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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Arkansas Envirothon

UACCM HOSTS ENVIROTHON



Students from high schools around the state could be seen all over the University of Arkansas Community College campus earlier this month. They were there representing their schools in the Central Arkansas Envirothon competition. In an Envirothon, students compete by demonstrating their knowledge of environmental science and natural resource management. There are four main testing categories (soil/land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, and wildlife) and an additional category that deals with a current environmental issue. This year, the issue was the urbanization of freshwater estuaries. Students were asked to perform tasks that varied from identifying types of trees and what they are most commonly used for, to presenting a 20-minute oral presentation in front of a panel of judges. One of the judges was UACCM graduate Blake Walters, who is now the Land Resource Specialist for the Arkansas Natural Resource Commission.

The UACCM community was honored to give the Envirothon access to classrooms for written tests and soil experiments, the use of the Fine Arts Auditorium for the oral presentations and award ceremonies, and even the trees around campus for the students to use for the forestry category. “UACCM recognizes the importance of environmental education and is proud to play host to such an intelligent, creative group of students who are so concerned about the environment,” said David Plummer, UACCM Coordinator for Information and Public Relations.

All of the teams who competed did an amazing job, but at the end of the day, only one team could be declared the winner. This year, Mills High School Team A (Megan O’Connell, Brian Stallard, Tony Blagg, Karina Reigh, and Kristen O’Connell and their coach Jeremy Jenkins) nearly swept the competition in every category to give them the overall victory. The teams were competing to help them qualify for the International Canon Envirothon which will be held in Canada this year. The mission of the Canon Envirothon is to develop knowledgeable, skilled, and dedicated citizens who have an understanding of natural resources and are willing and prepared to work towards achieving and maintaining a balance between the quality of life and the quality of the environment.

For more information on the envirothon go to www.uaex.edu/envirothon/ or to see pictures from this competition, go to www.facebook.com/uaccm.

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