Clark’s Environmental GIS honored for their work


Dominique Evans-Bye

Environmental GIS students receive recognition for their entry in the PEYA

Along with the Lexus Eco Challenge, members of Clark’s award-winning Enviros team entered the President’s Environmental Youth Program in late January. Along with eventually winning the Lexus Eco Challenge, last month the team received certificates signed by President Obama in recognition for entering.

The President’s Environmental Youth Program (PEYA) has a goal of “recognizing young people across the U.S. for protecting our nation’s air, water, land, and ecology,” according to their page on the EPA’s website.

The Enviros wrote an essay about the ways people can stop polluting the environment. Environmental GIS submitted the project to PEYA in January. They were acknowledged for their entry but did not win the first place prize, which would have included a trip to meet President Obama in Washington, D.C.

Fewer than 50 projects were submitted, since eligibility requirements included a group specializing in fields such as environmental conservation along with a mentor or teacher, such as science teacher Dominique Evans-Bye.

“We tried to make the project easy to understand for the average person, we didn’t want to confuse our judges,” said senior Allen Navasardyan. “We put a plethora of scientific research into our project to persuade people to properly dispose of trash at the local beach, or even in the sewer waterways.”

Navasardyan was in charge of editing the essay for the project and gathering information about the field trips and activities that Enviros did. The project included information about the different types of debris, such as cigarette butts, baby diapers, and plastic as well as the the extensive effort needed to clean them out of the ocean.

“I was surprised that we won,” said Navasardyan. “I was bummed after losing the first Lexus Eco Challenge we entered, but over time I gained more confidence in my group, mostly due to our teamwork. The recognition from PEYA was satisfying because now I have a certificate with Obama’s signature on it.”