Decorah High School was well represented at the regional Envirothon competition: 45 DHS students–nine teams of five–recently took the regional test to qualify for the state competition. Two teams will represent Decorah at state, including last year’s defending state champions Team DNR: Lucas Arendt, Connor Evelsizer, Gabriel Hiner, Anders Lovstuen, and Aiden Nalean-Carlson. The other team to represent Decorah at state will be Team Skabush: Riley Berns, Carson Bohner, Alex McGohan, Nathan Swarbrick, and Henry Weis.

Five of the nine teams who competed should have qualified for the state competition, but the “Decorah Rule” has been in effect since 2007 after four Decorah teams qualified to compete in the state contest in 2006. Until that time, no one school had ever qualified more than two teams in the top 15. Now only the two top finishing teams from the same school are allowed to move on to state competition.

Other teams who represented Decorah are as follows:

7th place Leaf Me A Loam: Phuong Doan, Reid Kuehner, Emily Myers, Mason Myers, and Kellen Roffman

8th place Blundstone Babes: Hannah Arendt, Caden Branum, Eily Hegdahl, Lily Sandhorst, and Amelia Wadsworth

12th place The Eco Warriors: Elliot Berland, Lawrence Christman, Kathleen Delphey, Beau Newhouse, and Clarence Nimrod

Team Oh Scotland, My Scotland: Mara Branum, Elsa Christman, Mikayla Hiner, Nora Lesmeister, and Kaylie Wemark

Team Fun Run 5: Spencer Christensen, Margaret Hahn, William Hahn, Nina Sessions, and Myla Leitz

Team Squirrel Friends: Grace Blikre, Natalie Goodner, Chloe Sheffield, Ava Steine, and Kamryn Steines

Team Toni: Thatcher Brown, Thomas Davis, Jack Hammell, Owen Rix, and Oskar Swanson

The Envirothon is designed to stimulate, reinforce and enhance interest in the environment and natural resources among high school students. Envirothon challenges students to hone critical thinking skills and create inventive solutions to the complex local and global environmental and natural resource issues facing the world today, whether in the field or in the classroom. Teams of five work together while increasing their knowledge and critical thinking skills to conduct hands-on investigations, solve real-life scenarios, and answer written questions covering five categories: Aquatics, Forestry, Soils, Wildlife, and a Current Environmental Issue. Each team is tested of their knowledge of each of these categories at the regional level.

The state competition will be held at Jasper Nature Center in Granger, Iowa on April 29th. The team finishing with the top score at this year’s state competition will represent Iowa at the International Envirothon contest to be held July 28 through August 3 at Hobart and William Smith College, located in Geneva, New York.

Envirothon advisor Larry Berland remarked, “I am so proud of all of the students that participate in our school’s Envirothon program. They have stepped forward to accept the challenge that our troubled environment presents to everyone. They have and will continue to leave a positive footprint!”

The Envirothon competition, North American’s largest high school environmental education competition, is sponsored by the conservation districts of Iowa.

Team DNR

Team DNR (l-r): Aiden Nalean-Carlson, Lucas Arendt, Anders Lovstuen, Connor Evelsizer, and Gabriel Hiner

Team Skabush

Team Skabush (l-r): Alex McGohan, Henry Weis, Nathan Swarbrick, Riley Berns, and Carson Bohner