National marine science competition coming to Alaska
Submitted by Carin Bailey Stephens
Later this week, up to 125 marine science experts will converge in Seward to share their knowledge of the world's oceans.
These experts aren't professors or graduate students. They're teenagers and they could challenge any oceanographer in a trivia game about ocean science.
The National Ocean Sciences Bowl, a rigorous high school marine science competition, will be held in Seward April 25-27. For the first time in competition history, the NOSB will bring twenty-five teams from high schools around the country to Alaska.
To compete in the national finals of NOSB, high school students compete in regional competitions across the United States, including Alaska. The winning five-member team from each region earns a free trip to the finals. Last year, the finals were held in Stony Brook, N.Y.
This year's high school teams hail from as far away as Florida, New Hampshire and Texas. Other regions that will be represented in Seward include Kona, Hawaii; Long Beach, Miss.; Cranston, R.I.; Dexter, Mich.; Sandy Hook, N.J.; and more.
Alaska's own winning team from Juneau-Douglas High School will compete in Seward for the national title. Team members include Ross Douglas, Stephen Kubota, Kayla Harrison, Molly Emerson and Trentyn Days. The team is coached by Ben Carney.
Since other regional teams won a trip to Alaska, UAF is sending the Juneau-Douglas team to California in late May for visits to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and the Exploratorium in San Francisco. The team will receive the trip as a reward for winning Alaska's regional NOSB competition.
NOSB organizers estimate that the national event will bring more than 250 students, volunteers, judges and family members to Seward. Among the activities planned for the students include a naturalist-guided trip on the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward, tours of the Alaska SeaLife Center and a Kenai Fjords cruise in Resurrection Bay donated by Renown Tours.
This year marks the 11th year of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. This event is supported by multiple sponsors from within Alaska and around the nation.
The UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 graduate students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. SFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.