Updates or Questions regarding State Competition

24 Mar 2015 4:00 PM | Anonymous

Please check back here regularly for updates or clarification regarding the state competition.

In the event Advisors have questions, they will be posted and answered below. Please contact the Georgia Envirothon Council at georgiaenvirothon@gmail.com if you have questions.

Advisor Questions:

The information below was sent in an e-mail on 3/23/15.

An advisor submitted a few questions and we have made an attempt to clarify with these responses. For those who have already prepared your presentations, hopefully this will not complicate things, but you may consider making adjustments if necessary. These responses are also posted on the website.

At this point in time we will not be able to clarify any additional questions. This is so that we do not put one team at more of an advantage/disadvantage as a result of limited time to revise their presentation.

Aspects of the scenario may be unclear, but this is to be expected and will be considered when the judges are evaluating presentations. Judging a team's ability to interpret the information provided is certainly part of the process.

Note: Consistent with an actual professional team of arborists, if the Mayor did not provide all of the necessary information, or if additional clarification is required to make particular recommendations, then the team should explain what and why they need additional information/clarification. This will indicate to the judges a deeper level of thinking and explain why they may have misinterpreted the Mayor's original intent. With that being said, teams should not spend their entire presentation complaining about how confused they are, but rather attempt to provide the Mayor with a solution to the scenario given the resources provided.

On a different note, please be sure to have everyone registered by Wednesday! Click here if you have not registered. I have also attached the schedule of events, and a list of some recommended items to bring. Thank you all for your participation and we look forward to seeing you on Friday!

Good Luck,
Josh


QUESTIONS/ANSWERS

Question: We are confused about the Tree Board Development from the scenario. It is our understanding that the tree board will be volunteers from the community who will make decisions about the urban forest. If so, why do they count as hours. Are the hours for the 15 workers and 5 supervisors? That is our guess, but it is not clear. If so, the tree board would have unlimited hours given that they are volunteering and cost no money to operate. Also, the tree board would be the group that would create the ordinance, correct? If so, why are there hours associated with the development. Can you clear this up for us?

Answer:
The intent was to demonstrate the potential amount of consultant's time to create/foster/or manager each activity.

1. Tree Board Development.... why do they count as hours?
Answer: Because it takes staff time to start and properly engage with a tree board. While the volunteer benefits of such time are quite large, time will always be needed for member orientation, recruitment, and to serve as a liaison between the board and government operations.

2. Are the hours for the 15 workers and 5 supervisors?
Answer: Not outside of training. The work of the workers and the supervisors is already a given regardless of the activities of the consultant... and its assumed they have responsibilities other than trees, so their time and expertise does not allow them to change gears and completely focus on trees.

3. Tree Board Hours and Budget?
Answer - We've accounted for the consultant's time and budget it takes to develop the board, so they are not cost free. However, a tree board saves time and aids in promotions, which we are hoping the students will recognize.

4. Tree Board Creates Ordinance?
Answer - Not ideally, however, some credit towards the development of the ordinance is appropriate.

If approved, the budget allows you 340 hours and $16,250 dollars per year to dedicate to the project. The city staff already have full work schedules, so their time cannot be credited towards the total hours needed to complete any task other than training. Any money you do not use in a given year may be rolled over to the next year. Ordinance development can be spread across several years and will take at least several years to complete. A tree board (if established) is composed of volunteers. If a tree board is established, you may discount the time it takes to complete Strategic items by 50% and Promotional items by 25%.


GEC Updates:

The information below was sent in an e-mail on 3/24/15

Advisors,

Just a few reminders/clarifications.

1. Please be sure that students bring their Envirothon T-Shirts to be worn on Friday and Saturday. If a student forgets a t-shirt, or if anyone would like to purchase additional t-shirts, we will have more available for $10/shirt at the event.

2. As a clarification to how the current issue will be conducted this year, the two on-site questions that will be given to the teams during the sequestration period are not questions that will have to be integrated into their presentations. These are essentially more standardized questions that are added to the Judges' Q&A to create a more fair evaluation of a team’s knowledge. Consider it an opportunity not to be surprised by the questions "on the fly", but rather an opportunity for the team to take an hour to come up with the correct answer and determine how they would like to collectively answer the question when it is posed during the Q&A. The teams will be writing their responses on a paper and turning them in at 3:00. They will have the opportunity to have their papers back after the presentations are finished and before the Q&A starts. Professionals are not always blind-sighted by questions and this is an opportunity to allow our "professional arborists" to respond in a more calculated and confident way. With that being said...

Judges still have the opportunity to ask questions based on nuances of a teams presentation in the final portion of the Q&A, but the two on-site questions will create at least two apples-to-apples questions to reduce Judges' subjectivity, determine if the team has a general understanding of the materials, and eliminate the team from depending on an advisor or professional for answers. Though the rubric is generally the same as in previous years, the distribution and weight of points has been shifted slightly to account for this element.

3. Several advisors have asked about lodging for bus drivers. We will be able to accommodate bus drivers in the current lodging arrangements, but it may require individuals to use bunk beds and share a room with 2-3 other adults depending how many adults stay over night. The only thing we need you to do is have your bus drivers register here and select the bus driver option. If you've already filled out a "guest" registration for them, just let us know when you get to the competition.

Lastly, don’t forget your linens, towels, toiletries etc! You can find all the necessary information on the Competition>Forms tab on the website if you want to double check!

Thanks for your participation and we are looking forward to seeing you all on Friday in Fort Valley!


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