By Oregon Coast Aquarium
Newport, Oregon— “Hailing from the central Oregon coast, the ‘Nerdi Nautili’ have battled 50 mph winds, 60 foot waves, and countless cheesy jokes to be here today!”
This spirited statement is part of the group biography for the “Nerdi Nautili,” the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s team of six high school students that placed first at the Salmon Bowl this past Saturday. Their win secured them a spot to compete at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl in Boulder, Colorado in April.
The Salmon Bowl is a regional competition where teams of high school students compete for a spot at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, a nationally recognized and highly acclaimed academic competition managed by The Consortium for Ocean Leadership. The program provides a forum for talented and passionate students to test their knowledge of the marine sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics, and geology.
The Aquarium Team, comprising of high school students Genevieve Coblentz-Strong, Abbey DuBois, Noah King, Jeremy Schaffer, Jensen Davis, and Noah Goodwin-Rice, won first place out of fourteen teams. Students, teachers, families, coaches, and volunteers traveled from all over the state of Oregon and Idaho to participate in and watch the event hosted by Oregon State University (OSU). In addition to the trip to the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, the first place prizes include an OSU scholarship for Juniors and Seniors, a Marine Discovery Tours cruise, an annual membership to the National Marine Educators Association for the coach, and of course, the coveted Salmon Bowl First Place Trophy.
Teresa Mealy, Oregon Coast Aquarium Youth Programs Coordinator, coached the team leading up to and during the event. “Our team is made up of youth volunteers who have been active in our Summer Youth Program,” Mealy said. “The program aligns with the Aquarium’s mission. These students are looking to take that next step and learn more about the ocean while also diving deep into a possible career.”
In addition to testing marine science knowledge, the competition provides a unique and rare resource to connect students with other like-minded peers and current ocean experts and policy-makers. “Many of the sponsoring organizations are universities that offer marine science programs,” explained Mealy. “This might be the first or only opportunity for a student to directly connect with or learn about higher level education in this invaluable field.”
For students interested in participating next year or simply in pursuing an interest in marine science, Mealy encourages contacting the Aquarium about our Summer Youth Program and/or the Oceanscape Network. Youth interested in volunteering are also invited to the Aquarium’s official Volunteer Recruitment Day on Saturday, April 14.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a partner with the Oregon Coast STEM Hub. The Oregon Coast Aquarium creates unique and engaging experiences that connect all to the Oregon Coast and inspire ocean conservation. An accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums institution, this 501(c)3 non-profit organization is ranked as one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. Visit us at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. www.aquarium.org, 541-867-3474. Follow on Facebook.com/OregonCoastAquarium, or Twitter.com/OrCoastAquarium for the latest updates.