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Arizona Envirothon Team 20th at 2017 National Conservation Foundation’s Envirothon

The Envirothon team from Tri-City College Prep in Prescott represented Arizona at the National Conservation Foundation’s Envirothon, an international competition held at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsberg, MD, near Chesapeake Bay the last week of July.

This hard-working five-member team placed 20th overall in a field of 54 student teams from 45 states, seven Canadian provinces and two Chinese provinces. The contest tested knowledge of soils, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and agricultural soil and water conservation stewardship, as well as advanced critical thinking skills in applying that knowledge to a real-world environmental challenge.

The Arizona team ranked 9th at the Soils EcoStation.

Rodney Held, chairman of the Arizona Envirothon Committee, commended the Tri-City Prep team for representing the state so well as a rookie team competing at the international level for the first time.

“They put their hearts and souls into preparing,” Mr. Held said.  “I also want to acknowledge the many hours Rob Wilson from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) spent with the team, training them in soils.  That our team placed 9th at the Soils Ecostation is a testament to his dedicated efforts.”

Tri-City Prep Wins 20th Annual Arizona Envirothon

A team of high school students from Tri-City College Prep (Prescott) developed a winning sustainable agriculture model to capture the 2017 Arizona Envirothon championship. Each student on the winning five-member team and their coach will represent Arizona at the NCF Envirothon, competing for scholarships and prizes at Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsberg, M.D., near Chesapeake Bay, in July.

Twelve Arizona teams demonstrated their expertise in field science skills in aquatic ecology, water quality assessment, forestry and wildlife management, soil science and land use planning. This year’s theme – agricultural soil and water conservation stewardship – considered a farming operation’s economic viability, whether the development is environmentally benign, and the development’s social acceptability.

The five-student teams tested their environmental field skills at University of Arizona’s research farm, the Maricopa Agricultural Center in Maricopa, Ariz. on March 31 and April 1. Other schools competing were from Peoria (Centennial HS), Buckeye (Youngker HS), Phoenix (Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center), Goodyear (Trivium Prep), and Vail (Cienega HS).

The TriCity Prep team’s proposed scenario for rehabilitating a farm on the banks of the Hassayampa River, called the “Territorial Takedown”, included a plan to work closely with community colleges and the Audubon Society to assist with planning, crop rotation, integrated pest management, local marketing, neighbor relations and developing a 500-acre wildlife preserve to provide habitat for the lowland leopard frog and the yellow-billed cuckoo.

Tri-City Prep’s winning team includes Amanda Bertsch (team captain), Brianna D’Angelo, Kimberly Zamora-Delgado, Kaleb Lyonnais, and Ethan Krafft. They are coached by Carolyn Muchna, who has fielded competitive Envirothon teams for eight years.

Prep team captain Bertsch, in her fourth year of Arizona Envirothon competition, said each team member selected a focus area for individual study and what they learned was shared in weekly lunch-hour meetings. The team members also relied on information provided by experts who visited the school in prior years.

Bertsch, a Flynn scholarship winner bound for MIT in the fall, said “It’s really easy in studying the environment to point to the users of resources as the villains but they are dealing with hard problems that are very expensive to solve and they are working hard and doing their best.” She noted that farmers are doing their best so they don’t have to choose between making a living and saving the planet.

Second place over-all went to Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center and Cienega High School placed third.

Award winners for ecostation field testing skills were:

Ecostation Awards:

Soils and Land Use

First: AZ Agribusiness & Equine Center (Team 6)

Second: Tie between Centennial (Team 3) and Trivium Prep (Team 8 )

Third: Tie between Trivium Prep (Team 7) and Tri-City Prep (Team 11)

Aquatic Ecology

First: Tri-City Prep (Team 11)

Second: Trivium Prep (Team 7)

Third: Cienega (Team 10)

Wildlife

First: Cienega (Team 10)

Second: Tri-City Prep (Team 11)

Third: AZ Agribusiness & Equine Center (Team 6)

Forestry

First: Tri-City Prep (Team 11)

Second: AZ Agribusiness & Equine Center (Team 6)

Third: Cienega (Team 10)

Spirit of Envirothon Awards:

