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August 25, 2009

Spartanburg team places top 20 at North American Canon Envirothon

The five member team of high school students from Spartanburg, who won 1st place at the state-level competition in May, came in 17th place at the Canon Envirothon competition held at the University of North Carolina, Asheville. Along with 51 other teams from the US and Canada, the Spartanburg team competed in the areas of aquatics, biodiversity, forestry, soils, wildlife and oral presentation in the event held from August 2-8.
           
Advisors Vaughn Vick (teaching AP Chemistry) and Rob Wilder (teaching AP Environmental Science) from Spartanburg High School, coached these students through the test areas and the materials that needed to be covered. If you'd ask them though, they'd tell you that the students did all the work.
           
The students included: Marquan Jones, William Weir, Philip Chambers, David Stevens, Hazel Lever and Vaughn Vick.
           
The week of testing culminated in the presentation of the team's recommendation to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners of where to place a new civic center; at the existing site, on a new site on the top of Beaucatcher Mountain, or at an alternate site to be proposed by the team. Posing as an independent, environmental consulting firm, the team presented their environmental impact studies and recommendation to a board of five local natural resource experts who formed the judging panel (the Buncombe County Board).
           
"It was inspiring to see the students weave together all the information they acquired from each of the test stations," said Joy Sullivan, S.C. Envirothon Coordinator with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "It takes maturity and a certain comfort with all the technical information to pull off a well-rounded presentation, and the students did a great job."
           
The S.C. Envirothon program has been in the state since 1997, offering scholarships to the top three teams, and an opportunity for all participants to learn more about our natural world, and the sometimes conflicting issues that arise with its management and use.

South Carolina's natural resources are essential for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy. Find out why Life's Better Outdoors.


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