Five Minot High School students were tops in the state at the North Dakota Envirothon at Ellendale earlier this month. Now they need to raise money so they can go to the national competition at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa., from July 22-27.
Team members are seniors John Hoffer and Kelsy Walter, and juniors Chyna Lynner, Tiffany Dostert and Clare Super. All have competed in the environmental science and natural resource management competition for multiple years. The coaches are Joe Super, Clare's dad and a biology teacher at Minot High School-Central Campus, and current events teacher Laurel Weigelt.
The competition is centered on four testing categories, including soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry and wildlife, and a current environmental issue.
Minot High Envirothon team member Tiffany Dostert during the state competition.
Envirothon team members are back row, from left to right: Chyna Lynner, Clare Super and John Hoffer, and front row, Kelsy Walter, left, and Tiffany Dostert. The team won the state competition earlier this month and qualified for the national competition in July.
At the state competition, the team members took four different trail tests at each testing station and also gave an oral presentation in front of a panel of judges. The information on the test is specific to each site and students are given a chance to familiarize themselves with the material before the competition.
For instance, at the wildlife station, the five-member team said they had to identify four different types of animal pelts and skulls, while forestry required them to identify different tree types.
The environmental issue this year is low-impact development. The students said this topic requires knowledge of using environmentally sound practices in water management. For instance, that might mean building ditches instead of using storm drains to handle water flow, said Hoffer.
Dostert said she is excited about the environmental issue for next year's competition, "sustainable rangeland management," because water has been the subject matter for the last few years.
The students said they enjoy Envirothon because it is unlike any other clubs they could belong to and they enjoy the subject matter. Clare Super and Dostert said that they enjoyed having a chance to be outside during the two days of the competition. Super said her life is stressful these days, so being outside gave her some much needed relaxation. Dostert was happy that the weather was so warm during the state competition, unlike the last two years when it was either snowing or sleeting outside on the day of the competition.
It will cost about $700 per student to attend the national competition, so the students will need to do some fundraising to pay for plane tickets and lodging and other costs associated with the trip. Super said their goal is to raise most of the money so students won't have to pay for the trip out of pocket. They plan to approach businesses to be sponsors or do things like sell pizza during finals week to help raise money for the trip. People who are interested in donating money for the trip can e-mail coach Joe Super at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 837-0446.
With two seniors graduating, Minot High will have to rebuild its envirothon team next year, but Walter, Lynner, Dostert, Super and Hoffer said there are some strong rookie teams coming up behind them so that Minot should continue to do well in the competition.