The Tsunami Bowl is an annual regional ocean sciences competition in Alaska, which is part of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. The bowl begins on Friday and runs through Sunday.
Each team of students was required to prepare a 20-page research paper that was submitted in December, and will be required to give a 20-minute oral presentation on the topic at the Tsunami Bowl.
The teams received general guidelines for the research paper, and narrowed down their ideas to a specific topic. The Kodiak team completed a research paper about salmon restoration in Karluk Lake.
“You get a broad statement and then you get to pick,” high school junior Hannah Christian said. “Our topic was estuaries and then you get to pick something within it. We looked at doing something outside the area, but decided to keep it on a local level.”
The research project is 50 percent of the final score, and the other 50 percent is a timed quiz match.
Senior McKenzie Barnett is the only returning bowl participant. She said the competition in the quiz match is intense.
“The actual presentations aren’t that bad, but you know you’re being watched and know you’re being critiqued,” Barnett said. “You get to the actual quiz bowl and that gets competitive. They answer before the question has been completely asked.”
The Kodiak team includes Hannah Christian, John Roy, Chellene Medina, Deborah Bitango and McKenzie Barnett, and is coached by Switgard Duesterloh and Jane Eisemann.
The students have been preparing for the bowl since the start of the school year.
Senior John Roy said he joined the team to learn something new.
“I wanted to gain more experience and try something new outside of my comfort zone,” he said.
The goal of the competition is to introduce students to ocean studies and the importance of ocean research. Duesterloh said the Tsunami Bowl is a good way to give high school students an introduction to the importance fisheries plays in Kodiak.
“We live on an island and fisheries is one of the most important economies in our town, so educating our kids in ocean literacy is about the most important thing we can do,” Duesterloh said. “For some of these students it may show them a future career.”
The Kodiak Regional Aquaculture Association, Kodiak College and Kodiak Lions Club funded the trip.
Since the Tsunami Bowl began in 1998, Juneau-Douglas High School has won 12 of 15 bowls. A team from Kodiak High School won the 2002 competition.
The winning team from Friday’s contest will go on to compete against other regional teams from across the U.S. in an April competition in Milwaukee, Wis., and will receive one-year tuition waivers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Southeast.
Contact Mirror writer Nicole Klauss at firstname.lastname@example.org