Team: AZ Agribusiness & Equines Center

Committee: Gail Cordy

Carol Hopkins Service Award:

Evelyn Erlandsen

ARIZONA AGRIBUSINESS AND EQUINE CENTER HIGH SCHOOL REPEATS TO WIN 2016 ARIZONA ENVIROTHON

Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center High School team #7 winners of the 2016 Arizona Envirothon (Left-to right) Ariel Van Pelt, Daniella Wiggs, Victoria “Fish” Hoaglin, Kendra Wardon, and Mikayla Harang (Coaches Sara Young and Sheila McQueen).
Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center High School team #7 winners of the 2016 Arizona Envirothon (Left-to right) Ariel Van Pelt, Daniella Wiggs, Victoria “Fish” Hoaglin, Kendra Wardon, and Mikayla Harang (Coaches Sara Young and Sheila McQueen).

A team of charter high school students met an ongoing environmental challenge – “Invasive Species: A Challenge to the Environment, Society and Economy” – to capture the 2013 Arizona Envirothon championship on Saturday.  The five-member team from Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center High School – Paradise Valley will represent Arizona at the NCF Envirothon, competing with other state and Canadian provincial teams for scholarships and prizes.

Twelve five-student teams tested their environmental field skills on April 8-9 at the Desert Outdoor Center at Lake Pleasant north of Peoria, Ariz.  Other schools competing were from Phoenix (Ariz Agribusiness and Equine Center), Buckeye (Youngker HS), Peoria (Centennial HS), Litchfield Park(Trivium Prep Academy), Vail (Cienega HS), and Prescott (Tri-City College Prep).

The teams demonstrated their expertise in field science skills and developed proposals to address invasive plants and crayfish for a southern Arizona community.  Teams were tested in water quality assessment, hydrology, forest management, wildlife identification, ecology, agriculture, and soil sciences, at Lake Pleasant.

Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center students Victoria Hoaglin, Danielle Wiggs (seniors), Kendra Wardon, Mikayla Harang (juniors), and Ariel Van Pelt (sophomore) and coaches Sheila McQueen and Sara Young will receive an expense-paid trip to represent Arizona against other state and Canadian provincial champions at Trent University in Ontario, Canada in July.

AAEC team captain Victoria Hoaglin will study pre-vet and aquatic ecology and fisheries at the University of Arizona in the fall.  She said that “Envirothon preparation throughout high school has made me crazy about fish and aquatic invertebrates” and influenced her college and career plans.  Her teammates attest to her passion and have nicknamed her “Fish.”

A premise of AAEC’s strategy for addressing invasive plants is to improve soils and the environment to favor native plants so that they can better compete against invasives.  Wiggs concluded the team’s presentation by referencing John Muir, “Whenever we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”

Second place over-all went to Tri-City College Prep from Prescott, and Vail’s Cienega High School placed third.

Award winners for ecostation field testing skills were:

Soils & Land Use – 1st and 2nd Tri-City College Prep teams, 3rd Centennial, AAEC, Cienega (3-way tie)

Aquatic Ecology – 1st Tri-City College Prep, 2nd AAEC, 3rd Tri-City College Prep

Wildlife – 1st and 2nd AAEC teams, 3rd Tri-City College Prep

Forestry – 1st AAEC, 2nd and 3rd Tri-City College Prep teams

Spirit of Envirothon – AAEC

ARIZONA AGRIBUSINESS AND EQUINE CENTER WINS ARIZONA ENVIROTHON

-Will Provide Southwest Forests Perspective at National Contest-

Team 7 2015 Arizona Envirothon Winners

(Left to right) Coach Shiela McQueen, Victoria Hoaglin, Kendra Wardon, Mikayla Harang, Alexandrea Guzzo, Danielle Wiggs, Coach Sara Young from Arizona Agribusiness & Equine Center – Paradise Valley

Tucson – A team of high school students developed a winning urban forestry plan to capture the 2015 Arizona Envirothon championship Saturday in Tucson, Ariz.  Each student on the winning five-member team and their coach from Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center – Paradise Valley (AAEC) won a trip to Missouri State University this summer to compete against teams from the other states and Canadian provinces for scholarships and prizes at the National Conservation Foundation Envirothon (formerly North American Envirothon).

