York faculty participate in 2016 Envirothon workshops

the earth

Throughout the month of April, more than 700 students across Ontario will participate in the 2016 Ontario Envirothon regional competitions. Since 1994, the Ontario Envirothon has supported high school students in learning about our natural ecosystems and fostering a healthier environment through their actions.

Spanning from Toronto to Elk Lake, students join interactive field trips to forests, parks, woodlots, and conservation areas in their region where they participate in workshops focused on the science and sustainable management of soils, wildlife, forests, and aquatic ecosystems. In 15 regions across Ontario, workshops are led by local professionals in fields such as forestry, the natural sciences, resource management, and conservation.

Dawn Bazely
Dawn Bazely

“On April 6, seven teams comprised of 35 high school students will participate in workshop training at York University. The high school students  will take classes in aquatics (hydrology), wildlife, forestry and soil science, and this year, learn about invasive species,” says Faculty of Science Biology Professor Dawn Bazely. Faculty from  the Lassonde School of Engineering, the Department of Geography in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and the Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science at York University, together with staff and students, will work with staff from Forests Ontario (the organizer), the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and Ecosparks, to lead two of the training workshops.

Following workshops, students build their experience through hands-on challenges in the field designed so they apply knowledge and skills to understand challenges facing local ecosystems. Challenges are evaluated by program leaders, with the winning team from each region progressing to the Ontario Envirothon Provincial Championship.

For the third year in a row, the Provincial Championship will be held at Fleming College in Lindsay, Ontario.

Envirothon programs are also held across North America in more than 50 state and provinces. The top team from each state and provincial Envirothon, including Ontario, progresses to the North American Envirothon (NAE). This year, the NAE will be hosted at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario from July 24 to 29, bringing the program to Ontario for the first time.

For more than 20 years, Envirothon has inspired a passion for our natural environment and empowered students to translate that passion into action. By engaging students early on and creating a learning experience that is both engaging and rewarding, students are able to build the foundational skills and knowledge needed to pursue studies and careers in fields related to environmental stewardship.