Time is now for science teams

Students use a clinometer to measure tree height to estimate the amount of marketable timber at one of the Oklahoma Envirothon stations.

The 2019 Oklahoma Envirothon state competition will take place on Friday, March 29 at the Noble Research Institute in Ardmore.

Oklahoma Envirothon is a team-based, environmental science competition for high school students.

The program is part of an established North American Envirothon program and seeks to teach students the fundamentals of natural resource management.

Teams learn the fundamentals of natural resource management in five areas of study – aquatic ecology, forestry, soils and land use, wildlife and a special topic.

This year’s special topic is agriculture and the environment – knowledge and technology to feed the world.

“This competition allows students to see the planet in a new way,” said youth education manager Frank Hardin, Ph.D.

“We get students’ hands dirty and allow them to think about how we manage our planet’s resources — soil, water, wildlife and plant life — now and for future generations.”

By working alongside natural resource professionals and scientists, students:

• Learn about soil structure, interpret maps, and evaluate land forms and soil characteristics that affect agriculture and development issues.

• Assess the quality of delicate aquatic ecosystems, identify aquatic organisms, manage watersheds and determine nonpoint source pollution.

• Develop an understanding of practices for maintaining healthy forest ecosystems and learn the basics of species identification, forest structure and dynamics, as well as management approaches.

Learn about animal populations, their dynamics and the importance of habitat conservation.

• Explore the facets of current environmental issues and illustrate the complexity of real-life environmental decisions.

The Noble Research Institute provides guidance and instructional resources to any Oklahoma high school or high school group, including 4-H, FFA and homeschool, that seeks to participate so that students will be competitive and successful. Most resources are online and are provided at no cost.

A completed team packet must be submitted and postmarked no later than Thursday, Feb. 28. For more information and to download the registration packet, visit www.oklaenvirothon.org online.

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