Old Hickory Council - Hanging Rock District

Troop 444: Environmental Science Merit Badge


Environmental Science



This Merit Badge is Required to earn the Eagle Scout Rank


  1. Make a timeline of the history of environmental science in America. Identify the contribution made by the Boy Scouts of America to environmental science. Include dates, names of people or organizations, and important events.
  2. Define the following terms: population, community, ecosystem, biosphere, symbiosis, niche, habitat, conservation, threatened species, endangered species, extinction, pollution prevention, brownfield, ozone, watershed, airshed, nonpoint source, hybrid vehicle, fuel cell.
  3. Do ONE activity in EACH of the following categories (using the activities in this {the merit badge} pamphlet as the basis for planning and carrying out your projects):
        A. Ecology
            1. Conduct an experiment to find out how living things respond to changes in their environments.
                  Discuss your observations with your counselor.
            2. Conduct an experiment illustrating the greenhouse effect. Keep a journal of your data and
                  observations. Discuss your conclusions with your counselor.
            3. Discuss what is an ecosystem. Tell how it is maintained in nature and how it survives.
        B. Air Pollution
            1. Perform an experiment to test for particulates that contribute to air pollution. Discuss your findings
                  with your counselor.
            2. Record the trips taken, mileage, and fuel consumption of a family car for seven days, and
                  calculate how many miles per gallon the car gets. Determine whether any trips could have been
                  combined ("chained") rather than taken out and back. Using the idea of trip chaining, determine
                  how many miles and gallons of gas could have been saved in those seven days.
            3. Explain what is acid rain. In your explanation, tell how it affects plants and the environment and
                  the steps society can take to help reduce its effects.
        C. Water Pollution
            1. Conduct an experiment to show how living things react to thermal pollution. Discuss your
                  observations with your counselor.
            2. Conduct an experiment to identify the methods that could be used to mediate (reduce) the effects
                  of an oil spill on waterfowl. Discuss your results with your counselor.
            3. Describe the impact of a waterborne pollutant on an aquatic community. Write a 100-word report
                  on how that pollutant affected aquatic fife, what the effect was, and whether the effect is linked to
        D. Land Pollution
            1. Conduct an experiment to illustrate soil erosion by water. Take photographs or make a drawing of
                  the soil before and after your experiment, and make a poster showing your results. Present your
                  poster to your patrol or troop. (2) Perform an experiment to determine the effect of an oil spill on
                  land. Discuss your conclusions with your counselor.
            2. Perform an experiment to determine the effect of an oil spill on land. Discuss your conclusions
                  with your counselor.
            3. Photograph an area affected by erosion. Share your photographs with your counselor and discuss
                  why the area has eroded and what might be done to help alleviate the erosion.
        E. Endangered Species
            1. Do research on one endangered species found in your state. Find out what its natural habitat is,
                  why it is endangered, what is being done to preserve it, and how many individual organisms are
                  left in the wild. Prepare a 100-word report about the organism, including a drawing. Present your
                  report to your patrol or troop.
            2. Do research on one species that was endangered or threatened but which has now recovered.
                  Find out how the organism recovered, and what its new status is. Write a 100-word report on the
                  species and discuss it with your counselor.
            3. With your parent's and counselor's approval, work with a natural resource professional to identify
                  two projects that have been approved to improve the habitat for a threatened or endangered
                  species in your area. Visit the site of one of these projects and report on what you saw.
        F. Pollution Prevention, Resource Recovery, and Conservation
            1. Look around your home and determine 10 ways your family can help reduce pollution. Practice at
                  least two of these methods for seven days and discuss with your counselor what you have
            2. Determine 10 ways to conserve resources or use resources more efficiently in your home, at
                  school, or at camp. Practice at least two of these methods for seven days and discuss with your
                  counselor what you have learned.
            3. Perform an experiment on packaging materials to find out which ones are biodegradable. Discuss
                  your conclusions with your counselor.
  4. Choose two outdoor study areas that are very different from one another (e.g., hilltop vs. bottom of a hill; field vs. forest; swamp vs. dry land). For BOTH study areas, do ONE of the following:
        A. Mark off a plot of 4 square yards in each study area, and count the number of species found there.
              Estimate how much space is occupied by each plant species and the type and number of non-
              plant species you find. Write a report that adequately discusses the biodiversity and population
              density of  these study areas. Discuss your report with your counselor.
        B. Make at least three visits to each of the two study areas (for a total of six visits), staying for at least
              20 minutes each time, to observe the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem. Space each visit
              far enough apart that there are readily apparent differences in the observations. Keep a journal that
              includes the differences you observe. Then, write a short report that adequately addresses your
              observations, including how the differences of the study areas might relate to the differences noted,
              and discuss this with your counselor.
  5. Using the construction project provided or a plan you create on your own, identify the items that would need to be included in an environmental impact statement for the project planned.
  6. Find out about three career opportunities in environmental science. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.

Environmental Science Worksheets for use in working on these requirements

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout Is...

A Scout tells the truth.
He keeps his promises.
Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.LOYAL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.HELPFUL
A Scout is a friend to all.
He is a brother to other Scouts.
He seeks to understand others.
He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position.
He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle.
He treats others as he wants to be treated.
He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop.
He obeys the laws of his community and country.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things.
He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others.
He saves for unforeseen needs.
He protects and conserves natural resources.
He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid.
He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean.
He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals.
He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God.
He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others.