For Hub City Times
WASHINGTON — On April 23 students from Marshfield High School (Marshfield, Wisconsin) took second at the national finals of the 20th annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) held at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. An interdisciplinary ocean science education program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, the NOSB tests students’ knowledge of ocean-related topics, including cross disciplines of biology, chemistry, policy, physics, and geology.
Students on the Marshfield team, coached by Paul Herder, included Suhaas Bhat, David Gui, Muhammad Abidi, Carter Chojnacki, and Emma Raasch. The team won eight-straight matches to reach the final round.
The Santa Monica High School (Santa Monica, California) team won the event to earn the school’s first national championship.
For taking second, the Marshfield team will receive an all-expenses paid trip to New Jersey to join local experts in conducting scientific research this summer. Team members will visit the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, experiencing its varied terrestrial, wetland, and aquatic habitats. They will also spend time at Monmouth University, which calls itself the “Coastal University” with a campus located within a mile of the Atlantic Ocean and in close proximity to a number of estuarine and terrestrial ecosystems.
“This was an amazing way to celebrate our 20th anniversary,” said Rear Adm. Jon White, president and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. “I’m extremely impressed by the knowledge, sportsmanship, and enthusiasm for ocean science displayed by all of the teams. I look forward to the next 20 years, both watching how the NOSB will grow and develop as well as seeing the innovative accomplishments of today’s students, who are tomorrow’s leaders.”
To reach the finals, the 25 qualifying teams first had to win their regional competitions. In total, approximately 392 teams — made up of 1,960 students representing 33 states — participated, adding to the more than 30,000 students who have passed through the ocean sciences competition over the last 20 years.
This year’s theme was Blue Energy: Powering the Planet with Our Ocean. The use of marine renewable energy — generated from the continuous movement of surface winds, tides, and currents as well as differences in salinity and temperature — reduces greenhouse gas emissions while keeping oceans healthy and productive to help meet the world’s growing energy demand.
“You can’t help but walk away from this competition feeling inspired and hopeful for the future,” added Kristen Yarincik, NOSB program director. “The students put in countless hours, on top of their regular school requirements, and we got to see that all come to fruition this weekend, but they aren’t the only ones putting in long hours. We have hundreds of volunteers … who, combined, have dedicated thousands of hours as judges, moderators, question writers, timers, and scorers to make this event possible.”
Students enjoyed several hands-on science activities over the weekend, including a beach cleanup with Surfrider Foundation, a tour of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Operations Center – Pacific, a trip aboard the Oregon State University research vessel Pacific Storm, a clamming adventure with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and a tour of Oregon State University’s O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory.