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2017 Winter UPDATES

Pennsylvania Envirothon Video
Do you want to learn more about the Envirothon and what happens at a competition or introduce the program to a new school, partner, sponsor, or board member? The Pennsylvania Envirothon has a new promotional video available. The links to the video are posted on the Pennsylvania Envirothon website’s media page. The video is available in two versions: Pennsylvania Envirothon video (2 minutes) and Pennsylvania Envirothon video (7 minutes).

Filming took place at the 2016 Pennsylvania Envirothon state competition. You may see some familiar faces.

We encourage you to show these to your conservation district board of directors, school officials and teachers, sponsors, and others who may be interested in the Envirothon.

Where Are They Now!

Melissa Erdman, U.S.D.A. NRCS District Conservationist
Envirothon is near and dear to my heart. Both my sister and I were introduced to our school’s Envirothon club by our middle school science teacher. We both joined as 5th graders and stayed in the club until we graduated from high school. Over the course of the 8 years I was in Envirothon, I started to realize that it went from being “just for fun”, to “fun and interesting” to “fun, interesting, and I want to go to college for this stuff”. As a high school senior, my Envirothon advisor’s wife, Tamara Wagner, worked for USDA-NRCS and she came in after school and gave a presentation on soils. While boring to many, soils interested me – the history, the management, the mapping. Tamara got me an application to be a student trainee with NRCS, and I started at our local field office in Pottsville, PA, just after graduating high school. I interned with NRCS in the summer, while I attended Penn State, eventually deciding to major in Agricultural Science. While I also later interned with other environmental agencies, NRCS - as an agency that is built on voluntary conservation - resonated with me. I have worked for NRCS for 12 years now and I am district conservationist in Juniata County, Pennsylvania. Looking back, I never would have known about NRCS without the people I met through Envirothon. And in an effort to “pay it forward”, every year I try to do a soils study session with the local high school Envirothon clubs and always make sure to talk to them about career opportunities with NRCS.

Dr. Emily A. Moberg, PhD Biological Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"Envirothon was the best experience of my high school career and set the stage for my future work. It provided an entree to ecology, highlighted the importance of environmental health for society, and challenged me to assimilate new knowledge quickly and to apply that information and present it to others. I pursued applied environmental science in my undergraduate studies of Environmental Engineering at MIT, and in my doctoral studies in Biological Oceanography at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (which is suspiciously similar to my Envirothon category--aquatic ecology!) Currently, I research the impacts of climate change on fisheries (both the fish populations and fishermen) using mathematical models."

Emily competed in the Pennsylvania Envirothon as a student at Penncrest High School, and was lucky enough to go to the Canon Envirothon held in Missouri (2004) and in Manitoba (2005).

2017 Pennsylvania Envirothon
The 2017 Pennsylvania Envirothon will be held on Tuesday, May 23 and Wednesday, May 24 at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown (UPJ), located in Johnstown.

Tuesday’s events will take place on the UPJ campus. 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 with Stacy Foster, Timber Rattlesnake Construction Monitor and Venomous Snake handler presenting a program on the identification and life history of Pennsylvania’s largest venomous snake. Envirothon teams staying on campus will be housed in the University's modern Living/Learning Conference Center and residence halls. Wednesday’s station testing and the closing ceremony will also take place at UPJ.

UPJ is a regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. It is a four-year, fully accredited degree-granting, residential undergraduate college.

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 2017 registration information will soon be posted to the Envirothon website - visit Registration.

Register ONLINE for the Pennsylvania Envirothon
The Pennsylvania Envirothon has moved into the 21st century by having its volunteers and teams register online!

Beginning in 2017, Pennsylvania Envirothon is registering teams and volunteers participating in the state competition, through an online registration process. The online registration will ease the registration process for all participants and will provide the Pennsylvania Envirothon Registration Committee with accurate participant information. Please visit the Registration page found on the PA Envirothon website.

Volunteer registration will be open February 6 – April 7.

Team registration will open April 17. Teams moving on to compete at the state competition will receive a registration packet at the close of their county competition. This packet will include a password which will allow team coaches to access the team registration area on the website.

Because of state laws and UPJ guidelines, ALL teachers, coaches, chaperones, and volunteers must provide the following clearances: PA State Police Criminal History Clearance, Child Abuse Clearance, and FBI Background Check or the UPJ FBI exemption form.  It is helpful to have this information already scanned and saved to your computer so that it can be easily uploaded.

We hope you find this online process easy. See you in May!

Volunteers Needed for 2017 State Competition!
The Envirothon Board of Directors invites all conservation districts, partners, sponsors, agencies, financial contributors, organizations, and friends to volunteer to help with the 34th annual Pennsylvania Envirothon state event being held on May 23 and 24, 2017.

Over 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 deliverer, and with other tasks.

