ECU to host 2011 Blue Heron Bowl


ECU’s Institute for Coastal Science and Policy and the Division of Continuing Studies will host the 2011 Blue Heron Bowl, which is the regional competition for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl.

This is the first year ECU will host North Carolina’s competition, which will now rotate every second year between ECU, UNC Wilmington and UNC Chapel Hill. The Blue Heron Bowl will be held Feb. 26, 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., with opening remarks beginning at 8 a.m. in Bate 1032.

Coordinated by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, NOSB is a national academic competition that quizzes high school students on topics related to the study of the oceans and Great Lakes.

The competition consists of 18 teams competing in timed, round-robin and double-elimination sessions that include multiple choice and short answer questions. Questions are drawn from the scientific and technical disciplines used in studying the oceans, including physics, chemistry, geology, atmospheric science and biology, as well as from topics on the contributions of the oceans to national and international economics, history and culture.

Teams include four students, one alternate and a coach. The round-robin portion of the competition will be held beginning at 8:30 a.m. in Bate. Semi-final, double-elimination rounds will continue in the afternoon with the final round at 5:30 p.m. in Bate 1031; the awards ceremony will follow at 6 p.m.

One winning team, two runner-up teams and a “most sportsmanlike” team from the Blue Heron Bowl will each receive a prize and will be provided transportation and room and board to the NOSB competition April 29 – May 1 in Galveston, Texas, where they will compete against 24 other regional winners.

Winning team members of the national competition also will receive a prize. Past prizes have included trips to Southampton Oceanography Centre in England; the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies on Catalina Island, Calif.; the Florida Keys; cruises on research vessels; visits to oceanographic institutions; scholarships; scientific equipment and books.

Goals of the NOSB competition are to increase knowledge of the oceans and to raise visibility and public understanding of the national investment in ocean-related research. The competition also gives oceanographic research programs the opportunity to develop new connections with their local pre-college community and to open students’ eyes to ocean-related careers.

Ultimately, the success of the Blue Heron Bowl requires the concerted efforts of many volunteer staff and sponsors. Sponsors help offset the costs incurred, while volunteers serve as moderators, scientific judges, rules judges, timekeepers and scorekeepers.

Sponsorships and volunteer opportunities are still available for the Blue Heron Bowl. Interested parties should contact Dr. Jeffery Alejandro, Division of Continuing Studies, at 252-328-9197 or by e-mail at alejandroj@ecu.edu, or Kay Evans, Institute for Coastal Science and Policy, at 252-328-6220 or by e-mail at evanssu@ecu.edu.

For additional information about the Blue Heron Bowl, go to www.ecu.edu/icsp/bhb/2011.

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