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Envirothon challenges Odessa students

KEUKA PARK—Five Odessa-Montour students went to Keuka College Wednesday and Thursday, May 27 and 28, for Envirothon; an environmental educational competition.
Teams of students from the across the state representing 57 counties came to the college for its first year hosting the event.  The students give an oral presentation the first day and on the second day were tested on five areas; forestry, wildlife, aquatics, soils/land use, and current issues; biodiversity in a changing world.  The team from O-M placed 19 out of 57 and was made up of Ryan Muller, Adam Zimmer, Katie Griggs, Grace Terry, and Matt Kautz.  It was everyone’s first year doing the competition except for Zimmer and Muller.
Kautz said that for their oral presentation the five students talked about the Finger Lakes region, specifically the Finger Lakes National Forest.  Griggs said they talked about how revenue could be found by using this resource.  The options O-M presented included drilling for oil, timber management, camping fees and decreasing the number of cows allowed to graze but increasing the price.  She said the money could then be used towards improving the forest, like finding a cure for tree blight or increasing horse trails.  Because O-M’s presentation was in the morning, the students also had the chance to drive up to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge at the northern end of Cayuga Lake.
Griggs explained that at each station on the second day they were asked 10 hands-on questions and 15 general knowledge about the specific subjects.  The teams were then graded out of 100 points.  This portion of the event was held outside at Davis Pond.  Muller said the team did great in soils, wildlife and forestry.  Griggs and Zimmer both said forestry was their strongest area, because of their parents.  Professor Timothy Sellars was the only Keuka College staff member to have one of the stations; aquatics.
Tioga, the winner of this competition- will go on to represent New York at the national competition in July in Asheville, N.C.

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