PA Envirothon: 2021 Pennsylvania Envirothon Goes Virtual!

On September 30, the Pennsylvania Envirothon announced the 2021 Pennsylvania Envirothon will hold a virtual State Competition that will include station testing and an oral presentation component.

The Pennsylvania Envirothon is proud to host one of the state’s largest natural resource education competitions.  The Envirothon provides thousands of students with the knowledge and tools necessary to address the natural resource challenges facing today’s world. 

The Envirothon is a “team” competition among high school students, and the 2021 event will be held as such.  Teams will compete for scholarships and prizes, just as they would at a traditional event.

At the Envirothon, five-member teams participate in a series of field station tests that focus on five topic areas – soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and environmental issues.

The Envirothon sees the 2021 competition as an opportunity to continue the mission of the Envirothon as well as to promote environmental literacy.  This virtual competition allows Envirothon teams to utilize technology as they work through the station resources and compete online. 

It may not be the outdoor experience that they relish, but they are committed to making the 2021 virtual Envirothon a worthwhile experience for all participants.

Here is some good news for Envirothon teachers and participants.  For the 2021 competition, there are no changes to the station resource material.  Envirothon participants, study the resources listed for the 2020 competition.  They are just moving everything ahead for next year’s competitions.

Oral Component Going Digital

The Pennsylvania Envirothon oral component presentation segment is taking on a new look and transitioning into the age of technology.  Oral presentations will be done digitally, moving away from the use of poster boards and markers. 

The Oral Component (OC) offers Envirothon teams a chance to address real-life environmental problems as presented through a written scenario. This transition provides teams with the full experience of developing a presentation based on a written scenario from start to finish.

The oral component score is combined with the testing station scores to determine the top winning team.

The Pennsylvania Envirothon Rules and Guidelines relating to the Oral Component are currently under review.  As soon as they are finalized, a copy will be posted to the Pennsylvania Envirothon website and distributed to county Envirothon Coordinators.

Nate Fuller, Envirothon Alumnus

Here another example of how Envirothon participants have turned their experience into careers and a life-long love of the environment and the outdoors.

Nate Fuller was a regular participant in the York County Envirothon starting in 1993 as a third-grader at Wellsville Elementary School in Wellsville, PA until his 2004 senior year at Northern York High School. 

Many of the years his team earned blue ribbons and in high school, his team won the County Envirothon and got to compete in the state competition for three years. 

After earning a Bachelor's Degree from the Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, he worked as an environmental consultant for Bat Conservation and Management out of Carlisle PA, conducting endangered bat surveys throughout the northeastern US.

He went on to earn a Ph.D. in 2016 from Boston University where he studied under Dr. Tom Kunz, a worldwide leader in bat ecology.

Nate's dissertation focused on white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease of hibernating bats that has dramatically impacted bat populations in North America.

After completing a 2-yr post-doc at Texas Tech University, Nate was hired in January 2020 as the Statewide Bat Specialist for Texas Parks and Wildlife where he remains focused on bat ecology and white-nose syndrome management. He currently lives in Bat City, USA (Austin, Texas).

If you are an Envirothon Alumnus, Click Here to contribute your story.


The first Envirothon competition was created in 1979 by the Fulton, Luzerne and Schuylkill conservation districts and by 1984 the program expanded to a statewide competition and then nationally and internationally.

Now more than 15,000 high school students across the state compete in 67 county Envirothons.

Pennsylvania has won the International Envirothon competition in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2017 and frequently places in the top 10 and top three finishers.

For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Envirothon website.  Click Here to sign up for email updates.

Related Articles:

-- PA Envirothon Week: More Than 300 High School Students Take The Natural Challenge

-- Carmichaels High School Envirothon Team Thanks Everyone Who Helped Them Win 3rd Place In International Envirothon Competition!

Related Articles This Week:

-- Chesapeake Bay Foundation Launches Live Online Environmental Education Program-- OWL

-- Bucknell University 15th Annual River Symposium Call For Presentation Proposals

-- Wildlife For Everyone Foundation Awards Construction Contract For Accessible Wetland In Centre County

-- EPA Awards $300,000 Grant To Dickinson College For Project To Reduce Food Waste, Excess Dairy Manure

[Posted: Oct. 1, 2020]


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