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Juneau Team Takes Fifth Consecutive Tsunami Bowl Trophy


Seward, Alaska—Can you name the chemical that is the principal source of energy at many of Earth’s hydrothermal vents?

Seth Brickey can tell you: The answer is “hydrogen sulfide.”

Brickey was named MVP for the Juneau-Douglas High School team, Absolute Vorticity, which took first place in last weekend’s Tsunami Bowl, the Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl. This is the fifth year in a row that a Juneau high school team has won the Tsunami Bowl.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Seward Marine Center hosted the competition Feb. 4-6 in Seward. The competition consists of two equally weighted parts: a quiz bowl academic competition designed to challenge students' knowledge of ocean sciences and a research project that has both written and public speaking components. This year, the research project focused on human responses to oceanic events.

Ben Carney, Absolute Vorticity coach and a teacher at Juneau-Douglas High School, said his team worked hard for their win.

“Absolute Vorticity won because they put in a tremendous amount of effort toward all aspects of the competition in a coordinated manner, set high expectations of themselves and functioned as a complete team at competition with a single goal,” he said.

Students on the team included Brickey, team captain Tyler Houseweart, Elise Christey, Sam Kurland and Martina Miller.

“I am proud of all the Juneau participants for putting in the level of work that they did,” added Carney.

The Tiger Sharks from Mat-Su Career and Technical High School took second place. Members included team captain Jonah Jeffries, Alonzo Gage, Chris Erickson, Aspen Melton and Shayla Jordan. The coach was Tim Lundt. The third-place team was from Cordova High School.

Twenty teams from 15 high schools across Alaska, from Unalaska to Ketchikan, competed in the Tsunami Bowl. This year, teams from Dillingham, Sitka, Kotlik and Scammon Bay competed for the first time.

The first-place team won a free trip to compete against other regional teams in the NOSB finals in Galveston, Texas in April. The top two teams won scholarships to the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Southeast.

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 regional competition, including the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and Alaska Sea Grant.

About SFOS

The School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. SFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.
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