To receive information on how you can volunteer for the 2017 Pennsylvania Envirothon visit the Pennsylvania Envirothon website’s Registration page or contact your county conservation district or Pennsylvania Envirothon Executive Director, Lorelle Steach, at or phone (814) 623-7900 ext. 111.

Oral Presentation Component—State Envirothon
The oral component presentation is mandatory for all teams participating in the state competition, and the score will be combined with the testing part of the event to decide the winning team. The oral component will be one-sixth of the overall score. In the case of a tie, the Current Issue test score will determine the placement for the final scores in the Envirothon.

The 2017 oral component scenario will be posted on the Pennsylvania Envirothon website on Wednesday, May 17th, the week prior to the event. This will provide those winning teams an opportunity to prepare for the oral presentation. Teams will be able to utilize existing resources, research new information, and obtain input and guidance from advisors to enhance their presentation. Additionally, posting the scenario to the web site will also allow those nonparticipating teams a chance to see how the scenario is written, what is expected, and will provide an opportunity to “participate” on their own, helping them to prepare for future State Envirothon events and for their own personal growth.

A registration packet will be made available to all winning teams upon the completion of their county competition. In this packet students will receive a complete listing of Oral Component Rules and Guidelines, which can also be found on the Pennsylvania Envirothon website. In addition to the rules, a schedule of presentation times will be included in the registration packet. For the 2017 event, teams have been randomly assigned a time to present. If once you receive the schedule of presentation assignments and you find that your team cannot make its assigned time, please contact the Pennsylvania Envirothon Executive Director, Lorelle Steach, at or phone (814) 623-7900 ext. 111.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 17 as a reminder to check the Pennsylvania Envirothon website to get a copy of the 2017 Oral Presentation Component scenario problem.

Envirothon Scholarships
The Pennsylvania Envirothon has been awarding educational scholarships now for 12 years. Since 2005, we have awarded $116,500 to 180 students from eight counties.   The scholarship program is supported by donations made by Pennsylvania’s County Conservation Districts. Thanks to their generous donations, scholarship awards for the 2017 Pennsylvania Envirothon state competition will be increased. We are excited to extend the awards to the top five teams.

Each student on the top five teams at the 2017 state Envirothon competition will receive the following scholarship awards: First place - $1,250; Second place - $750; Third place - $500; Fourth place - $300; and Fifth place - $150.

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.

One of the teaching tools that we are very excited to share with Envirothon teams, especially those coming to the state competition, is a series of short videos that will assist them in preparing for the oral presentation component. The Envirothon has partnered with Jennifer Handke, Consulting with a Purpose, in developing these training videos. Over the past several years, Jennifer’s coaching has helped Pennsylvania’s representative to the North American competition score very high, even win, the high score award in the oral presentation component. In early May look for links to these videos on the Station Training page of the Pennsylvania Envirothon website.

In addition, funding will be used to assist conservation districts offset the state competition registration fee, increase the conservation district mini-grants, and send Pennsylvania's representative team to the NCF-Envirothon, North American event.

THANK YOU EITC CONTRIBUTORS — Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Weis, UGI Utilities!
Pennsylvania Envirothon recently received generous contributions from Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Weis, and UGI Utilities through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program.

Philadelphia Insurance Companies generously contributed $11,256. “Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY) headquartered in Bala Cynwyd, PA, design, market, and underwrite commercial Property/Casualty and Professional Liability insurance products, incorporating value-added coverages and services for select industries. By maintaining a disciplined approach to business, they provide greater security for our policyholders and superior value for our shareholder.”

Weis Markets, a leader in sustainability and social responsibility, generously contributed $2,500. Weis Markets’ mission closely matches that of the Pennsylvania Envirothon in that both strive to move toward a future of sustainability in order to minimize the impact on our natural resources for today as well as for tomorrow.

UGI generously contributed $7,000. For UGI, environmental responsibility is a core part of their business – “from greening their facilities and operations to exploring new greener technologies.” UGI is “committed to helping their 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.

Check out the Mobile App for Envirothon!
The Clarion and Jefferson County Conservation Districts have created and continue to update the PA Envirothon App that is not only helping students to prepare for Envirothon right here in Pennsylvania but also around the world. Study for the Envirothon on the GO! resources, blogs, audio, tests, links and more in the palm of your hand. Designed for the Pennsylvania Envirothon state competition this app enhances any environmental education curriculum. The PA Envirothon app can be downloaded through iTunes.

Please take into consideration, the Envirothon app contains a limited portion of information to enhance your Envirothon study. The Envirothon does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information on this app. To review a complete listing and specific study resources, go to the Station Training page found on the Pennsylvania Envirothon website.

Envirothon Gear for Sale
After receiving many requests for Envirothon gear, we are happy to announce t-shirts, hats, and hoodies will be available for purchase at this year’s state competition. The t-shirts and hats will have an embroidered Pennsylvania Envirothon logo and the hoodies will have a screen printed Pennsylvania Envirothon logo.

While attending the state competition, bring some extra spending money and visit the Envirothon gear table.

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