The International Jr. Foresters’ Competition is an annual event hosted by the Russian Federal Forestry Agency. It promotes and rewards young scientists for their interest and efforts in the environmental field and encourages international dialogue about forestry issues.
Individual youth ages 16-20 submit projects on topics such as forest science and silviculture, wildlife ecology and plant ecology. Projects will be presented to an international panel of judges (each contestant will give a 10-minute presentation) to compete for public recognition and valuable prizes.
Students from the United States participated in this event for the first time in 2012 and Tyler Myers and Emily Barnett’s entry won third place in the overall competition.
Tyler Myers says it was a unique experience. “I applied for the competition because I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that would have a huge effect on my life. I also wanted to take the challenge of taking on such a large project, especially because I knew I would be doing an important part in the research and preservation of my home, the beautiful Lake Tahoe.”
The 2013 competition will take place from Sept. 8-13 and will include time for sightseeing in Moscow as well as field trips to Russian forests.
The U.S. Forest Service International Programs office will provide a single scholarship to cover international travel for the selected American applicant. To compete for this scholarship, the deadline for submission of projects is July 15, 2013. In-country costs such as lodging, meals and ground transportation will be covered by the Russian Federal Forestry Agency.
Barnett offers advice to competition hopefuls. “Pick a topic that interests you and that has a significant scientific aspect to it. If you put your heart into it, the project will be much easier, but don’t underestimate the amount of work that is required for this project.” She also added, “If you make it, don’t forget to take lots of pictures!”