2016 SD Envirothon: Friday, March 11, 2016 at SDSU

The 2016 South Dakota Envirothon will be held Fri. March 11, 2016 on the SDSU campus.

Teams of five high school students test their knowledge and skills in five areas: soils, water, forestry, wildlife and a current issue which this year is invasive species.

The winning team will go on to the North American competition which this year is in Ontario Canada.

This year’s event will be a single day event, tentatively going from 9am-5pm. The current issue presentation will be a poster session. Teams must come prepared with a poster explaining their solution to a challenge that will be issued by January 29th.

Register here:

For more information, contact Anne Lewis 605-224-8295.

South Dakota Envirothon News

The South Dakota Envirothon is moving back to late April. We hope you will be able to send a team!

The location is to be decided but we will make it central. We are also looking at making this a one day event.

Though some of the logistics are changing, some things will stay the same. Stipends for one adult leader, travel funds and substitute fees (schools only) are still provided!

Professional Development for Teachers

Teachers  can participate in a GLOBE professional development opportunity that will help prepare them to prepare an Envirothon team as well as enrich classroom instruction with real world science/natural resource studies.

GLOBE is an international science education project sponsored by NASA and the National Science Foundation that involves students in monitoring and reporting data on local hydrology, soils, atmosphere, land cover and earth systems.

The South Dakota Discovery Center is offering several several opportunities summer 2015 in GLOBE:

  • June 22-25. GLOBE. University of Sioux Falls. 2 credits (workshop or renewal). Please register through the University of Sioux Falls website.
  • June 26-29. GLOBE on the River. Pierre. We will spend one day in the classroom and 3 days/2 nights in the field doing GLOBE field studies, primitive camping and kayaking. The trip is outfitted so the only thing you have to bring is your personal effects and a sense of adventure. (Please register through the GLOBE website.)

As a GLOBE trained teacher,

  • Your Grade 6-12 students can collect and report data that will be used by scientists and NASA missions to better understand our world.
  • You can earn a stipend as a mentor and model GLOBE Lead Teacher.
  • You join with thousands of other teachers around the world who are using hands-on, inquiry based instruction.

If you have questions or want information please contact Anne Lewis.


GLOBE Training for Envirothon Leaders

Envirothon participants in South Dakota will have new opportunities to prepare for Envirothon, thanks to GLOBE an international science education program sponsored by NASA and the National Science Foundation. The South Dakota Discovery Center and Outdoor Campus West in Rapid City are partnering to bring  GLOBE to South Dakota.

Anne Lewis, South Dakota Envirothon coordinator, says groups that use GLOBE collect data, participate in field campaigns, and can do research.

“GLOBE is a huge international project that has students doing real science”, says Lewis. “And one of the strengths of Envirothon is solving real world problems. This is an excellent opportunity for sponsors to help prepare their teams to participate in Envirothon while strengthening their science literacy.”

GLOBE participants set up a study site where they monitor soils, water, atmosphere, land cover and seasons. Lewis stresses that sponsor do not have to do all the protocols. “However, it is no secret that many of the hydrology, soils and forestry protocols used in the South Dakota Envirothon are straight from GLOBE.”

Lewis says that a workshop for teachers and Envirothon sponsors will be held in June. Registration information will be posted to the South Dakota Discovery Center’s website in early January 2015.

“GLOBE will add a lot to South Dakota Envirothon,” Lewis says. “It’s an exciting project.”


Teachers analyze a soil sample using GLOBE protocols.

2014-2015 South Dakota Envirothon Winners

The FFA team from Lennox won the 2014-2015 South Dakota Envirothon. The five students competed at NeSoDak near Waubay Oct 2, 2014. photo

The students are (left to right) Molly Kroeger (Junior), Alyssa Becker (Senior), Brady Jandl (Junior), Brady Klock (Junior), Levi Buckneberg (Senior). Alternates Matthew Bruns (Senior) and Isaac Burma (Senior) also participated. Team adviser is Jim Wilson.

