2015 4-H Florida Forest Ecology Contest Winners

April 18, 2015

Natural History
Participants at the 2015 contest.
Photo credit: Larry Korhnak, University of Florida

The Florida State 4-H Forest Ecology Contest took place April 18, 2015 at the Austin Cary Forest between Gainesville and Waldo, Florida. Over 70 youth, parents, and coaches gathered for this annual test of forest ecology knowledge and skill.

Groups of contestants from six counties rotated through stations as they identified trees, plants, wildlife, and insect or disease specimens, answered questions about forest ecology and management, measured tree height and wood volume, interpreted map symbols, and followed a compass course. Teams of seniors continued with a Quiz Bowl competition on forest management. Volunteers from the Florida Forest Service, the US Forest Service, and the School of Forest Resources and Conservation were on hand to coordinate stations, answer questions, and teach skills.

Lake County Juniors took home a ribbon for the highest scoring team from a county new to the competition: Riley Brew, Sosa Lopez, Ricky Sigler, and Tyler Swann.

Congratulations to the following individuals who had the highest scores in their age categories:

  • First Place Junior Individual: Isabel Dempsey of Marion County
  • Second Place Junior Individual: Kailey Samuel of Marion County
  • Third Place Junior Individual: Gwyneth Lynch of Marion County
  • First Place Intermediate Individual: Cayla Smith of St. Johns County
  • Second Place Intermediate Individual: Elise Barfield of Polk County
  • Third Place Intermediate Individual: Jonathan Vonesh of Alachua County
  • First Place Senior Individual: Timothy Caswell of Marion County
  • Second Place Senior Individual: Jeremy Smith of St. Johns County
  • Third Place Senior Individual: Henry Keating of St. Johns county

The following individuals represented their counties with winning team scores:

  • First Place Junior Team: Isaiah Caswell, Grace Force, Gwyneth Lynch, and Kailey Samuel of Marion County
  • Second Place Junior Team: Kaitlyn Eubanks, Easy Sorel, Sunny Sorel, and Benjamin Wolking of Alachua County
  • Third Place Junior Team: Isabel Dempsey, Marshall Foster, Hannah Popson, and Breely Yeomans of Marion County
  • First Place Intermediate Team: Alexa Dinges, Cameron Kerr, and Cassidy Rountree of Suwannee County
  • Second Place Intermediate Team: Caleb Arsenault, Corey Banks, Harrison Keating, and Cayla Smith of St. Johns County
  • Third Place Intermediate Team: Rhianna Brown, Taylor Dykes, William Eubanks, and Jonathan Vonesh of Alachua County
  • First Place Senior Team: Timothy Caswell, Lydia Force, Mary Force, and Deanna Foster of Marion County
  • Second Place Senior Team: Henry Keating, Jeremy Smith, and Robert Wibbing of St. Johns County