DHS Envirothon Team headed to International Competition in Canada

Lucas Arendt, Connor Evelsizer, Gabriel Hiner, Anders Lovstuen, and Aidan Nalean Carlson, members of the “DNR” Envirothon team representing Decorah High School, took first place at the Envirothon state contest held April 24th at the Jester Park Nature Center near Granger.

They will represent Iowa at the international contest to be
held July 23-29, 2023, at Mount Allison University located in Tantramar, New
Brunswick, Canada. Decorah’s “Team Skabush”–Justin Berlage, Peter Essa, Nathaniel
Myers, Nathan Swarbrick and Henry Weis–finished in fourth place. Both teams tied for
first place in the Current Environmental Issue category.
The Envirothon is a team competition for high school students, testing their knowledge of
the natural world around them. In the field and classroom, teams of five students are
challenged to use their knowledge and critical thinking skills to conduct hands-on
investigations, solve real-life scenarios, and answer questions covering five categories:
Aquatics, Forestry, Soils, Wildlife, and a current topic. This year’s current environmental
issue, “Adapting to the Agricultural Changes Needed in a Changing Climate,” required
each team to prepare and present a speech outlining a designed plan with
recommendations and possible solutions to meet the current topic challenges.
Adviser Larry Berland remarked, “Have you ever been asked to determine the amount of
sand, silt and clay in a soil sample by using only your hands? Do you have the desire to
figure out the basal area of trees growing in a woodlot with a 10 factor prism? How
about sighting in on the clarity of a water sample using only a Secchi tube or identifying
turtles by the markings on their carapace? High school students in Decorah who have
been participating in the school’s Envirothon program are ready for these challenges and

“I am very proud to say that 70 awesome Decorah High School students participated in
the Envirothon program this year–a new record,” Berland continued. “They offer hope
for the Earth’s environment. I want to especially thank Adam Riley along with the entire
Decorah system for their support, including the super help of John Kraus and Maggie
Schwarz along with a very generous contribution made to our program from Barb
Schroeder and the Winneshiek County Conservation Board.”

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