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Rebeca Rodriguez (Texas Envirothon Alumna): Finding a Path in Forestry

Editor’s note: Continuing with our profiles of up-and-coming SAF members who will continue managing our nation’s natural resources in the coming decades, this month we feature Rebeca Rodriguez. She is an undergraduate at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) and will graduate this summer with a bachelor’s degree in forestry with a concentration in forest recreation management. In her own words, Rodriguez describes her path toward a career in forestry and recreation.
By Rebeca Rodriguez (Texas Envirothon Alumna) 
How she developed an appreciation for the outdoors

While I was growing up in Houston, Texas, my parents never took my brother and me to any state parks or national parks; even going to the city park was a rare thing, because they didn’t feel comfortable going to those places. Being Hispanic and not really knowing a lot of English, it was hard for my parents to go to one of these parks, because oftentimes there wasn’t someone who spoke Spanish there. In all honesty, growing up, I disliked being outdoors, because it was hot and humid. I didn’t have an appreciation for nature, because I had never experienced it enough to develop a connection.
It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I developed this connection to nature. I was in an AP Environmental Science class, for which we got extra credit if we joined the Envirothon club. Envirothon has four main sections: aquatic ecology, soil/land use, wildlife, and forestry. Ironically, I was the person who specialized in forestry. Because of this club, I was able to learn about these four topics through hands-on experiences outside of a classroom setting. This was the first time I ever touched a fish or held a frog. Our teacher taught us how to classify soil by touching it, but also tasting it if needed, and I learned how to identify trees and their uses. This is what helped me figure out that I wanted to major in forestry.
   Read the full story/Blog 


Long Journeys and Worthy Destinations with Montana Envirothon

By Sunni Heikes-Knapton, NACD Northern Plains Region Representative (June 4, 2019)

Sometimes long roads are metaphorical, and sometimes they are literal. During the last days of April, both kinds of roads were a theme for a group of Montanans who gathered in Lewistown.

The competition was fierce, despite a spring blizzard that prevented 15 teams from attending. The 19 teams that were able to attend made long journeys in snow and ice from places up to 300 miles away.

“We had to be a little flexible,”said Shonny Nordlund, the event organizer from the Fergus County Conservation District. “Cancelling wasn’t an option – the teams have worked too hard to not be here today.”    Read the full story/Blog 


Full Newsletter

Green County, Pennsylania ENVIROTHON teacher Kevin Willis receives Award !

 March 2019

Congratulations to Kevin Willis for winning The Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Teacher Award presented by Chevron, Pirates Charities, and The Grable Foundation!  Recently Lorelle Steach, PA Envirothon state coordinator spoke with Mr. Willis and asked him if he competed in Envirothon?  "Yes, I competed in 1990 /91 my team place 11th and 4th - 4th place was thehighest Green County score until 2006 when we placed 2nd.   I always wanted a team that I coached to beat my team record."  Read more on Kevin Willis Award.  

Where are they now ? ... 2018 Spring Pennsylvania Envirothon Newsletter

Ryan Ling, Pennsylvania 
District Forester -  Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources  (DCNR) 

When people ask me why I chose a career in forestry, I always answer without hesitation the same two reasons, “Scouting and the Envirothon.”    READ MORE


South Dakota 2018 Envirothon Workshops

January 11, 2018
South Dakota has had it's  third "Road Show" in a series of what’s looking could be as many as six across the state!   The Rapid City, "RoadShow" was freezing, so we didn’t go outside...but, they still had a great time, and two news stations stopped in so they could share SD Envirothon with West River South Dakota. "Pretty exciting for all of us in South Dakota" says Kim Smeek Envirothon state coordinator !
Media Coverage  Students explore natural resource competition

2017 NCF-Envirothon Top Three Oral Presentations

August 2017
A five-member team of high school students from Pennsylvania has been named the winner of the 2017 NCF-Envirothon, The top three scoring teams were awarded a total of $30,000 in cash prizes at an awards ceremony held at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The 2017 NCF-Envirothon’s cash prizes were sponsored by Smithfield Foods.

1st Place     Pennsylvania 
2nd  Place   New York
Third Place New Mexico 

Science Academy of South Texas team represented Texas in Ontario, Canada

 March 23, 2017

Representing Texas at the North American Envirothon was a great honor for our team.  The majority of our student come from small communities in deep South Texas, and have not traveled out of the state.  Competing in Canada was an experience that will be remembered for their life time. Students on the winning team are Victoria Allen, Martha Garcia, Paola Granados, Vanessa M. Martinez, and Angel Perez. Andrew Cortez served as the team’s adviser.

~ Andrew Cortez,  Science Academy of South Texas

Texas 2017

Colorado Envirothon- Alumni Stories shared at NACD 71st Annual Meeting in Denver !

February 14, 2017

Recently, NACD held its 71st Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. Two brothers Brett and Brandon Fuller's Envirothon experiences were also shared with conference attendees during Sunday’s Inspirational Session.  
Brandon Fuller... Originally I was going to school for journalism. Read More  
Brett Fuller ... I am currently a sophomore at Colorado State University in Fort Collins Studying Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation biology.  Read More

December 2016

Students from Three Oaks Win Provincial Forest Envirothon competition

Students from Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside  have won the right to represent Prince Edward Island at the 2017 NCF Envirothon in Maryland next summer,

Fifty students from seven Island schools participated in the provincial competition which involved classroom and hands-on outdoor learning. The areas of study included forests, aquatic ecosystems, soils and land use, wildlife habitats, and this year’s special environmental challenge, Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation.   



August/September 2016

The top Three  Teams for 2016  North American Envirothon !

First Place :  University of Toronto School, Toronto Ontario  
This year's Ontario Envirothon Champion is University of Toronto Schools from Toronto, who triumphed over 18 other teams from across the province of Ontario.  The school  went on  to capture  1st Place at the  2016 North American Envirothon with a score of 633.50 out of  a possible 700 points.  Each student recieved  a  cash award of  $3,000.00 which was sponsored by Smithfield Foods.

Second  Place :  Penncrest High School,  Delaware County
High school students from 65 Pennsylvania counties participated in this year’s event.  The Penncrest school  took  2nd place  with a score of 629.80 out of a possible 700 points.   Eash  student  received a  cash award of $2,000.00 which was sponsored by Smithfield Foods. 

Third Place :
   Palisades Charter High School
Palisades Charter High School  Los Angeles, California. The Palisade Charter High School took 3rd place with a score of 592.30   Each student recieved a cash award of $1,000.00  which was sponsored by Smithfield Foods.
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