Maryland: Calvert County Teens Finish Tenth at National Envirothon Competition

From left to right: Grace Miller, Ben Springer, Kristina Dube, Michael Deffinbaugh and Vincent Sullens.

ANNAPOLIS, MD – A five-member team of students from Calvert High School in Southern Maryland has placed tenth out of 53 teams at the 2019 National Conservation Foundation (NFC) Envirothon held at North Carolina State University in Raleigh on July 28-August 2. More than 250 teenagers from 45 U.S. states, six Canadian provinces, and an international high school from Shanghai participated in one of North America's largest high school environmental education competitions.

Throughout the competition, teams were tested on their knowledge of soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and a current environmental issue. This year's environmental issue was "Agriculture and the Environment: Knowledge & Technology to Feed the World." As part of the testing, teams were required to give an oral presentation on this year's environmental issue. The Calvert team scored consistently high across the board in all categories, missing the top score in forestry by just two points. A copy of the final score sheet can be found online.

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"Congratulations to the Calvert High School team for placing in the top ten at this year's 2019 National Envirothon competition," said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. "The leadership skills and scientific expertise of these students is remarkable. It is inspiring to see students from our state take such an interest in natural resources and agriculture. Thank you to the Calvert High School team for representing Maryland so well on a national stage."

"I could not be more proud of these students," said Chuck Gustin, the coach and advisor for the Calvert High School team. "We will take everything we have learned from our first national competition and apply it to our training for next year's competitions. I am hopeful that with hard work and determination our team will yet again represent Calvert County at the state level and go on to represent Maryland nationally once again."

During the past five years, Maryland teams have consistently placed in the top twenty percent at national competitions. Established in 1990, the objectives of the Maryland Envirothon, which sends teams to the national competition, are twofold—to test students' environmental knowledge and understanding of state resource issues, and to instill a desire to learn more about the natural world. Winning teams compete at the local, state, and national levels. The first Envirothon competition was held in Pennsylvania in 1988. Since then more than 45 states, Canada, China, and Australia have embraced the program and sent teams to the international competition.

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The Maryland Envirothon is sponsored by the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts and the State Soil Conservation Committee. Contributors and supporters include the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Department of the Environment, the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board, Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Garrett College-Natural Resources and Wildlife Technology Program, Chaney Foundation LTD, Western Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc., Mid-Atlantic Association of Professional Soil Scientists, South Mountain Creamery, Southern Maryland RC&D, Crofton Greenery Garden Club, LaPlata Garden Club, Sherrell Goggin, Edrich Lumber, Inc., Howard County Garden Club, Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Mt. Airy Garden Club, SWCS Pocomoke Chapter, The Wildlife Society, James Meyers, and the Rural Maryland Council.

For more information, contact Linda Subda at subdal@calvertnet.k12.md.us.

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