Urban forests are essential to quality of life.  They are essential in tourism-driven communities and help to off-set the “heat island” effect in desert Southwest cities.  Planning forests that extend through community common areas, business districts and residential areas in an arid environment is a particular challenge.

The AAEC team and eleven other Arizona teams designed a 10-acre community demonstration plot specific to an Arizona desert community park.  The winning design included replacing inappropriate existing trees and selecting drought tolerant species that would mature quickly, yet be aesthetic and sustainable in the neighborhood for generations.  The students’ plan would serve as a demonstration area so that local residents and businesses could gain information and ideas for developing treed areas on their own properties.

The Arizona teams also demonstrated their expertise in field science skills in aquatic ecology, water quality assessment, forestry and wildlife management, soil science and land use planning at the Roy P. Drachman Agua Caliente Regional Park in Pima County.

Other schools competing were from Phoenix/Glendale/Buckeye/Peoria/Scottsdale (Ariz Agribusiness and Equine Center; Girls Leadership Academy; Raymond S. Kellis HS; Youngker HS; Centennial HS; BASIS Scottsdale), Vail/Tucson (Cienega HS); and Prescott (Tri-City College Prep).

“Most of these students are from urban schools,” said Rodney Held, Arizona Envirothon Chairman.  “It is very apparent that the students appreciate the benefits trees provide to their community; they’ve demonstrated that they understand how to design an urban forest and motivate others to become active urban foresters.”

“I’d never given a second thought to urban forestry and most people take it for granted; but after preparing for this Envirothon, I know trees are important to all human beings” said AAEC team captain, junior Victoria Hoaglin.  “I’ll definitely be back next year!”

Other winning AAEC team members were Mikayla Harang, Alexandrea Guzzo, Kendra Wardon and Danielle Wiggs.  They were coached by Shiela McQueen and Sara Young.

Second place over-all went to AAEC Team 6 and Prescott’s Tri-City College Prep placed third.

Award winners for ecostation field testing skills were:

Soils & Land Use – 1st Centennial HS (Peoria), 2nd AAEC Team 7, and 3rd AAEC Team 6

Aquatic Ecology – 1st Tri-City Prep, 2nd AAEC Team 7, and 3rd Cienega HS (Vail, AZ)

Wildlife & Forestry – 1st AAEC Team 7, 2nd Tri-City Prep, and 3rd Cienega HS

Rookie of the Year – BASIS Scottsdale

Spirit of Envirothon 2013 – Girls Leadership Academy (Phoenix)

PRESCOTT’S TRI-CITY PREP WINS ARIZONA ENVIROTHON

A team of preparatory school students developed a winning sustainable agriculture model to capture the 2014 Arizona Envirothon championship Saturday in Maricopa, Ariz.  Each student on the winning five-member team from Prescott’s Tri-City College Prep High School earned a $500 scholarship; their coach was also awarded a $500 stipend.

Sustainable agriculture practices consider a farming operation’s economic viability, whether the development is environmentally benign, and the development’s social acceptability.  Prep’s winning farm plan addressed economics, agricultural technology, water management, dust control, crop selection, local marketing, and neighbor relations.

Nine Arizona teams demonstrated their expertise in field science skills in aquatic ecology, water quality assessment, forestry and wildlife management, soil science and land use planning.  Each also developed a sustainable agriculture plan for a 300-acre farm on the Gila River.

The five-student teams tested their environmental field skills at University of Arizona’s research farm, the Maricopa Agricultural Center in Maricopa, Ariz. on Mar 21-22.  Other schools competing were from Phoenix (Ariz Agribusiness and Equine Center; Center for Research in Engineering, Science & Technology at Paradise Valley HS), Buckeye (Youngker HS), Vail (Cienega HS), Peoria (Centennial HS), and Prescott (Tri-City College Prep).

“I was extremely impressed with the caliber of teams that participated this year, said Rodney Held, Arizona Envirothon Chairman.  “They all demonstrated a solid understanding of natural resource concepts, and every team was completely engaged throughout the entire competition.”

