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2019 Winter - Envirothon UPDATES

Where Are They Now?
Brady Seeley, Cumberland County Conservation District, Chesapeake Bay Technician

I first participated in Envirothon when I was a junior at Canton Jr./Sr. High School in Bradford County. Participating in Envirothon was a requirement for my Honors Earth Science II class that my FFA advisor, Tom Hojnowski, taught. My team did not do well overall. However, my

ected to be certain. Don’t expect your students and team members to come out of the Envirothon with a guaranteed career path that aligns with what you have taught them. Know however, that what you teach them and how you go through the competition, will, with certainty, guide them. They may not say it at first, or they may not tell you at all, but what you are doing matters. You may have students who choose environmental careers or others that pursue a different calling; what they are taking into their chosen career field is a competitive drive. A true win or lose experience that speaks volumes to real life.

Those days of my childhood I looked at the forest as nothing more than a never ending playground, but now I look at it as a workplace. I look at the forest as a resource that must be managed for all Pennsylvanians; a resource that we are entrusted with to ensure that it is well cared for and persists even better into the future. Some of those experiences that shaped me and the career I chose, I can trace back to the Envirothon. I can trace back to those partners who came to our school to help us prepare. I can trace back to our instructors who made sure we knew our potential and guided us throughout the process. I cannot vividly remember many of those high school days, but some of the clearest are of the Envirothon competitions. We prepared as a team. We succeeded as a team. We learned as a team, but it stayed with us as individuals long after. So to the advisers, especially ours, thank you. Without the backing of the Clearfield County Conservation District, this great program, the administration of West Branch Area High School, and our advisers Dan Socash and Andy Brickley, I for one would not be in the career path I am today.

2019 Pennsylvania Envirothon

The 2019 Pennsylvania Envirothon will be held on Tuesday, May 21 and Wednesday, May 22.
Tuesday events will take place on the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown (UPJ) campus, located in a suburb of Johnstown. These events include: registration, oral presentation component (preparation and presentation), dinner, and an evening program. The evening program will follow the oral component competition and dinner. Nathan Koozer, National Park Service, will talk about the Johnstown Flood and its impact on the region, state, and nation. Nathan’s program will be held in the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Theater.

Envirothon teams staying on campus will be housed in the University's residence halls. The Conference Center/Living Learning Center will undergo some renovations; therefore, Envirothon participants will utilize some different buildings on the UPJ campus from those we have used in past events. Please look for Envirothon directional signs as you arrive on campus.

Wednesday’s station testing and the closing ceremony will take place at the Windber Recreational Park, approximately seven miles east of the UPJ campus. After checkout and breakfast, teams will pack up and travel from UPJ to the Park for Wednesday’s events.

Johnstown has a variety of historical and cultural sites to visit. While there, you may want to take time to visit the Johnstown Flood Museum, the Inclined Plan, or the Flight 93 Memorial.

The 2019 registration information will soon be posted to the Envirothon website - visit Registration.

Pennsylvania Envirothon Adds Option to Use Scholarship Awards

The Pennsylvania Envirothon has been awarding educational scholarships now for 14 years. Since 2005, we have awarded $146,000 to more than 200 students. Scholarship recipients now have three options for utilizing these awards. Not only can scholarship recipients utilize the scholarship after high school graduation and while attending university, but they can now use the scholarship while still in high school for early college courses. Students must provide proper documentation indicating completed coursework with a 2.0 GPA. In addition, the scholarship money may be used for an internship, a summer conservation camp, a natural resource/environmental leadership program, training session, or other education opportunity that helps students further their interest and involvement in the conservation of our natural resources.

The scholarship program is supported by donations made by Pennsylvania’s County Conservation Districts. We are pleased to provide awards to the top five teams. Each student on the top five teams at state Envirothon competition receive the following scholarship awards: First place - $1,250; Second place - $750; Third place - $500; Fourth place - $300; and Fifth place - $150.

It is a goal of the Pennsylvania Envirothon to continue to recognize teams at the state competition. Thank you, conservation districts, for supporting the Pennsylvania Envirothon Scholarship program!

Pennsylvania Envirothon Meets with County Coordinators!

