Helen Bosch and Tom Caffrey
Helen Bosch, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Caffrey, email@example.com
Where: CHS Room 232
When: Thursdays at lunch.
Who: Open to all CHS students
2016 Envirothon Team! Ashleigh Crum, Rob Tabaracci, Sarah Mad Plume, Kip Giddings, Dexter Clark
2015 Envirothon Team! Caleb Noble, Jayden Peterson, Landen Beckner, Megan Keys, Summer Diegel
The Envirothon Team is made up of 5 members. We meet weekly at lunchtime in Room 232 every Tuesday. On the third week of April, we travel to Lewistown for the state competition. Students are tested on their knowledge in five topic areas: soils and land use; aquatic ecology; forestry; wildlife; and a current environmental issue that changes each year. Through the program, students develop an understanding of effective teamwork, resource management and ecology. At the same time, they gain valuable exposure to a range of disciplines while exploring possible career paths.
National Envirothon Competition
Study materials for Wildlife, Soils, Forestry and Aquatics and the Current Issue
Current Issue 2017
1. Soil and Water Conservation best management practices; their purpose and implementation.
2. How are soil and water conservation best management practices interrelated to the management of wildlife, forestry and aquatic systems?
3. How do agriculturists maintain a balance between their quality of life versus the quality of the environment?
Upon completion of the training, the student will be able to:
1, Identify and recommend soil and water conservation best management practices in agriculture.
2. Describe the role of the federal government in conservation programs that benefit both agricultural producers and the environment.
3. Identify the concept of soil quality/health to provide the needed functions for the conservation planning process.
4. Identify various types of soil erosion and utilize different methods to estimate and predict soil erosion to assess land use impacts.
a. RUSLE 2 Equation
b. Aerial Photographs
c. Topographic Maps
d. Soil Maps
e. USDA Classification System
f. Soil Surveys
5. Explain why land-use planning is important to our ecosystems and to our economy to achieve sustainable agriculture.
Water and Soil Conservation links:
Key Topics/Learning Objectives
- Basic rangeland knowledge, to include: identification of state grass, plant I. D. and definitions, importance of rangelands in Montana.
- Range Ecology Processes – definition of ecological sites (soil – plant relationships), ecological processes (energy flow, nutrient cycle, water cycle and plant succession).
- Rangeland Management – stocking rates/carrying capacity, general types of grazing systems, improvement practices (fencing and water developments), wetland, riparian and upland communities.
- Basic knowledge of livestock and wildlife interactions, forage preferences, forage overlap, and habitat requirements.
- Define rangeland, % of state encompassed by rangeland, importance of rangelands.
- Identify state grasses of Montana, differentiate between plant types (grass, forb, shrub, and trees), identify parts of a grass and/or grasslike species.
- Define rangeland ecological sites, understand ecological process, understanding of all definitions inclusion to all key topic areas.
- Understanding of basic rangeland management concepts, i. e. grazing systems, stocking rates, and rangeland improvements.
- Understanding of Best Management Practices (BMPs) on rangeland and how different communities (wetland, riparian, and upland areas) interact.
- Recognize different classes of livestock and understand their interaction with wildlife species.
Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health
Key Topics/Learning Objectives
- Understanding of the basic hydrologic cycle and hydrology including surface and ground water characterization. Identify how local hydrology is affected by geological characteristics.
- Understand what a watershed is and why watershed management is an important tool for addressing water quantity and quality issues. Learn how to determine watershed boundaries. Learn what factors contribute to successful watershed planning and management.
- Have an understanding of aquatic, riparian, and wetland ecosystems in a watershed.
- Learn to identify aquatic invertebrates common to Montana and learn their ecology. Also understand the user of aquatic macroinvertebrates in predicting and monitoring water quality.This would require identification of aquatic macroinvertebrate species which may indicate water characteristics (temp, oxygen content, tds concentrations, etc) and the special morphological features these species may have for those environments.
- Learn to identify fish species common to Montana, and learn their ecology. This would require identification of fish species which may indicate water characteristics (temp, oxygen content, tds concentrations, etc) and the special morphological features these
species may have for those environments.
- Learn the different types of aquatic and wetland ecosystems in a watershed determining components.
- Learn major human impacts on water quality and quantity and develop an understanding of management practices which can reduce of eliminate adverse impacts on the water resource. Learn to identify major sources of point and non-point source pollution. Learn the major impacts of impaired water quality on humans, livestock, and wildlife.
- To expand an awareness of basic hydrology and the watersheds including determination of water discharge and recharge areas and an understanding of a water budget.
- To learn the basic measurement methods for indicators of water quality and how to apply these methodologies.
- To learn the basic physical and chemical properties of water. A basic knowledge of how these properties effect the geological features that come in contact with water. Chemical properties that should be reviewed would include, but are not limited to alkalinity, osmosis, hardness, total dissolved solids, and dissolved oxygen should familiar to the participants. Physical properties that should be reviewed would include but are not limited to conservation of energy, sediment transport, energy grade lines.
- Basic Forestry Knowledge; such as tree identification, silvics of
common trees, tree measurement and tool use, and interaction of forests and environment.
