2018 Texas Envirothon

Richardson High School Team Spartacus
Richardson High School takes top honors at the Texas Envirothon on Monday, April 16, 2018, at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Pictured (l. to r.) are Kathleen Garland, UHCL, Hayley Smith, Patrick Mishler, Olivia Brown, Caroline Cummings, Annalis Mach, and Mark Kramer, Armand Bayou Nature Center. The team will represent Texas at the NCF-Envirothon in July.

Richardson High School wins Texas Envirothon

Houston, TX, April 19, 2018—A five-member team of high school students from Richardson, Texas, is the winner of the 2018 Texas Envirothon championship. The Academy of Science and Technology earned second place, and third place went to Clear Lake High School. The event took place April 14 through 16 in Houston.

Students on the winning team are Hayley Smith, Olivia Brown, Patrick Mishler, Annalis Mach, and Caroline Cummings. The team will travel to Pocatello, Idaho, to compete against teams from the states and Canadian provinces for scholarships at the NCF-Envirothon. Tony Strohmeyer and Alisa Salvans served as the team’s advisers.

Top scoring teams on the field exam by topic and in the oral presentation were recognized during an afternoon ceremony at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Richardson High School’s Team Spartacus took the top spot in Aquatics and Oral Presentation. Forestry, Wildlife, and Current Issue went to the Academy of Science and Technology Roadrunners. The Science Academy of South Texas Team Maroon took first place in Soils.

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Sponsors

Financial support for the event was provided by conservation districts and natural resource related agencies and businesses from across Texas.

  • Eastman Chemical Company
  • LyondellBasell
  • Engie North America
  • Environmental Institute of Houston
  • Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority
  • Montgomery County Soil & Water Conservation District
  • NCF-Envirothon/U.S. Forest Service
  • Texas Association of Environmental Professionals
  • Texas Forestry Association Education Fund
  • University of Houston-Clear Lake
  • Association of Texas Soil & Water Conservation Districts
  • Harris County Soil & Water Conservation District
  • Native American Seed
  • Texas Association for Environmental Education

Hosts

  • University of Houston
  • San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site
  • University of Houston-Clear Lake

Resources

  Current Issue: Key Topics & Learning Objectives
 

Coastal Prairie Management and Conservation

Background Information

Key Topics

  • What is a coastal prairie?
  • History of coastal prairie in Texas
  • Multiple uses of coastal prairie
  • Coastal prairie management—principles, strategies and tools
  • Prairie conservation
  • Prairie restoration, seed harvesting and storage
  • Wetlands and flood management—the role of coastal prairie
  • Species recognition
  • Impact of loss of wild spaces, e.g., Nature Deficient Disorder
  • How can coastal prairie management be used to maintain a balanced plant community to support livestock, Attwater's prairie chicken, as well as other wildlife and land uses?
  • How can coastal prairie managers balance livestock production (grazing) with the maintenance of water quality?

Learning Objectives

  • Characteristics (biotic and abiotic) and location of coastal prairie in the Western Gulf region and how it is currently managed.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of how abiotic and biotic factors affect prairie conditions/health and strategies and tools that promote sustainable coastal prairies.
  • Describe the various entities responsible for managing coastal prairies—private, state and federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
  • Ways to protect water quality within coastal prairie management.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of grazing systems and how grazing is used as an effective management tool to reduce the spread and impact of noxious weeds, reduce catastrophic wildfires, and improve wildlife habitat.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of coastal prairie plants, including identification, growth form, life span, season of growth, origin, and forage value.
  • How different ecosystems (wetland, riparian, and upland areas) within the grasslands interact.
  • How the use of the land by humans, domestic livestock, and wildlife affects the plant community.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of multiple use on prairie (social, economic and ecological values).
  • The rights of private landowners and citizens’ related to public land.
  Teacher Workshop Presentations
 
Topic Presentation Download/Watch
Current Issue

Armand Bayou Nature Center – A Case Study in Preservation, Restoration and Management
Mark Kramer, Armand Bayou Nature Center

Additional resources

Current Issue

Southeast Texas Grasslands: A Tour of the Region’s Origin, Ecology and Grassland Communities
Andy Sipocz, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Current Issue

Changes in the Prairie Ecosystem: Impacts on Restoration
Jaime González, Katy Prairie Conservancy

Additional resources

Current Issue

Pollinators and other Wildlife of the Prairie Ecosystem
Pat Merkord, Native Prairie Association of Texas

Additional resources

Forestry

Tree Identification
Matt Weaver, Regional Urban Forester, TX A&M Forest Service

Additional resources

  Participating Schools
 

Sixteen teams representing 10 Texas high schools participated in the three-day competition.

  • Academy of Science and Technology, The Woodlands
  • Klein Collins High School, Spring
  • Clear Lake High School, Houston
  • Clear Springs High School, League City
  • East Central High School, San Antonio
  • Richardson High School, Richardson
  • Rio Hondo High School, Rio Hondo
    Science Academy of South Texas, Mercedes
  • St. John’s School, Houston
  • The Woodlands High School, The Woodlands

NCF-Envirothon

Western Rangeland Management

  Key Topics and Learning Objectives
 

Key Topics

  • What are rangelands?
  • History of rangelands
  • Multiple uses of rangelands (social, economic, and ecological values)
  • Rangeland management (principles, strategies, and tools)
  • Becoming a range professional

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the biotic and abiotic characteristics of rangeland biomes.
  • Discuss rangeland history and how it influences decisions today.
  • Describe the various entities responsible for managing rangeland—private, state and federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
  • Demonstrate an understanding of multiple use on rangeland (social, economic and ecological values).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of rangeland plants (including identification, growth form, life span, season of growth, origin, and forage value).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of grazing systems.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of how abiotic and biotic factors affect range conditions/health and strategies and tools that promote sustainable rangelands.
  • Demonstrate awareness of career opportunities in rangeland ecology and management.
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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