Mississippi's largest high school environmental competition.

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2014-2015 Envirothon Advisor Handbook.




What is Envirothon?

Soils/Land Use
Aquatic Ecology



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What is the Envirothon concept?

Envirothon is a problem-solving natural resource competition for high school students. In most states, Envirothon is co-sponsored by state conservation district associations and cooperating state and federal resource agencies. The students form teams, which are comprised of five students, who then represent themselves at the local or statewide environmental competition. The competition tests their knowledge of aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and current issues. The current is different each year.

Participants will gain a deeper knowledge of the following:

  • The effect individual actions have on environmental problems
  • The interactions and interdependencies of our environment.
  • Current environmental issues
  • The agencies available to assist them in resource protection matters
  • The need to become environmentally aware, action-oriented adults

Local Conservation Districts, in conjunction with cooperating agencies and educators, organize and run local Envirothon Competitions. Winning teams will compete in a state contest, and the winning team will compete in the national contest. Conservation Districts are governed by locally elected supervisors and help landowners and land users solve resource management problems.

Envirothon was started in 1979 by three Pennsylvania Soil and Water Conservation Districts. By 1988 the idea had caught on and the first national contest was held. Teams from 31 states and 2 Canadian provinces competed in the 1996 National Envirothon held in Nebraska. Over forty teams competed in 1997, with new states entering into the program each year for a total of 42 teams competing in the 1998 event in Lansing.

What is the MISSISSIPPI Envirothon?

THE MISSISSIPPI ENVIROTHON is part of a national program for high school students designed to educate and challenge young people in the environmental science. It is an exciting, fun way for high school students to learn about the environment and the issues facing this and future generations. Combining in-class curriculum with hands-on field experiences, the Mississippi Envirothon demonstrates the role people have in important environmental issues such as forestry, wildlife management, water quality and soil erosion.

How Does the Envirothon Process Work?

Envirothon is a team-based program. At the beginning of the school year, teams are formed and sponsors identified. Each team, with the assistance of adult advisors, begins studying resource materials to learn the fundamentals of natural resource management in five areas of study. Team advisors (teachers, parents or volunteers) work with the team in planning activities for the year which may include forestry field days, field trips to natural resource and wildlife habitat areas, classroom training, tree planting, presentations by local natural resource experts, or local natural resource related events.

Who Can Participate?

Teams are made up of five members. All members must attend the same high school or educational organization and be in grades 9 - 12. Schools or organizations may enter up to two teams.

Who Trains the Teams?

The team advisor is responsible for helping teams prepare for the contests. The county Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), or the state Envirothon Coordinator, will distribute guides for subjects with a list of references. Numerous resource personnel are located in all counties of Mississippi to act as expert advisors in the five subject areas. The SWCD has listings of these resource persons.

The Competitions.

Get ready for lots of fun and excitement! The Mississippi Envirothon Competition actually begins each year in September when teams begin forming and then training for the area and statewide competitions. After studying the subject areas with team sponsors, the five-member teams compete at the local (area) level, with winning teams advancing to the state competition. The statewide competition takes place in April each year. The contest is held in the field, with five different subject area stations. Each station is staffed with an environmental resource person who is a specialist in that particular field and tests teams in those areas.

State Envirothon champions will advance to the five-day Canon Envirothon competition in August, which is held at a different location in North America each year. Team recognition varies throughout the local and state competitions. Teams winning the national competition will receive Canon Envirothon Scholarships along with other awards.

The Tradition.

The Envirothon began in the spring of 1979 by three Pennsylvania Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Since then, it has spread to other states and countries, leading to the first National Envirothon competition in 1988. Mississippi held its first Envirothon competition in April 1998.

Step by Step:

  1. Decide if your school wants to participate in the Mississippi Envirothon.
  2. Tell the local county Soil & Water Conservation District you are interested in forming a team or teams.
  3. Organize your team (5 members): Science clubs, environmental clubs, FFA teams, home-schooled groups, etc., have entered as teams as well as teams organized for groups of interested students.
  4. Obtain training manuals and guidelines from the local District or the Mississippi Envirothon Coordinator. Click here to download the pdf version of the 2014-2015 Handbook.
  5. Plan your training sessions meet as often as possible.
  6. Invite local experts to help train your team; attend natural resource-related events and activities.
  7. If possible, visit the location where state testing will take place.
  8. Practice team presentations.
  9. Go and participate in the Mississippi Envirothon local or state competition; but most important -- HAVE FUN!

Mississippi Envirothon Sponsors:

Primary Sponsor: Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality

Supporting Natural Resource Conservation Partners:
Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts
Mississippi Soil & Water Conservation Commission
Mississippi Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks
Mississippi Forestry Commission
Mississippi Forestry Association
USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
Mississippi Department of Education

For more information contact Susan Shedd sshedd@mswcc.state.ms.us, or call or write:

Mississippi Envirothon
P. O. Box 23005
Jackson, MS 39225 - 3005

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