2015 National Ocean Sciences Competition Focused on Science of Oil in the Ocean
(Washington, D.C.) – Returning champions Boise High School from Boise, Idaho won the 18th Annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl® (NOSB) Final, held April 23-26, 2015 at the Ocean Springs High School in Ocean Springs, Mississippi and hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.
Twenty-three high schools from around the United States competed in this year’s NOSB Finals Competition. The NOSB is an interdisciplinary ocean science education program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership based in Washington, D.C.
After competing in their respective regional competitions in February, 23 high school teams traveled to Ocean Springs this past weekend, almost exactly five years after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, for the opportunity to compete with their peers on their knowledge of the ocean during the 2015 NOSB Finals Competition. The timely theme for this year’s NOSB Finals was science of oil in the ocean. Since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico, there have been many advances in our understanding about both natural and introduced sources of oil and their impact on the marine and coastal environment. Through their participation in the NOSB, more than 1,800 high school students and 1,200 volunteers from the academic and professional ocean science community were exposed to this imperative knowledge.
The top eight teams at the Finals Competition were:
1st Place – Boise High School – Boise, Idaho
2nd Place – Dexter – Dexter, Michigan
3rd Place – Marshfield High School – Marshfield, Wisconsin
4th Place – Mission San Jose High School – Fremont, California
5th Place – Mount Sinai High School – Mount Sinai, New York
6th Place – Lexington High School – Lexington, Massachusetts
7th Place – Chaparral Star Academy – Austin, Texas
8th Place – Arcadia High School – Arcadia, California
For a full list of the 2015 NOSB Finals participants, click here.
“The NOSB provides many students who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity, to learn about the oceans in an exciting, fun and competitive way,” said Kristen Yarincik, NOSB Program Director. “This year, the top three NOSB Finals teams are from states with no direct access to the ocean. What a testament of the reach and scope of this program.”
Many past NOSB participants have moved on to pursue college degrees and careers in ocean science, helping to solve the growing environmental, economic and security issues facing our ocean and planet. Thirty-three high schools have implemented a marine science class due directly to the high schools’ participation in NOSB and 78 percent of NOSB coaches indicated that their participation in the Program has resulted in a large increase of ocean science content in their classrooms.
At both the regional and national level, the competition consists of buzzer-style, multiple choice questions and longer, critical thinking-based team challenge questions on ocean-related topics. During the weekend’s Finals Competition, the students also participated in the Scientific Expert Briefing (SEB) component, where they recreated a congressional testimony. The SEB provides students with a broader understanding of the interconnections between science, policy and the public.
In addition to the Competition, the students participated in a number of hands-on, science activities, including a career mentoring event with leaders in the science field; a talk with Dr. Vernon Asper, a professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, on his scientific work in the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; a dinner at the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum; and multiple fieldtrips, including a tour of the Point Sur research vessel, trips to West Ship Island and Horn Island, a Pascagoula River tour, and visits to Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Stennis Space Center & Infinity Science Center.
“These scholars are the future stewards of our ocean and the key to growing the blue economy,” said Sherri Goodman, President & CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. “The NOSB experience encourages their leadership, team development and solution solving skills while continuing to learn about ocean science disciplines and how to wisely use our ocean resources for generations to come.”
Other winners were also named at the annual Finals Competition, including the James D. Watkins Sportsmanship Award winner. Sanger High School of Sanger, Texas won the Sportsmanship Award, which is voted upon by the volunteers for demonstrating the best sportsmanship throughout the weekend-long competition.
The first and second place teams received all-expense paid awards trips to Juneau and Sitka, Alaska and Corpus Christi and Port Aransas, Texas respectively, to conduct scientific research with local field experts. The third place team received GoPro video cameras for each team member and the coach to capture and share their scientific explorations. The other top teams received Amazon gift cards for marine science textbooks. The Sportsmanship winner also received a gift card as well as the same buzzer system used in the Competition.
The 2015 national NOSB program is made possible through the following sponsors:
- Office of Naval Research
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Wendy & Eric Schmidt
- Deerbrook Charitable Trust
- G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation
- IEEE Ocean Engineering Society
- Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative
- Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- University of Southern Mississippi
- Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
- The Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation
- Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation
- Wells Fargo
- Wyland Foundation
- American Meteorological Society
- National Marine Educators Association
- Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative
- Marine Technology Society Gulf Coast Section
- Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant
- Texas Sea Grant
- Louisiana Sea Grant
- Leave Only Bubbles
- Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum
- Southern Association of Marine Educators
- Mississippi Power
- Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation
- Russell B. Dobbyn & Puzzles USA
- From the Bow Seat
- Dauphin Island Sea Lab
- University of Chicago Press
- Harvard University Press
- Ocean Springs School District
- Smoothie King
- Little Caesars
About National Ocean Sciences Bowl
The National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) is a program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership based in Washington, D.C. NOSB seeks to interest students in pursuing a college degree and future career in the ocean sciences. Through this educational forum, the NOSB strives to encourage and support the next generation of marine scientists, policy makers, teachers, explorers, researchers, technicians, environmental advocates and informed citizens, to consider and appreciate the ocean.
About Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Ocean Leadership is a Washington, D.C. nonprofit organization that represents 89 of the leading public and private ocean research education institutions, aquaria and industry with the mission to shape the future of ocean science and technology. In addition to its advocacy role as the voice of the ocean research and education community, Ocean Leadership manages a variety of community-wide research and education programs in areas of ocean observing, ocean exploration, and ocean partnerships.