The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Tsunami of marine knowledge hits town


2012 Seward Tsunami Bowl team, back row from left; Alex Ashford, team captain; Breanna Honebein; Kara Knotek; Josephine Braun; and Lindsey Kromrey. Front; Coaches Maggie Herbert and Eileen Audette.

A tsunami with an estimated size of 100 ocean-minded high school students and their coaches will hit Seward High School on March 2-4 for the 15th regional National Ocean Sciences Bowl competition. Sixteen teams from high schools across the state will present a research paper and compete in a quiz bowl in which students answer rapid-fire questions that test their knowledge of ocean science concepts.

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl began in 1998 as a way to bring ocean science education to the nation’s high schools and to encourage high school graduates to pursue careers in science. This year, more than 2,000 students from 375 high schools nationwide will take part in regional competitions.

Prizes, including 1-year tuition waivers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and University of Alaska Southeast, are awarded for the top research project, the highest quiz bowl score, and other categories. The team with the most combined points wins the 2012 Alaska Tsunami Bowl and an all-expense paid trip to the NOSB finals in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Seward High School team, the PodCasts, includes team captain Alex Ashford, Josephine Braun, Brianna Honebein, Kara Knotek, and Lindsey Kromrey. Their research topic is “Sperm Whale Detriments to Black Cod Catches.” Jill Herbert is the coach advisor with senior student coaches Maggie Herbert and senior Eileen Audette, each 3-year participants.

The Tsunami Bowl also includes an optional NOSB Juried Art Show, “Ocean Connection” open to all ocean-themed artwork created by high school students from schools participating in the NOSB competition. An art show reception and art award ceremony will be held for the artists, guests and the public 7:30 p.m. March 3 at the Alaska SeaLife Center.

The public is also invited to watch the Tsunami Bowl competition held at the Seward High School. The oral presentations, which count for 50 percent of the overall score, begin at 8:15 a.m. March 2 and continue through Saturday morning. The Seward team presents at 3:30 p.m. March 2. The quiz bowl, the other half of the overall score, begins on Saturday afternoon and continues on Sunday morning. The Awards Ceremony begins after lunch at 1 p.m. March 4 in the Seward High School auditorium.

Major support for the Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl comes from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, based in Washington, D. C. Additional support comes from the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, the Alaska Sea Grant College Program, and NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Region, as well as many businesses and individual sponsors.

The Tsunami Bowl could not happen without the many dedicated volunteers who donate long hours and their expertise to make sure everything runs smoothly. Those who would like to help can contact coordinator Phyllis Shoemaker at the Seward Marine Center, 224-4312 or email at

For information about the Alaska Tsunami Bowl, the schedule, and updates, visit

Participating Alaska communities and schools: Cordova, Dillingham, Homer, Fairbanks (Hutchison High School), Juneau-Douglas High School, Juneau (Thunder Mountain), Kenny Lake, Ketchikan, Kotlik, Kotzebue, Mat-Su Career & Technical High School, Petersburg, Scammon Bay, Seward, Unaslaska and Wasilla.


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