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May 4, 2011

Juneau high school team becomes first policy briefing champion at National Ocean Sciences Bowl finals

Galveston, Texas—A team of five Juneau-Douglas High School students won the policy briefing section of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl held April 29 to May 1 in Galveston, Texas.

The policy briefing component of the competition was added in 2011 so that students can gain a broader understanding of ocean science, law and public policy. As part of the competition, the students identified potential stakeholders impacted by aquaculture and presented an analytical report on how congressional legislation on aquaculture would affect these stakeholders.

The team interviewed UAF Marine Advisory Program agents, legislators, individuals from non-governmental organizations, and individuals involved in the aquaculture industry. The students also wrote recommendations on what they believed should be included in an aquaculture bill.

The Juneau team-- Tyler Houseweart (team captain), Seth Brickey, Martina Miller, Elise Christey and Sam Kurland-- won the regional NOSB competition, the Tsunami Bowl, in Seward in February. As first-place winners of the Tsunami Bowl, they received an all-expenses paid trip to the national competition in Galveston.

“I think that many people were blown away at how well the students from
Alaska did in this event,” said Dean Stockwell, a research associate professor of biological oceanography at the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and the science judge for the Tsunami Bowl.

“Their poise, maturity, work ethic and ability to orally communicate their policy was outstanding. This was truly an impressive effort,” added Stockwell.

The winners of the policy briefing section received a paid three-day trip to Washington and Oregon to meet with stakeholders involved in the West Coast shellfish industry.

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl was established in 1998 to encourage learning about the oceans and increase the teaching of ocean sciences in high schools. The Consortium for Ocean Leadership supports the NOSB. Several sponsors support the Tsunami Bowl, including the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and Alaska Sea Grant.

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