Story by Dennis Brezina, Zone 4 Resource Soil Scientist
The Texas State Envirothon was recently held at the Eastman Chemical Company forest habitat center in Longview. Envirothon is a three-day high school extra-curricular environmental competition.
Five-member teams competed in the categories of aquatics, forestry, soil science, wildlife biology and a current environmental issue. This yearï¿½s issue was salt and fresh water estuaries. Envirothonï¿½s major goals are for students to learn more about the natural environment, promote stewardship of natural resources and to encourage them to become more environmentally aware.
Dennis Brezina and Sara Russell, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soil scientists, gave a presentation on soils at the Saturday field day. They discussed the different physical and chemical properties of soil, soil textural classes and how to use a soil color book and soil survey. Russell, along with John Wade, SWCD district technician in Gilmer, also assisted with the contest the next day.
The teams competed in a written field examination at five different eco-site stations. The stations had questions pertaining to different eco-sites in each of the categories. Students had only 25 minutes to answer 30 questions at each station. The teams also completed an oral presentation.
Thirteen teams from seven schools participated in this yearï¿½s contest. College Park Academy of Science & Technology was the winning team. They will advance to the five-day North American Canon Envirothon Contest in New Brunswick, Canada. Other schools included Carnegie Vanguard High School of Houston, College Park Academy of Science and Technology and John Cooper High School, both of The Woodlands, Klein Collins High School from Spring, John Tyler High School in Tyler, Richardson High School and Rio Hondo High School.
Sara Russell demonstrates how to use a color book to Texas Envirothon students.
Thirteen teams from seven schools participated in this yearï¿½s Texas Envirothon contest. Envirothonï¿½s major goals are for students to learn more about the natural environment, promote stewardship of natural resources and encourage students to become more environmentally aware.