Environmental Science Curriculum
Our Environmental Science course, a yearlong laboratory course with an emphasis on examining major environmental issues from multiple viewpoints, focuses on five main areas:
- The interconnectedness of ecosystems and how humans affect them
- Human populations and land use
- Water mismanagement issues
- Energy systems
- Causes of and solutions to global pollution
York students use the Outdoor Lab to study natural history and ecology and to gain competence in basic ecology, field techniques, and methods of scientific research and writing. Students will be trained as nature walk leaders/interpreters who will conduct nature walks for community groups, elementary school students, outdoor camp students, teachers, and others.
Lessons learned in the natural systems of the Outdoor Laboratory will engender broader learning in environmental stewardship. Our students engage in a variety of green projects across the campus, providing peer-to-peer education and emphasizing environmental sustainability in their lives.
The York School athletic fields, on land previously leased from the U.S. Army, encompass approximately 30 of the 101 acres of the former Fort Ord property. York’s lacrosse, soccer, and field hockey teams practice and play on these fields. A cross country trail runs through the Outdoor Laboratory, serving Central Coast runners by providing a challenging five-kilometer course through the native maritime chaparral landscape.Expanded Curriculum
York’s Art and English departments are incorporating the land into their curricula with programs such as landscape painting, studies of flora and fauna, observational journaling, nature writing, and philosophy.
The remaining acreage is in a largely natural state, with the exception of a graded firebreak. The Outdoor Laboratory, adjacent to the Fort Ord Natural Reserve to the north, functions as an extension of the Reserve’s living resources to the York School campus to the south.