From the left, Addy Mallott, Tias Carney, Elin Antaya, Adrian Whitney and Jack Schwarting, who make up Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé’s National Ocean Sciences Bowl, the Locolithophores, won the Tsunami Bowl, Alaska’s regional NOSB competition, held this year in Seward, in order to advance to the national finals in May. (Courtesy photo / Debbie Lowenthal)

From the left, Addy Mallott, Tias Carney, Elin Antaya, Adrian Whitney and Jack Schwarting, who make up Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé’s National Ocean Sciences Bowl, the Locolithophores, won the Tsunami Bowl, Alaska’s regional NOSB competition, held this year in Seward, in order to advance to the national finals in May. (Courtesy photo / Debbie Lowenthal)

Juneau team washes away regional oceanography quiz bowl

Juneau was the last team in the water of the thirteen teams who came to play.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé’s National Ocean Sciences Bowl team, the Locolithophores, dragged their opponents into the crushing depths as they washed away 12 other teams to win the Alaska regional round.

The team will advance to the national championship in May against other teams from the rest of the country’s inland and ocean coasts.

“Marine sciences is a really broad field. NOSB is a really fun activity if you’re into academics or learning about the ocean,” said team captain Tias Carney in a phone interview. “We always appreciate more people. We had a lot of kids on our team this year- we had A, B and C teams.”

[Judge says redistricting board did not follow constitutional process]

The competition, hosted in Seward this year, returned to an in-person model, Carney said. The team this year had about 15 kids, said Shelby Surdyk, JDHS’ oceanography teacher and one of the co-coaches of the team. The team’s name, the Locolithophores, is a pun on Coccolithophores, a kind of phytoplankton, that the students came up with, Surdyk said.

“There is huge value in having in-person events, and I am grateful for the strict COVID mitigation protocols that UAF and JDHS set in place to make the event possible,” Surdyk said in an email. “In Seward, students had a chance to tour the Seward Sealife Center and participate in a really cool (Alaska Vocational Technical Center) Maritime Simulation.”

The oceans are both vast and deep, source of all life on our planet and covering nearly three-quarters of the surface of the Earth. The subjects students have to be briefed on are equally broad, Surdyk said, including chemical oceanography, physical oceanography, marine biology, geology, engineering, maritime policy and history. Students pick sections to specialize in according to preference, Carney said.

“I love the physical oceanography- waves, current, tides. I mainly specialize in that,” Carney said. “One team member, Elin Antaya, specializes in biology. She also was our head research coordinator.”

The competition itself was brisk, Carney said, with a hard-fought last round.

“The final round was very low scoring. The questions were very challenging. Most early rounds, I feel like if we got them wrong we had the right idea,” Carney said. “There was a lot of random facts. There was a few social science ones. There were a couple on currents I definitely should have got.”

Carney said both a family connection and an interest in the ocean he may continue in college with led him to NOSB.

“My dad was a former coach for around ten years,” Carney said. “I always hoped I could do it in high school.”

This year’s competition also marked an important milestone for the NOSB here in Alaska, Surdyk said.

“This year was the 25th anniversary of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, and I believe that JDHS has participated in every Alaska Tsunami Bowl since the start,” Surdyk said.

The NOSB Finals will be held digitally May 6-15, according to their website.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of July 13

Here’s what to expect this week.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wedesday, July 17, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Cars arrive at Juneau International Airport on Thursday, July 11, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Juneau seems to have avoided major disruptions following global technology-related outage

911 centers, hospitals, airport, and public safety and emergency management agencies are operating.

People take photos of local dignitaries during the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Teal Street Center on Thursday afternoon. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Teal Street Center celebrates with ribbon-cutting a year after social agencies begin providing services

Nine organizations providing legal, disability, counseling and other help open under one roof.

Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. board chairman Ethan Schutt is seen during a special board meeting on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, in Juneau. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Dunleavy reappoints Permanent Fund Corp. board chair Schutt after weeks of uncertainty

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has reappointed Ethan Schutt to a public seat on… Continue reading

Employees gather in front the historic Red Onion Saloon in Skagway, which will be taken over by Juneau restaurant owner Tracy LaBarge at the end of the summer tourism season. (Photo courtesy of the Red Onion Saloon)
Owner of Tracy’s King Crab Shack buys historic Red Onion Saloon in Skagway

Tracy LaBarge will take over the establishment after the 2024 summer tourism season

A memorial started on Front Street in downtown Juneau for 35-year-old Juneau resident Steven Kissack, who was experiencing homelessness, grows on Thursday with food donations and suicide hotline information. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
As the death investigation of Steven Kissack begins, special prosecution office explains its process

Reviews can be lengthy, information limited to ensure due process, Department of Law leaders say

In this screenshot from a streamed court hearing, Attorney Thekla Hansen-Young (bottom right) speaks in front of a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 18, 2024, in San Francisco. (Screenshot)
Federal appeals court appears unlikely to halt Southeast Alaska king trolling for now

A lower-court order that could stop fishing has been placed on hold since last year.

Bulk food in Food Bank of Alaska’s Anchorage warehouse on April 21, 2023. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Most Read