Merit Badge Requirements Merit Badge History
Environmental Science Merit Badge Workbook
This Scoutmaster Bucky Merit Badge Workbook is based off the 2020 Scouts BSA Requirements.
Type your work on this page or download the Environmental Science Workbook PDF.

Consider also using the Environmental Science merit badge class preparation page for clarification and expections when participating in a Scoutmaster Bucky merit badge opportunity (online or in-person).

https://scoutmasterbucky.com/merit-badges/environmental-science/

Scout's Name:
Requirement 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.
Requirement 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.
Requirement 3: Do ONE activity from seven of the following categories (using the activities in this pamphlet as the basis for planning and projects):
Requirement 3a: Ecology
Requirement 3a1: Conduct an experiment to find out how living things respond to changes in their environments. Discuss your observations with your counselor.
Requirement 3a2: Conduct an experiment illustrating the greenhouse effect. Keep a journal of your data and observations. Discuss your conclusions with your counselor.
Requirement 3a3: Discuss what is an ecosystem. Tell how it is maintained in nature and how it survives.
Requirement 3b: Air Pollution
Requirement 3b1: Perform an experiment to test for particulates that contribute to air pollution. Discuss your findings with your counselor.
Requirement 3b2: 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.
Requirement 3b3: 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.
Requirement 3c: Water Pollution
Requirement 3c1: Conduct an experiment to show how living things react to thermal pollution. Discuss your observations with your counselor.
Requirement 3c2: 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.
Requirement 3c3: Describe the impact of a waterborne pollutant on an aquatic community. Write a 100-word report on how that pollutant affected aquatic life, what the effect was, and whether the effect is linked to biomagnification.
Requirement 3d: Land Pollution
Requirement 3d1: 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 counselor.
Requirement 3d2: Perform an experiment to determine the effect of an oil spill on land. Discuss your conclusions with your counselor.
Requirement 3d3: 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.
Requirement 3e: Endangered Species
Requirement 3e1: 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.
Requirement 3e2: Do research on one species that was endangered or threatened but that 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.
Requirement 3e3: 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.
Requirement 3f: Pollution Prevention, Resource Recovery, and Conservation
Requirement 3f1: 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 learned.
Requirement 3f2: 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.
Requirement 3f3: Perform an experiment on packaging materials to find out which ones are biodegradable. Discuss your conclusion with your counselor.
Requirement 3g: Pollination
Requirement 3g1: Using photographs or illustrations, point out the differences between a drone and a worker bee. Discuss the stages of bee development (eggs, larvae, pupae). Explain the pollination process, and what propolis is and how it is used by honey bees. Tell how bees make honey and beeswax, and how both are harvested. Explain the part played in the life of the hive by the queen, the drones, and the workers.
Requirement 3g2: Present your counselor a one-page report on how and why honeybees are used in pollinating food crops. In your report, discuss the problems faced by the bee population today, and the impact to humanity if there were no pollinators. Share your report with your troop or patrol, your class at school, or another group approved by your counselor.

Before you choose requirement 3g(3), you will need to first find out whether you are allergic to bee stings. Visit an allergist or your family physician to find out. If you are allergic to bee stings, you should choose another option within requirement 3. In completing requirement 3g(3), your counselor can help you find an established beekeeper to meet with you and your buddy. Ask whether you can help hive a swarm or divide a colony of honey bees. Before your visit, be sure your buddy is not allergic to bee stings. For help with locating a beekeeper in your state, visit the Bee Culture Directory.

Requirement 3g3: Hive a swarm or divide at least one colony of honey bees. Explain how a hive is constructed.
Requirement 3h: Invasive Species
Requirement 3h1: Learn to identify the major invasive plant species in your community or camp and explain to your counselor what can be done to either eradicate or control their spread.
Requirement 3h2: Do research on two invasive plant or animal species in your community or camp. Find out where the species originated, how they were transported to the United States, their life history, how they are spread, and the recommended means to eradicate or control their spread. Report your research orally or in writing to your counselor.
Requirement 3h3: Take part in a project of at least one hour to eradicate or control the spread of an invasive plant species in your community or camp.
Requirement 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:
Requirement 4a: 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 nonplant species you find. Report to your counselor orally or in writing the biodiversity and population density of these study areas.
Requirement 4b: 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. Discuss your observations with your counselor.
Requirement 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.
Requirement 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.