2018 Envirothon

First place: A-Team: Rebecca Gentry, Hannah Jordan, Matt Evans, Nan Miles, Isabella Goodchild-Michelman, Louise Franke, Rob Wilder

Second Place: Susannah Lyon, Mae Webster, Bonnie Webster(coach), Sam Freedman, Gordon Elnager, Ian Kusher, Jonathon Henderson (alternate)

Third Place: B-Team: Rebecca Gentry, Nolan Sykes, Amy Reith, Helen Nowatka, Soline McGee, Alyssa Dowling, Rob Wilder

What do our South Carolina high school students know about Western Rangeland Management?

Those that participated in the 22nd Annual Envirothon Competition know a lot, and they proved it to panels of orals judges, station managers, staff, volunteers and their peers, at the state competition held this past Friday at the Sandhill Research and Education Center in Columbia.

With temperatures in a range that might even mimic those out West, 18 teams of students from around the state came together to ride the environmental wild pony we call the Envirothon. Testing student’s knowledge of core environmental subjects such as Aquatics, Forestry, Soils, and Wildlife, the Envirothon also challenges students to work together and formulate a cohesive plan revolving around an oral presentation scenario based on the current topic: Western Rangeland Management: Balancing Diverse Views. Presenting arguments to back up their stance on what to do with 1,800 acres of bequeathed property to the state, students took natural, social, political, and economic issues into consideration and defended their positions.

Although all the teams that participated were winners for their efforts in studying, preparing for, and completing the exams at the competition, 3 teams were awarded scholarships for their levels of expertise. Receiving $1,000 in scholarships each was the First Place Team of Spartanburg High School Team A, following at a close second was Spartanburg Day School receiving $500 each, and Spartanburg High School’s Team B placed third overall with a $250 scholarship for each team member. New teams, most improved teams, and teams that scored the highest at each test station were also recognized.

Spartanburg’s Team A will now begin preparations for the bucking bronco; the National Conservation Foundation’s Envirothon, North America’s largest high school environmental education competition, which will be held in Pocatello, Idaho in July. The first-place teams from each participating state and Canadian province will gather to be tested, in a similar, but more rigorous competition, with even higher stakes for scholarship awards. If you would like to support the SC Envirothon Team in their travels to Idaho, please contact Marc Cribb, Envirothon Coordinator with SCDNR.

The SC Envirothon is coordinated by the SC Department of Natural Resources in cooperation with the SC Forestry Commission, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Central Carolina Technical College, Francis Marion University, Florence County Environmental Discovery Center, SC Soil and Water Society, and Clemson University Sandhill Research and Education Center. Major financial sponsors are the SC Conservation Districts Foundation, Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, and the SC Association of Conservation Districts. If you would like to become a sponsor, or if you wish to follow the successes of the SC Envirothon, visit the website at www.dnr.sc.gov/education/Envirothon