Soil & Water Conservation Program
The Missouri Envirothon is a problem-solving, natural resource education program for high school students. In the field, teams of students are challenged to hone critical thinking skills and work as a team. Students answer written questions and conduct hands-on investigation of environmental issues in five categories:
- Soils/land use.
- Aquatic ecology.
- Current environmental issues.
In addition to a written test, the teams also present an oral presentation solving a specific natural resource issue.
The Missouri Envirothon stimulates, reinforces and enhances students' interest in the environment and our state's natural resources. The concept was created by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts as an outdoor hands-on competition. From "Environmental Olympics," the concept expanded to other states; and when the national competition was added in 1988, the name was changed to Envirothon.
The continuing support of the program reflects the participation and support of the state conservation district associations and cooperating state and federal resource agencies.
Reference materials for students and teachers are available through local soil and water conservation districts. Conservation districts with cooperating agencies, educators, community and interest groups conduct regional competitions. The top three teams at the regional competitions advance to the state competition, usually held in early May. The winning team represents Missouri at the Canon Envirothon.
2013 North American Envirothon
Pembroke Hill High takes Third Place at 2013 North American Envirothon
The team advanced to the North American competition by winning their regional competition and then taking first place honors at Missouri’s state event. The 57 teams in the North American competition represented 47 U.S. states, nine Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory. Winners were announced Aug. 3, 2013, during closing ceremonies at Montana State University in Bozeman.
Teams competing in the event tested their knowledge on five areas including soils, wildlife, forestry, aquatics and a special topic chosen for each year’s competition based on a current environmental issue. For 2013, the special topic was sustainable rangeland management: achieving a balance between traditional agricultural uses with non-agricultural uses on Montana rangelands.
The Pembroke Hill team members (shown left to right) are Riley Sloan, Wanda Czerwinski, Vincent Czerwinski, Ryan Hrinya and Jeffrey Rubel. Team advisors are SueAnn and Richard Wright. Each student on the winning team received a $3,000 scholarship, for a team total of $15,000 in Canon scholarships.
Sponsors for the Missouri Envirothon are the Missouri Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Soil and Water Conservation District Employees Association, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Department of Conservation, Natural Resources Conservation Service, University of Missouri Extension and the Show-Me Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society.
2013 Missouri Envirothon
Pembroke Hill High School Wins 2013 Missouri Envirothon
Pembroke Hill High School took the top score in the 2013 Missouri Envirothon. The 17-team competition took place on May 2 at the Prairie Fork Conservation Area in Williamsburg.
Students competed at five different outdoor testing stations—aquatic ecology, forestry, soils and land use, wildlife and the 2013 current conservation issue, Sustainable Rangeland Management. Test stations required the five-student teams to answer a variety of both hands-on and written natural resource questions. Each team also presented an oral presentation to a panel of judges.
The top three teams from each of Missouri’s seven regional competitions competed at the state Envirothon. The winning team will go on to compete in the 2013 North American Envirothon, North America’s largest high school environmental competition, at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.
To learn more about the Missouri Envirothon, including previous team rankings and regulations, visit the Missouri's Envirothon website or contact the Soil and Water Conservation Program at 573-751-4932. Local soil and water conservation districts, in conjunction with cooperating agencies and educators, organize and run local Envirothon competitions.
In 1998, Missouri held it first state Envirothon. The Envirothon was started in 1979 by three Pennsylvania soil and water conservation districts. By 1998, the idea had caught on and the first national contest was held. In 2012, the program attracted participation from 54 states and Canada.