GHC Envirothon Team rises against competition at the San Bernardino Forestry Challenge

By Megan Guerrero

Members of the GHC Envirothon Team forestry division competed at the San Bernardino Forestry challenge last month, winning multiple awards at the competition. There were three different teams competing at the four-day camping event. 

Team 19 is composed of freshman Valentina De La Torre and sophomores Brooke Miller, Uma Inaishi, and Tasmin Shamsul. Their team achieved the highest score of 221.5 points for their Forest Management Plan as well as a 146/150 on the San Bernardino Forestry field test. This was the Envirothon team’s highest score on the test in the team’s 5-year history. 

The other two teams achieved top 5 in presentation. Team 21 including seniors Lelah Shapiro, Jennie Yarnell, Ellinai Moronez Lopez, and Ashlyn Kelly earning a 196.5/200 overall score and Team 20 with Tyler Tutak, Anika Nawar, and Miles Hagan earning a 192.5/200 overall score. 

Each team was trained in different forestry tools and knowledge to start collecting data on the forest’s trees, which they compared to 2015 forest data. The teams presented a Forest Management Plan to real foresters and professionals. The goal of the plan was to help protect the forest. 

The team tested their field skills, such as knowing how to measure the height of trees, using different forestry technology, and identifying trees. 

Students from Team 19 have now qualified to compete at the Forestry Challenge State Championships next April in Crescent City, as they have earned over the required 200 points at the San Bernardino challenge.

The Envirothon team as a whole plans to compete at the Envirothon State Championships at the Wind Wolves Preserve in Bakersfield next April, where winning the competition would qualify them to represent the state of California at the North American Envirothon Competition next summer in New Brunswick, Canada. At this competition, they will create a solution from a 10-page scenario regarding Envirothon’s 2023 current issue: the changing climate. 

Before they compete against other California teams to go to Canada and create plans to support our changing climate, the entire team must conduct research and master the Envirothon organization’s Four Disciplines, which are aquatics, soils, wildlife, and forestry. All members of the team all specialize in these different fields of knowledge to achieve their best performance. 

Although different members of the team all specialize in the different disciplines, they all have one interest in common: their passion for protecting our Earth’s climate through science.

“I think making a difference regarding the environment is super important because things such as climate change are big issues right now, and the community of Envirothon offers me with a mutual interest in environmental science,” Miller said.