The team competed in knowledge and skills pertaining to aquatic ecology, soils, forestry, wildlife and forestry. They also competed in this year’s current issue Community Forestry by taking a test and giving a short presentation.

The presentation addressed the hypothetical restoration of their community forest after an ice storm damaged 30%-40% of their community forest. The teams were given the full scenario about 10 days before the presentation so they could do background research.

The teams were also presented with a “mystery challenge” at the Envirothon, a last minute topic that had to be included in the presentation. The teams were told they had to address the looming threat of the Emerald Ash Borer in their restoration plan.

Winning the South Dakota Envirothon qualifies Lennox to go to the North American Envirothon July 27-August 2 in Springfield, Missouri.

The South Dakota Envirothon is sponsored by the 319 Information and Education Project via the South Dakota Discovery Center and the Conservation Commission.

Additional support was provided by

  • The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • South Dakota Department of Agriculture
  • South Dakota Department of Game Fish and Park
  • East Dakota Water Development District
  • South Dakota office of the Natural Resource Conservation Service
  • Day County Conservation Service
  • South Dakota Geographic Alliance
  • Spearfish Forest Products

Venue and Schedule

The South Dakota Envirothon has changed venue. The event will now be held at NeSoDak Bible camp and not Outlaw Ranch. The change is due to the fact that all the registered teams are from East River.

The dates and schedule remain the same.

Wednesday October 1

  • 11AM – 1PM. Teams arrive, register. Lunch on your own.
  • 1PM – 3:30PM. Welcome. Skills review.
  • 4:00PM – Current issue presentation
  • 5:30PM – Dinner
  • 6:30PM – Teams go into planning time.
  • 8:45 – Team building activities and camp fire
  • 11PM – Lights out

Thursday October 2

    • 7:00 Breakfast
    • 7:30 Planning Time
    • 9:00 Competition begins!
      • 9:00 – 9:45
      • 9:50 – 10:35
      • 10:40 – 11:25
      • 11:30 – 12:15 LUNCH
      • 12:20 – 1:05 SCENARIO POSTER SESSIONS
      • 1:10 – 1:55
      • 2:00 – 2:45
    • 2:45 – 3:45 Clean out cabins
    • 3:45 Winner announced. Celebration!
    • 4:00 departure

Raptor Resource

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks just produced a new booklet called “South Dakota’s Diurnal Birds of Prey.” Single copies of this free, color guide to 21 raptor species can be requested by emailing Sandy.Hoerner@state.sd.us. The publication features many images taken by South Dakota birder and photographer Doug Backlund. The guide was funded by SDGFP Wildlife Division.

2014 SD Envirothon Winning Team

For immediate release
Contact Anne Lewis at 605-224-8295 for more information


A 4H team from Marshall County has won the 2013-2014 South Dakota Envirothon. The five team members, four of whom were veterans, won demonstrating their expertise in aquatic ecology, soils, wildlife, forestry and this year’s current issue local and sustainable agriculture.

The team will go on to compete in a regional event in Kansas in July.

The two seniors, junior, sophomore and freshman had to take a test in each content area. In addition, the team had to plan and give a presentation on how they would restore a piece of land to produce for local agriculture. The presentation required the team to incorporate a “mystery challenge” which was revealed at the competition. The mystery challenge was how chickens figured into their respective plans.

The team was coached by advisor Tom Jones, also a returning veteran.


L to R: Blaze Jones, Trey Jones, Dylan Jones, Austin Effling, Austin Bratsveen

The South Dakota Envirothon is sponsored by the Conservation Commission and the South Dakota Discovery Center.

Envirothon Summer Workshop for Leaders AND Students

Opportunity for Envirothon leaders and students!

Students from SD Envirothon teams will be able to attend the workshop July 17-18 at NeSoDak near Waubay, SD.

Teachers and leaders can bring up to two students (entering junior or senior year) to participate in the Envirothon Workshop. The workshop offers two days of hands-on studies and content instruction on Envirothon topics including aquatic ecology, soils and forestry. The 2014-2015 current issue is urban/community forestry.

Lodging and board are covered. Credit available for teachers.