State Envirothon champs visit
ANN ARBOR—Members of Sault Ste. Marie High School‘s award-winning Envirothon team visited the University of Michigan last month.
As ruling Michigan Envirothon state champions, the five-member team toured the University’s wind tunnel, its School of Natural Resources and Environment, the Nichols Arboretum, the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, and the virtual reality laboratory of Klaus-Peter Beier, professor of naval architecture and marine engineering.
The team also toured the Ann Arbor facilities of the U.S. Geological Survey and ERIM International, a leader in developing an understanding of environmental phenomena through ongoing remote sensing data analysis, algorithm development, and measurement and modeling programs.
The Sault Ste. Marie students, concerned about the dumping of pet waste, motor oil and antifreeze into the St. Mary’s River, designed a program to alert their community to the negative environmental results of such action. They designed and distributed brochures and stenciled drains “Dump No Waste.” While meeting some resistance from the community, the team was not deterred in its efforts to raise community awareness of the harm these practices bring to the environment.
The Michigan Envirothon is sponsored by the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts as part of a national program “to promote a desire to learn more about the natural environment and develop knowledge and skills to apply the basic principles and practices of resource management and ecology.” In addition to the U-M visit, the state winners will compete in the national Envirothon.
The program also strives to promote “stewardship of natural resources and develop critical thinking skills, cooperative problem-solving skills, and decision making skills of students to balance the quality of life and the quality of the environment.”
The areas of study student teams could choose from included wildlife, soil, forestry and aquatics.
The team members from Sault Ste. Marie High School are: Megan King, 817 Kimbell; Jennifer Hoornstra, 2216 W. 14th St.; Ben Myron, 1100 Parnell Ave.; Kevin Wozniak, 4439 S. Shank; Jereld Sawyer, 2154 Mapleport Dr.