This week’s Blog Post was written by Devin G., a Bucktails Alumni! He describes Envirothon, an in-depth environmental club at his school, and all of the things he has gained from being involved with it.
In middle school, I learned about a school club called Envirothon. Envirothon is an annual environmentally-themed competition that allows high school and middle school students to learn about an become involved in sustainability. Through Envirothon, I have deepened my interest in the environment and learned about opportunities which have gotten me further in life. In fact, I learned about The Wildlife Leadership Academy through Envirothon.
Envirothon focuses on five main topics; aquatics, current events, forestry, soils, and wildlife. Teams of five are made up of an expert in each of these majors. Soils majors must know how soil is formed and how composition affects land usage, while aquatics majors study the abiotic and biotic components of aquatic ecosystems. Forestry majors are experts in tree identification and forest structure and dynamics. Current events are a more difficult topic; every year a new environmental issue is chosen, and that is what is studied.
I am a wildlife major, and every year I focus on a new set of birds and mammals, which to study. The main subjects wildlife majors must know are the biology and history of these species as well as identification. You may be given the wing of a belted kingfisher, the skull of a short-tailed shrew or even the foot of an eastern screech owl and be asked to identify the species. You have to be able to identify animals by their tracks, scat or calls as well. Last year my team won the Lebanon County Envirothon competition before advancing to the Pennsylvania State Envirothon competition. There was a small difference between the two competitions. In both the county and state competition there were written tests, but the state competition required that we create an oral presentation, solving an issue within a community. We were tasked with converting an old farm into an environmentally friendly one using sustainable farming techniques. Through hard work and preparation, we were able to achieve second place and hope to do even better this year.
Cover caption: My Envirothon team, the Tree Musketeers, after winning the county competition. All photos in this blog belong to the author.