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March 9, 1998

A whale of a good time

Team from Aptos High School takes first place in Science Bowl

The team from Aptos High School will travel to Washington, D.C., in April to compete on a national level.

By Francine Tyler

Students from Aptos High School took first place in the northern California regional Ocean Sciences Bowl, held Sunday, March 1, at UCSC. The event brought together teams of students from seven high schools to test their knowledge of the ocean. The 34 students spent the day fielding queries on the biology, chemistry, geology, physics, history, and economics of the ocean and ocean-related current events (more photos).

Dorris Welch, director of public education at UCSC's Long Marine Laboratory, called the event "an incredible success."

"We accomplished our goal of reaching out to more central and northern California high schools and getting the students and scientists together," she said. "In addition, we provided more than a competition event by including educational-enhancement activities, such as a behind-the-scenes look at the Long Marine Lab dolphin research and an opportunity to talk to whale researchers and take a tour of the campus."

As winners of the regional competition, the Aptos team will receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in April to compete in the first National Ocean Sciences Bowl. The national champions will head to Lisbon, Portugal, to observe the International Year of the Ocean at Expo '98.

Second- and third-place honors were taken by teams from Salinas High School and the Monterey Academy of Ocean Sciences at Monterey High School.

The event, said Dorris, "involved scientists, students, and educators from all around the Monterey Bay and beyond and proved to be both educational and fun."

The northern California competition was sponsored by the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE) in partnership with the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA). The UCSC Admissions Office and Friends of Long Marine Lab also cosponsored the event, which was hosted and organized by the public education program at Long Marine Lab.

Approximately 50 people from a wide range of marine-science facilities around Monterey Bay helped make the event happen. Event officials, including judges and scorekeepers, were comprised of faculty, researchers, marine managers, docents, and others from several Monterey Bay institutions, including UCSC's Institute of Marine Sciences, UCSC Advancement, Long Marine Lab, Moss Landing Marine Labs, Monterey Peninsula College, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

UCSC was one of 16 sites where regional competitions were held, including West Coast sites such as the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The sciences bowl was originally scheduled to take place on February 7. Because of severe storms that weekend, it was postponed.

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