Grunion Bowl 2012

How well do you know your ocean science? Try answering a few sample questions from this year’s Grunion Bowl, held at Scripps Institution of Oceanography earlier this month (answers at bottom of page).

1). The habitat of blue whales, tunas, and swordfishes is best described as:

a) Benthic

b) Littoral

c) Estuarine

d) Pelagic

2). What is the name for a zone where temperature rapidly changes with depth? ______________

3). What is the approximate age of the oldest oceanic crust?

a) 100 thousand years

b) 1 million years

c) 50 million years

d) 180 million years

A Grunion Bowl team competes on competition day.

More than 100 students from around the region answered questions just like these at the Grunion Bowl, one of 25 regional competitions held across the country as part of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. The goal of the program is to increase high school students’ knowledge of the oceans and enhance public understanding and stewardship of the oceans.

Each year more than 2,000 students nationwide from 300 schools compete in regional Bowls. The Southern California competition is known as the Grunion Bowl in acknowledgement of the spring grunion runs along our shores. Other creatively named contests include Connecticut’s Quahog Bowl, Florida’s Spoonbill Bowl, and Oregon’s Salmon Bowl..

Birch Aquarium at Scripps educators work throughout the year to help high school teams compete at the regional event. Students, mentors, and teachers participate in scrimmages, marine biology classes, and exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of working Scripps labs.

On competition day, students compete in “Jeopardy”-style, round robin matches to determine varsity and jr. varsity winners. Recognitions are also given for  sportsmanship and team spirit.

This year, Scripps Ranch High School – long-time participants and models of sportsmanship – took home the first place trophy for the first time. Coach/teacher Patty Fowler and Birch Aquarium’s own Youth Summer Intern Jose Cuevas helped lead the team to victory.

Varsity Winner Scripps Ranch High School

Results of the 2012 Grunion Bowl

Varsity League

First Place: Scripps Ranch High School (Team A)

Second Place: Dana Hills High School (Team A)

Third Place: Escondido Charter High School (Team A)

 Jr. Varsity League

Dana Hills High School (Team B)

Team Spirit Award

Tesoro High School

Sportsmanship Award

Carlsbad High School

Congratulations to all our regional high school teams and good luck to Scripps Ranch, which advances to the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland, from April 19-22.

How did you do? Answers 1)  d, Pelagic  2)  Thermocline  3)  d, 180 million years

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Scripps Institution of Oceanography UC San Diego