- Forest Ecology; such as the observation and identification of forest types, observing and describing forest stand structure, observing and
describing site variables that affect tree species, and observing and identifying the stages of forest succession.
- Silviculture Systems- such as describing the difference between harvesting and silvicultural systems, describe the difference between the goal of thinning and final harvest, describe the purpose of common silvicultural systems, and describe the management practices and their purpose.
- Viewing Ecosystems; such as the observation of how trees and forests impact soil development, wildlife habitat, public places, agriculture, and on water quality.
- Urban Forestry; such as the recognition of the value of trees in the urban landscape, choosing the correct species for specific locations, energy conservation through three plantings, urban wildlife benefits from tree plantings methods, proper tree care and maintenance, including wise choices in pest and disease control.
- Identify common trees without a key.
- Identify specific or unusual species of trees or shrubs through the use of a key.
- Understand how wildlife habitat relates to: forest communities, forest species, forest age structure, snags and den trees, availability of food and cover, and riparian zones.
- Understand basic forest management concepts.
- Be familiar with use of a diameter tape and other forestry tools.
- Understand the benefits of trees in urban/suburban settings and the factors affecting their health and survival.
Description of Learning Objectives:
- Basic forestry knowledge involving the use of leaves, bark or twigs to identify common tree species of Montana (using a key if necessary), understanding rooting habit, shade tolerance, soil, and other characteristics of common tree species, identify and use such tools as a Biltmore stick, abney level or clinometer, prism or angle gauge, calculating the annual diameter growth by using annual ring measurements, understanding and explaining the use of basal area in forest management, and describing the effects of trees and forest on temperature, wind, sounds, and other variables.
- Forest ecology involving the identification and description of adaptations for common trees associated with forest wetland systems, streamline forest systems, upland forest systems, old field sites, recognizing the different layers of vegetation found within most undisturbed forest stands, recognizing and evaluating variables, related to site such as depth to water table, soils, shade level and their effects related to tree species survival and growth, and recognizing and describing the process of secondary forest succession for old field and harvested sites.
- Silviculture involving the explanation of the difference between clear-cut harvest and clear-cut silvicultural system, explain the difference between a thinning, diameter-limit cut and the single-tree selection system, understanding and explaining the difference between even-aged and uneven-aged management systems, listing probable reasons why a logger and a forester might select different trees for harvest, defining the goals of thinning in comparison to the goals of final harvest, outlining the goals and approaches used by the major silvicultural systems to insure stand regeneration after harvest, and be able to list at least five best management practices used to control flow of water on a harvest site and describe the situation where they are appropriately used.
- The viewing of ecosystems where the goal at each site is to assess the whole area while addressing questions on the various components you are asked to observe and understand.
- To understand the importance and benefits of trees in the urban habitat for a wide variety of reasons, including wildlife habitat, windbreaks, energy conservation, shade benefits, erosion control, aesthetics and others. To understand proper care of trees in the urban environment.
- Trees and forests occur in certain locations for certain reasons that are often identifiable by observing the site and the larger area surrounding the site. These may be as simple as the soil type, the amount of soil moisture, or need for a park or natural area within a residential area.
- Highly productive soils are often used for agricultural production and would also support a highly productive forest. As sites become less acceptable for agriculture due to drought or wet soils, certain tree species and forest types can still maintain high levels of productivity on many of these sites.
- As the amount of soil moisture on a site increases, there is a change in the types of vegetation that become dominant. Wetland sites have special combinations of tree species, shrubs, and herbaceous plants that are part of the important functions these sites contribute to the environment.
- Wildlife habitat is affected by the age, size, density, variety of tree species, and location of the trees or forest stands in relation to surrounding ecosystems such as residential areas, other wooded areas, streets and water sources. The level of importance of trees is dependent upon the ecosystem (prairie, wetland, agricultural field, forest) and the wildlife being studied.
Minimum Recommended Biota List:
- Lodgepole Pine Pinus contorta
- Ponderosa Pine Pinus ponderosa
- Western White Pine Pinus monticola
- Whitebark Pine Pinus albicaulis
- Limber Pine Pinus flexilis
- Alpine Larch Larix lyallii
- Western Larch Larix occidentalis
- Engelmann Spruce Picea engelmannii
- Douglas-fir Pseudotsuga menziesii
- Western Hemlock Tsuga heterophylla
- Mountain Hemlock Tsuga mertensiana
- Grand Fir Abies grandis
- Alpine Fir Abies lasiocarpa
- Western Red Cedar Thuja plicata
- Rocky Mountain Juniper Juniperus scopulorum
(Moose north of Marysville)
- Types of Habitat (Wetlands, Range, Forest)
- Wildlife (Birds, Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians) common to Montana and their Habitat requirements.
- Natural processes affecting wildlife and habitat (Succession, Competition, Fire, Precipitation).
- Interactions between people, wildlife and habitat.
- To learn how to recognize wildlife habitats and the effects of fire on wildlife habitats.
- To learn the common kinds of wildlife found in each habitat.
- To learn how management (preservation, conservation, and manipulation) of wildlife habitat interrelates with fire management.
- To learn the relationships between people, wildlife, and fire management.
- To learn how to deduce solutions to problems through teamwork with the information at hand. Montana Field guide