is getting ready to pursue a Ph.D. in Ecosystem Science & Policy at the University of Miami.

Galveston Bay Foundation and Coastal Issues
9:45 - 11:30 a.m. - Cindy Wilems

NatGeo Young Explorer and Human Adaptability in Changing Environments, Pt. 2
12:30 - 2 p.m. - Alize Carrere
Bio featured above.

Rice University NEWT Lab Coastal Issues
2 - 3:30 p.m. - Dr. Jorge Loyo