Kodiak students have been hard at work studying marine science in order to exhibit their knowledge at the Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl state qualifiers this week.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks event determines which teams continue onto the national level. There’s some stiff competition, says Kodiak coach Switgard Duesterloh, who conducts the class as an after-school activity.
She explains some other schools have full marine science programs with an entire class dedicated to the Tsunami Bowl. The Kodiak students are hard at work with that in mind and, Duesterloh says, since all five students on the team are returning from last year they know what to expect.
“It has been a lot of fun coaching them this year because the students already knew what this was about, they had no false perceptions of how competitive the Tsunami Bowl is and why I’m asking them to put so much work and time into this.”
Duesterloh says it’s satisfying to see them striving to improve their own performance.
As part of the competition, students write an essay on a chosen research topic, which this year was “ecosystems based management in a warm North Pacific,” and Duesterloh says it was the most challenging topic she’s seen in her 6 years of coaching Tusnami Bowl.
“The students had to understand ecosystem based management, and that’s a very big and convoluted topic in itself, so this year’s topic was very complex and I’m very proud of the team of high school students to have managed to tackle this big topic and kind of draw it together.”
Student will give a presentation about the research topic and also participate in the science bowl section of the competition, where judges read off questions and the players buzz in their answers.
The team heads off to Seward Thursday for the event.