Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) high school students are preparing for the Envirothon, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

The Envirothon is a problem-solving academic competition culminating in lessons learned during seasonal training at the Charles Soil Conservation District. The first training was held on October 19, when students received an overview of what they would be studying throughout the year. Students flipped through field guides to familiarize themselves with wildlife, used an auger to collect soil samples for comparison, carved out waterways on maps, and learned how to identify native plants and trees.

During the Envirothon, students answer questions in five categories — aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and a current environmental issue. The last topic changes each year. This year the fifth topic is adapting to a changing climate. It prompts students to learn about factors contributing to a changing climate, the effects of the changes on the environment and natural resources, and the challenges facing natural resource-dependent communities. According to Envirothon resources, they will learn about strategies for mitigating and adapting to a changing climate and the roles of technologies and programs in responding to local and global change.

Students will receive two more training — one in February, another in March — before the April competition at Gilbert Run Park. The top team at the local competition will advance to the state competition. The National Conservation Foundation (NCF) will hold the NCF Envirothon competition in July at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada.

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