Tri-City Prep team captain Jacob Holevar has returned to the Envirothon each of his four high school years.  “I most enjoy the different topics each year.  We’ve looked at [the environment] from a farming, recreation, ranching and even a housing development perspective,” said Holevar.  “It’s never dull.”  Other Tri-City Prep team members were Erin Flueger, Amelia Harris, Emily Andreasty and Kelcie Kruse.  They were coached by Carolyn Muchna.

Second place over-all went to Center for Research in Engineering, Science & Technology High School at Paradise Valley High School (CREST) (Phoenix) and Centennial High School (Peoria) placed third.

Award winners for ecostation field testing skills were:

Soils & Land Use – 1st Tri-City College Prep, 2nd Centennial, and 3rd CREST

Aquatic Ecology – 1st Tri-City College Prep, 2nd Cienega High School (Vail, AZ), and 3rd Centennial

Wildlife & Forestry – 1st CREST, 2nd Tri-City College Prep, and 3rd Cienega

Spirit of Envirothon 2014 – Arizona Agriculture and Equine Center Paradise Valley (Phoenix)

2014 ARIZONA ENVIROTHON COMPETITION

Date: March 21-22, 2014
Location: University of Arizona’s Maricopa Agricultural Center

Registration Packet (pdf)

2014 Arizona Envirothon Flyer

Join us for two days in nature that you’ll never forget!

The Arizona Envirothon is Arizona’s premier environmental science competition for high school students. It encourages students to explore our state’s natural resources in a fun, interactive way.

Every spring, students in grades 9 – 12 form teams from across the state to compete in an unforgettable outdoor competition, the Arizona Envirothon. The Envirothon challenges students to apply their knowledge, critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities to natural resource management scenarios.

Next spring, the Arizona Envirothon will host a 2-day competition in the great outdoors, and we invite YOU to participate! The goal of this program is to help students develop the skills necessary to manage our state’s resources in a sustainable manner.

Student participants will:

  • Dive into facts about Arizona’s waterways
  • Dig into our diverse soils
  • Get untamed over our wildlife
  • Grow in knowledge about our forests

Benefits to Students:

  • State Champion team is provided an all expense paid trip to represent Arizona at the North American Envirothon to compete nationally for college scholarships
  • Other awards and prizes for top scoring teams
  • Career development opportunities
  • Build lasting friendships
  • Experience nature
  • Expand your knowledge of conservation, stewardship and sustainability

Benefits to Teachers:

  • Envirothon is aligned with the state’s science and social studies standards
  • Coaching a team is a rewarding experience

For more information, contact:
Rodney Held, Chair
Arizona Envirothon
P.O. Box 1248
Phoenix, AZ 85001
480-250-8786

ARIZONA AGRIBUSINESS AND EQUINE CENTER HIGH SCHOOL WINS 2013 ARIZONA ENVIROTHON

2013 Arizona Envirothon Competitors
2013 Arizona Envirothon Competitors

A team of charter high school students met an ongoing western challenge – sustainable rangeland management – to capture the 2013 Arizona Envirothon championship Saturday at the Desert Outdoor Center at Lake Pleasant north of Peoria, Ariz.  The five-member team from Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center High School – Paradise Valley will compete against other state and provincial champions for the North American Envirothon championship in August.

Twelve Arizona teams demonstrated their expertise in field science skills and developed a rangeland management plan that sought to retain tradition livestock uses while addressing off-road vehicle use, range fragmentation and development for Sonoran Desert land in the Lake Pleasant area.

The five-student teams tested their environmental field skills at Black Canyon Heritage Park and Lake Pleasant Desert Outdoor Center on April 19-20.  Other schools competing were from Phoenix (Ariz Agribusiness and Equine Center; Center for Research in Engineering, Science & Technology), Buckeye (Youngker HS), Tucson (University HS), Vail (Cienega HS), Sierra Vista (Berean Academy) and Prescott (Tri-City College Prep).

Teams were tested in water quality assessment, hydrology, forest management, wildlife identification, ecology, agriculture, soil sciences and waste management, at ponds and rangeland sites along the Agua Fria River.

