Kodiak High School students will again compete in the Tsunami Bowl this year.
The competition, Feb. 4-6 in Seward, consists of student presentations and a round-robin quiz bowl.
“The first day is always the student presentations,” said Switgard Duesterloh, Ocean science discovery program coordinator and tsunami bowl team coach. “All the different teams from high schools around the state give their presentations in front of judges and then they finish with the last teams on Saturday morning and go right into the quiz bowl part.”
The quiz bowl questions are challenging, and can be asked about anything relating to the oceans.
This year the competition’s theme for the research paper and presentation is human impact on the ocean. The Kodiak team’s focus is on the effects of bio-waste from fish processing on organisms and nutrients on the ocean.
“They went out and went to the community and interviewed someone at a fish processing plant and a few scientists,” Duesterloh said. “They also did Internet and literature research.”
Kodiak High School’s team has five students, all new to the competition. They are the first group from the oceanography class started at the high school this year. In previous years, teams sent to the Tsunami Bowl were made up of students taking it as an extracurricular activity.
Both the class and Tsunami Bowl are great for science learners, Duesterloh said.
“There’s a national effort being made to increase ocean literacy,” she said. “Preparing students for this provides a great opportunity for ocean literacy and gets them exposed to issues our oceans are facing and gets them interested.
“It’s especially important for students from coastal communities like Kodiak.”
The high school team will give a practice presentation of their topic at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center today at 6 p.m.