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The Scat Cats compete at the 2017 International Envirothon

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A team of five students dubbed the “Scat Cats” from Hot Springs High School in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, won the New Mexico Envirothon competition earlier this year. This qualified them to compete in the 2017 International Envirothon, where an employee from Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands served as Scat Cat advisor and chaperone for the competition. Jessee Page, rangeland management specialist from the Magdalena Ranger District, attended Hot Springs High in 2010 and was invited by her former biology teacher and Scat Cat coach, Mark Hedge, to provide feedback for improvement on their practice sessions and accompany the team to the competition. 

This team-based, problem-solving event is an opportunity for more than 500,000 high school students from the United States, Canada, and China to demonstrate their knowledge of natural resource management and ecology, specifically in the categories of forestry, wildlife, soils, and aquatics. The teams must also validate their ability to address complex natural resource related issues by tackling an environmental concern that the host region faces.  This year, the competition was held in Emmetsburg, Maryland; agricultural soil and water conservation stewardship was selected as the local issue.

Out of 54 participating teams, the Scat Cats came in third overall. Each team member won a check for $1,000.  The Envirothon is sponsored by a number of agricultural and conservation agencies and organizations, including the Forest Service and USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, to foster a desire for the next generation to pursue land management careers. Participants are challenged to strike a balance between quality of life and quality of the environment, by learning more about the environment and the difficult issues that land managers face in finding creative solutions.


At the award ceremony. Forest Service photo.

The Scat Cats in action. Forest Service photo.


Students and advisors at the 2017 National Conservation Foundation Envirothon Competition at the Lincoln Memorial. Forest Service photo.

 


The Scat Cats (left to right) - Eliaz Garcia, Alonso Rojas, Rachel Portillo, Lorraina Rojas, and Kara Clement. Forest Service photo.

The Scat Cats on Testing Day. Forest Service photo.