The 19th annual Missouri Envirothon will be held in the Columbia area on Wednesday, April 26.

The one-day competition will include outdoor testing at soils, wildlife, aquatics, current issue, and forestry stations.  Students will be engaged in hands-on activities, which range from using scientific equipment, studying and analyzing soil and forest samples, to measuring tree heights.  The program focuses on developing teamwork, cooperation and problem-solving skills.  In addition, each team will present a 10-minute solution to an assigned problem.  This year's conservation topic is agricultural soil and water conservation stewardship.

The top three winners from each of the state's seven regional events can participate.  The state winner will then advance to the national competition, the National Conservation Federation (NCF) Envirothon that will be held at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The Envirothon is North America’s largest high school natural resources competition with over 50 U.S. states and Canadian provinces competing at the national level. 

Sponsors for this event include the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Missouri Soil and Water Conservation District Employees Association, Missouri Department of Conservation, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Smithfield Foods.

More information is available at

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:

  1. Soils/land use
  2. Aquatic ecology
  3. Forestry
  4. Wildlife
  5. 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 Envirothon.

Maya Chan, Emily Dickey, Coleman Gliddon, Pallavi Jonnalagadda, and Mulan Jiang from Pembroke Hill High School won the 2016 Missouri Envirothon and took 4th place at the 2016 national NCF-Envirothon

Pembroke Hill High School took the top score in the 2016 Missouri Envirothon. The five-member team of all freshmen students from Pembroke Hill High School placed fourth at the National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Envirothon during the awards ceremony at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario on July 29, 2016.

Fifty-two student teams representing the United States and Canada, plus a guest team from China, put their skills to the test at the world’s largest high school-level natural resources education competition. Test stations required the teams to answer a variety of both hands-on and written natural resource questions. Additionally, the students also gave an oral presentation to a panel of judges.

The NCF-Envirothon test teams on their knowledge of soils, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and a current conservation issue. This year’s issue was invasive species. Missouri team members included Maya Chan, Emily Dickey, Coleman Gliddon, Pallavi Jonnalagadda, and Mulan Jiang. Their advisor for Pembroke Hill High School is Kathy Kethum.

When asked about attending the NCF-Envirothon as a first time participant, Pallavi Jonnalagadda had this to say, “This year’s Envirothon was an amazing experience. It was a great opportunity to learn about our natural resource areas and their management. Not only was the Envirothon a great educational experience, but it gave me a chance to work with a wonderful group of teammates. I can’t wait for next year!” Another team member, Coleman Gliddon added, “The program is probably the most engaging and fun way to learn about the environment that I can think of and it has really encouraged me to think holistically about the subject.

More information about this year’s event is available at

Missouri hosted the National NCF-Envirothon in 2015