ECU Institute for Coastal Science and Policy Hosts Regional Ocean Sciences Academic Bowl

East Carolina University’s Institute for Coastal Science and Policy and the Division of Continuing Studies had the honor of hosting the 2012 Blue Heron Bowl on March 3, which is the regional competition for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. 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. This is the second year ECU has hosted North Carolina’s competition.

The competition consisted of 13 teams competing in timed, round robin sessions that included multiple choice and short answer questions within the broad category of ocean sciences. The top four teams then competed for top honors. Teams included four students, one alternate and a coach. Questions were 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.

The winning team was Raleigh Charter High School. Second place was East Chapel Hill High and third place was N.C. School of Science and Mathematics. Walter Williams High, of Burlington, was voted the most sportsmanlike team. Raleigh Charter High’s team will be provided transportation and room and board to the NOSB competition held April 19-22 in Baltimore, Md., where they will compete against 24 other regional winners.

Goals of the NOSB competition are to increase knowledge of the oceans and to raise the visibility and public understanding of the national investment in ocean-related research.

“This was an excellent opportunity for students to compete and learn more about ocean sciences,” said Kay Evans, co-regional coordinator of the Bowl. “We were pleased to have two new schools participate this year; Rose High of Greenville and Croatan High of Newport.”

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, scorekeepers and room runners. For more information, contact Kay Evans, Institute for Coastal Science and Policy, at 252-328-6220 or by e-mail at, or Dr. Jeffery Alejandro, Division of Continuing Studies, at 252-328-9197 or by e-mail at For additional information and photos from the Blue Heron Bowl, go to