Fall 2016 UMass Amherst Workshop for coaches and teams

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Link to UMass Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment’s article

Kick off the 2016-2017 Envirothon year with this introductory workshop.

  • Learn about this year’s current issue: Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation and get ready to investigate the soil and water issues in the gardens, farms, and forests (including urban forests) in YOUR community.
  • Get started on ecostation topics: soil, water, wildlife, and forest
  • Bond with your teammates and meet other students and coaches from across the state
  • Have fun and check out UMass Amherst!


8:30 Registration opens.  College of Natural Sciences reception for coaches. Welcome activities for Envirothon team members.

9 – 2:10 Opening and 4 concurrent sessions with a lunch break.

Current Issue topics and speakers:

Getting Started on Current Issue Research – Will Snyder (UMass Center for Agriculture)

  • Droughts and Flooding in MA? Now what? – Christine Hatch (UMass Dept of Geosciences)
  • Soil Formation – Isaac Larson (UMass Dept of Geosciences)
  • Principles of Soil Health I and II – Thomas Akin, USDA NRCS
  • Forest Ecology, Forest Soils, and the Drought – Lena Fletcher (UMass Department of Environmental Conservation)
  • Understanding Water Movement in Soils – Paul Barten, UMass Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Fertilizers, Runoff, and Water Quality – Holtze Wijnja, Massachusetts Dept of Agriculture
  • Wetland plants and Soils – Deborah Henson, UMass Environmental Science Program
  • Walking tour of soil and water issues at Simple Gifts Farm in North Amherst – Jeremy Barker-Plotkin, Organic farmer
  • Tour the Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing lab – Tracy Allen, UMass Extension

Plus workshops by Envirothon curriculum leaders:

Forest: Joe Perry, Mass Department of Conservation & Recreation (Forestry)

Wildlife:  Walt Tynan, MassWildlife

Water:  Kelley Freda, Mass Department of Conservation & Recreation (Water Supply Protection)

Soil:  Al Averill, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service


This workshop is free for registered teams. All other schools need to pay $10 per participant- these fees will be deducted from your program registration for this year.  Contact Brita Dempsey, Mass Envirothon Coordinator, for details at massenvirothon@gmail.com. Students should bring a lunch or plan on purchasing one at one of many UMass eateries. Parking is available at a small cost at the UMass parking garage. School buses and vehicles with state plates park for free – call for specific parking information.

2016-umass-workshop-final agenda

Other 2017 Workshops