More than 80 county Envirothon coordinators and conservation district staff attended one of four regional meetings organized by the Pennsylvania Envirothon. For a few, this was their first exposure to Envirothon. The meetings are held each fall and provide an opportunity for Envirothon coordinators to network and to share new information, ideas, and activities. This is also a time to review next year’s teacher resource information, including the new current issue topic.

In addition to Envirothon resources, coordinators also received several new teaching tools that can be added to their Envirothon study trunks, loaned to teachers, and used in their educational programs. This year’s educational tools focused primarily on the wildlife station. Each Envirothon program was given three animal skulls, several laminated field guides, and a skull activity guide. Financial support for these tools was provided by UGI Utilities, EQT Foundation, and Shell.

A PPL Foundation grant covered lunch and rental fees for the meetings. The Sullivan County Conservation District, Clarion County Conservation District, Hawk Mountain, and DCNR Forbes State Forest Office hosted the meetings. We want to thank everyone who contributed to these meetings. We look forward to another successful Envirothon season! THANK YOU!

Volunteers Needed for 2019 State Competition!

The Envirothon Board of Directors invites all conservation districts, partners, sponsors, agencies, financial contributors, organizations, and friends to volunteer to help with its 36th Pennsylvania Envirothon State event being held May 21 and 22, 2019.

More than 100 volunteers are needed to assist with the oral presentation component and the station testing competition. Volunteers serve as oral component presentation judges, team buddies, timers, station judges, lunch deliverers, and other tasks.

To receive information on how you can volunteer for the 2019 Pennsylvania Envirothon, visit the Pennsylvania Envirothon website’s Registration page or contact your county conservation district or the Pennsylvania Envirothon Executive Director, Lorelle Steach or (814) 310-3271.
Oral Presentation Component—State Envirothon

The oral component presentation is mandatory for all teams participating in the state competition. The oral component score is combined with the testing station scores to decide the winning team.

The 2019 oral component scenario will be posted on the Pennsylvania Envirothon website on Monday, May 13, the week prior to the event. This will provide an opportunity to prepare for the oral presentation to those winning teams. Teams will be able to utilize existing resources, research new information, and obtain input and guidance from advisors to enhance their presentation.

Upon completing their county competition, winning teams will receive a registration packet that includes the Oral Component Rules and Guidelines and a schedule of presentation times. If your team cannot make its assigned time, please contact the Pennsylvania Envirothon Executive Director, Lorelle Steach or phone (814) 310-3271.

THANK YOU—Shell Oil Company!

Pennsylvania Envirothon received a generous grant from Shell Oil Company in the amount of $50,000.
The grant from Shell Oil enables the Pennsylvania Envirothon to make available resources, teaching tools and equipment, and hands-on applications that relate to the Envirothon stations. The Envirothon mission aligns with Shell’s environmental grant focus, which is on biodiversity initiatives with support to programs that restore critical eco-systems, address water and air quality research, and preserve wetlands.
In addition, funding is used to offset the state competition registration fee, increase the conservation district mini-grants, and send Pennsylvania's representative team to the NCF-Envirothon international competition.

THANK YOU — UGI Utilities!

Pennsylvania Envirothon recently received a generous contribution from UGI Utilities through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. UGI generously contributed $7,000. For UGI, environmental responsibility is a core part of its business – “from greening its facilities and operations to exploring new greener technologies.” UGI is “committed to helping its customers conserve resources by providing energy saving tips and forging partnerships for accomplishing environmentally-friendly projects.”
The EITC contributions assist in providing conservation districts and teachers with educational resources and hands-on teaching tools that address environmental education standards. The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program gives tax credits to eligible businesses contributing to an Educational Improvement Organization such as the Pennsylvania Envirothon.

THANK YOU — EQT Foundation!

EQT awarded $14,050 to the Pennsylvania Envirothon. This funding will enable natural resource enthusiasts in our high schools to improve their skills (mathematical, analytical, and critical thinking, and awareness) through the utilization of hands-on education teaching tools used for the Envirothon forestry station. In addition, assistance grants will be provided to the Greene and Washington County Envirothon programs.
The EQT Foundation believes in meaningful engagement with the communities it calls home, and takes great pride in the role as both a responsible and responsive corporate citizen.

 



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