Maine High School Students Compete for Spot in International Contest 

With the opportunities as vast as Maine’s backyard, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the competition for those jobs is growing.”We need wildlife biologists, geologists, hydrologists, ecologists,” said Mark Doty, Community Affairs Manager at the land and timber company, Plum Creek.The group sponsored this year’s state Envirothon competition held at the University of Maine. It’s the largest contest in Maine for high schools students focusing on environmental issues.”It’s definitely not easy by any means. There was a lot of extra time after school, and meetings and studying and developing our projects,” said Jacob Roy, a competitor for Spruce Mountain High School North in Jay.His team has won the last two years, but there are 15 other teams vying for the state title, this year.”It’s a gamut. They’re being put through a lot,” said Tish Carr, one of the contest’s hosts from the Maine Association of Conservation Districts.Teams go through a series of stations before presenting a proposal on how to take on a current issue affecting Maine’s outdoors.”They get tested for 30 minutes on hands on stuff, like how to use a compass, how to use a Biltmore Stick,” said Carr.The winner will earn a spot at the international round, where they’ll face teams from all across the U.S. and Canada.The goal of the event, though, isn’t to produce winners and losers, but rather to challenge students to do even more than just compete.”I really want to do something with wildlife. I love animals,” said Allyson Mitchell, who was there representing Hampden Academy.Her teammate, Sadie Allain, agreed.”I’m interested in the environment. I know it’s pretty to look at, but what more is there?” said Allain.The winner was Team 1 from Spruce Mountain High School North.They’ll head to Pennsylvania in July for the international round.