This testing site is usually at a pond or streamside environment.  Areas of testing
include the functions/ importance/values of wetlands, groundwater/surface water, point/nonpoint source pollution, water quality monitoring, endangered and threatened species, management and legislation pertaining to streams and wetlands, the identification of aquatic species and their life cycles, and the identification of macro-invertebrates as water quality indicators.


Students must identify species of trees from their leaves, bark or fruit and know the commercial uses of different timber species.  They must know about forest management plans and timber harvesting activities.  They need to use a Biltmore Stick to determine the number of board feet in a tree, how to plant a tree, major forest insect pests and diseases, fire control and how to interpret aerial photographs and topographic maps.  They must figure out slope using a hand level and tape.


In addition to knowing the types of soils found in New York State, students answer questions pertaining to soil formation, pH, cation exchange, permeability, drainage, slope, characteristics and the identification of hydric soils.  The major causes and effects of soil erosion and sedimentation are also covered.  Students must know how to read and use a county soil survey.

Students must know the agencies, programs and state laws that govern NYS wildlife.  They identify pelts, tracks, and droppings.  They must know the feeding habits, range, habitat and physical characteristics of common New York wildlife species; the differences between herbivores, carnivores and omnivores; what species are endangered or threatened; the food web, energy flow and the theory of natural selection.


Each year the North American Envirothon Committee selects a Current Issue Topic. The topic for 2017 is "Agricultural Soil & Water Conservation Stewardship". Students are presented with a problem statement pertaining to the current issue topic. Then, they must formulate an answer and, as a team, present their answer to a panel of judges. This panel is comprised of professionals from various environmental disciplines throughout Erie County.