Story last updated at 3/11/2009 - 10:58 am
JUNEAU - For the third year in a row, high school students from Juneau have won first and second place in the Tsunami Bowl, Alaska's regional version of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, a three-day-long, rapid-fire competition about the ocean, complete with jeopardy-style buzzer sessions, written questions and team research projects. The Tsunami Bowl was held February 6-8 in Seward.
The winning team, the Juneau-Douglas High School "Naughty Nautilli," will travel to the NOSB finals in April in Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History's Sant Ocean Hall. Last year, the NOSB finals were held in Seward. At the finals, the winning teams from 25 regions across the U.S. compete for the national title.
This year's second-place team is a combined team from Thunder Mountain High School and Juneau-Douglas High School. The Juneau teams worked closely throughout the school year, spending several hours per week studying together and competing in practice buzzer sessions.
The Juneau-Douglas team was coached by Ben Carney, a three-year NOSB veteran, and the combined Thunder Mountain/Juneau-Douglas team was coached by Jake Jacoby, a newcomer to the competition. Juneau high school students have dominated the Tsunami Bowl since it began in 1998, with nine first place wins in the past 12 years.
"When people congratulate me on our performance, I say: 'The kids did it,'" Carney said. "It is easy to look good when surrounded by talent."
The Juneau teams edged out a third place team from Cordova High School for the overall win. Although the Cordova team won the quiz portion of the competition, the Juneau students excelled in the research project portion of the Bowl.
Both first and second place teams won scholarships to their choice of either the University of Alaska Fairbanks or the University of Alaska Southeast.
The first-place team members include Kayla Harrison, Molly Emerson, Stephen Kubota, Jacob Pernula and Tyler Houseweart.
View a slideshow of photographs from the competition at www.sfos.uaf.edu/nosb/gallery09.