“Envirothon is one of the most rewarding programs that I have the privilege to work on,” said Rodney Held, Arizona Envirothon Executive Committee Chairman.  “This year, three new schools competed and some of our long-time schools are now fielding two or three teams.  It’s encouraging to see that the environment continues to be a concern to young people and that their environmental understanding and problem solving skills are increasing.”

Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center students Rebekah Smith (senior), Elizabeth Joffre, Garrett Notte, Emile Stubbert (juniors) and Caleb Taylor (sophomore) and coach Shelly Petersen will receive an expense-paid trip to represent Arizona against other state and Canadian provincial champions at the North American Canon Envirothon at Montana State University this summer.

Even though winning team captain Rebekka Smith plans a career as a high school English teacher, her Envirothon experience made her family more aware of their environmental responsibility and led her to “want to stay involved and volunteer with the environmental community.”

Second place over-all went to another Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center team and Tri-City College Prep from Prescott, Ariz. placed third.

Award winners for ecostation field testing skills were:

Soils & Land Use – 1st and 2nd AAEC teams, 3rd Tri-City College Prep

Aquatic Ecology – 1st Center for Research in Engineering, Science & Technology, 2nd Cienega High School and AAEC (tied), 3rd AAEC

Wildlife & Forestry – 1st and 3rd AAEC teams, 2nd Tri-City College Prep

Spirit of Envirothon 2013 – Tri-City College Prep

ARIZONA AGRIBUSINESS AND EQUINE CENTER HIGH SCHOOL WINS 2012 ARIZONA ENVIROTHON!

Coaches James Lozano and Shelly Petersen with students Maggie Hanley, Brandon Reiser, Yorke McGillivray, Bethany Patton, and Brittney Hensley.

2012 First Place Team - AAEC Paradise Valley: Coaches James Lozano and Shelly Petersen with students Maggie Hanley, Brandon Reiser, Yorke McGillivray, Bethany Patton, and Brittney Hensley.

A team of charter high school students who focused on using buffer zones to prevent water pollution for a hypothetical future housing development captured the 2012 Arizona Envirothon championship Saturday at Horseshoe Ranch near Cordes Junction, Ariz. The team from Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center High School – Paradise Valley will compete against other state and provincial champions for the Canon Envirothon championship in July.

Twelve Arizona teams demonstrated their expertise in field science skills and problem solving to address how best to develop an area while minimizing nonpoint source pollution (pollutants that originate from multiple sources, but combined can have an effect of the environment, including humans).The five-student teams tested their environmental field skills on Earth Day at Horseshoe Ranch State Wildlife Area along the Agua Fria River on April 20-21. Other schools competing were from Glendale (Grace Christian Home Schoolers), Buckeye (Youngker HS), Tucson (University HS and Ironwood Ridge HS), Vail (Cienega HS), and Prescott (Tri-City College Prep).

Teams tested their skills in water quality assessment, hydrology, forest management, wildlife identification, ecology, agriculture, soil sciences, and waste management at sites along the Agua Fria River.

“Envirothon is one of the most rewarding programs that I have the privilege to work on,” said Rodney Held, Arizona Envirothon Executive Committee Chairman. “Over the past few years I have seen a tremendous improvement in the knowledge and skills that all students are bringing to the competition. This is especially exciting, as it indicates that Envirothon coaches are spending more time teaching about natural resources and preparing their students to deal with real world issues.”

The Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center students (Brittney Hensley, Bethany Patton, Brandon Reiser, Maggie Hanley and Yorke McGillivray) and coach Shelly Petersen will receive an expense-paid trip to represent Arizona against other state and Canadian provincial champions at the Canon Envirothon in July at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

Second place went to another Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center team and Cienega High School from Vail, Ariz. placed third.

Award winners for ecostation field testing skills were:

Soils & Land Use – 1st and 3rd AAEC teams, 2nd University High

Aquatic Ecology – AAEC, 2nd University High, 3rd Ironwood Ridge High

Wildlife & Forestry – 1st and 2nd AAEC teams, 3rd Cienega High

Rookie Team of 2012 – Ironwood Ridge High

Check out the 2012 Arizona Envirothon Photo Gallery! Read more »

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