Topics

Areas of Study

The key points highlighted within each area of study will provide you with a good idea about what you need to know to compete at the Texas Envirothon. Advisors may use them as a guide to design effective curricula, educational resources, and testing scenarios. Details and study materials can be found in the Texas Envirothon Study Guide.

Download 2009 TEKS Correlations

Current Issue

  • Understand the importance of moving toward sustainable farming systems to conserve natural resources, mitigate climate change, reduce erosion and protect water quality and quantity, and promote pollination
  • Comprehension of farming practices that build soil organic matter such as composting, crop rotations, cover crops, conservation tillage, and management intensive grazing systems to improve soil health
  • Understand integrated pest management and biological pest control techniques used to prevent insect pest, disease, and weed problems
  • Understand the role of new technology: agricultural biotechnology; precision agriculture; and using UAV (drones, GIS, etc.) to increase farm efficiency for food production.

Aquatics

  • Identify the processes and phases for each part of the water cycle
  • Describe the chemical and physical properties of water and explain their importance for freshwater and saltwater ecosystems
  • Discuss methods of conserving water and reducing point and non-point source pollution
  • Analyze the interaction of competing uses of water supply, hydropower, navigation, wildlife, recreation, waste assimilation, irrigation, industry, and others
  • Identify common aquatic organisms through the use of a key
  • Delineate the watershed boundary for a small water body
  • Be able to explain the different types of aquifers and how each type relates to water quality and quantity
  • Briefly describe the benefits of wetlands, both function and value
  • Describe the changes to the aquatic ecosystem based on alteration to the aquatic habitat
  • Know methods used to assess and manage aquatic environments and utilize water quality information to assess the general water quality of a given body of water (includes sampling techniques, water quality parameters used to monitor point and non-point source pollution)
  • Be familiar with major methods and laws used to protect water quality (surface and ground water) and utilize this information to make management decisions to improve the quality of water in a given situation

Forestry

  • Identify common trees without a key and identify specific or unusual species of trees or shrubs through the use of a key
  • Understand forest ecology concepts and factors affecting them, including the relationship between soil and forest types, tree communities, regeneration, competition, and succession
  • Understand the cause/effect relationship of factors affecting tree growth and forest development (climate, insects, microorganisms, etc.)
  • Understand how wildlife habitat relates to forest communities, forest species, forest age structure, snags and den trees, availability of food, and riparian zones
  • Understand the value of trees in urban and suburban settings and factors affecting their health and survival
  • Understand how the following issues are affected by forest health and management: biological diversity, forest fragmentation, air quality, fire, and recreation
  • Understand basic forest management concepts and tools such as: how various silvicultural practices are utilized, the use of tree measuring devices, and best management practices
  • Identify complex factors which influences forest management decisions (economics, social, and ecological)
  • Apply silviculture concepts and methods to develop general management recommendations for a particular situation and management goals

Soil Science

  • Recognize soil as an important resource
  • Describe basic soil properties and formation factors
  • Understand soil drainage classes and know how wetlands are defined
  • Determine basic soil properties and limitations, such as mottling and permeability, by observing a soil pit or soil profile
  • Identify types of soil erosion and discuss methods for reducing erosion
  • Utilize soil information, including soil surveys, in land use planning
  • Discuss how soil is a factor in, or impacted by non-point source pollution

Wildlife Biology

  • Identify common wildlife species and wildlife signs (keys will be used for more extensive identification)
  • Identify basic wildlife survival needs
  • Describe specific adaptations of wildlife to their environment and role in the ecosystem
  • Describe predator/prey relationships and examples
  • Describe the potential impact of the introduction of non-native species
  • Describe the major factors affecting threatened and endangered species and methods used to improve the populations of these species
  • Describe ways habitat can be improved for specific species by knowing their requirements
  • Discuss the concepts of carrying capacity and limiting factors
  • Discuss various ways the public and wildlife managers can help in the protection, conservation, management, and enhancement of wildlife populations
  • Describe food chains/webs and cite examples
  • Describe factors that limit or enhance population growth
  • Evaluate a given habitat for its suitability for designated species, given a description of their habitat needs
Contact
  • Texas Envirothon

    Phone: 281-283-3045
    Email: reistle@uhcl.edu

    North Office Annex
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 540
    Houston, TX 77058-1002

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