Summer 2009

Education News

Marshfield High School Wins National Ocean Sciences Bowl

In a come-from-behind race to the finish, Marshfield High School pulled off its first-place victory at the 12th annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl competition held in late April in Washington, D.C.

The five Marshfield students made up a 45-point deficit in the last six minutes of the competition, which featured 25 high school teams from across the country.

“In my eight years of coaching, I have never been involved in, nor heard of a recovery like this in any match anywhere, let alone in the finals at the Smithsonian Institute and in front of an elite crowd of scientists, dignitaries and the brightest young science minds in the country,” said teacher Paul Herder.

The Marshfield team earned the right to represent Wisconsin in the national competition by winning the Wisconsin Lake Sturgeon Bowl, supported in part by UW Sea Grant. UW Sea Grant Education Coordinator Jim Lubner accompanied the Wisconsin students to Washington, D.C. Lubner also arranged a field experience for the team on Virginia’s Eastern Shore following the competition.

“This team represents the best of the best,” said Marshfield High School Principal Gordie Sisson.

“As they left the school on the way to their flight, I jokingly told them to not come home without a victory. Little did I realize that they would accomplish just that.”

The prize for winning the event is an all-expenses paid trip to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

New Maritime History Geocaches

A high-tech treasure hunt, lots of fresh air, and a dash of Wisconsin’s maritime history—these elements combine in 10 new geocache trails in Manitowoc.

Geocaching involves using a hand-held geographic positioning system (GPS) to search for a “cache,” a small container hidden by another geocacher. Participants get the latitude and longitude (now often called “GPS coordinates”) of the cache location from a Web site, and they navigate to that location with their GPS units. Finding the cache itself, however, is done the old-fashioned way—by simply looking around.

For Manitowoc’s maritime geocaches, each trail leads participants along a series of waypoints. At each waypoint, visitors interpret clues—found on anchors, signs, buildings, and other maritime artifacts—to find the next waypoint.

Trail themes include “Manitowoc Shipbuilders,” “Two Rivers’ Fishing Traditions,” and “The Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company at War.” The Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc has GPS units available free of charge for visitors to use, plus a booklet describing each trail. The trails were established by the Wisconsin Historical Society as part of a project funded by UW Sea Grant.

The Wisconsin Historical Society created the trails as part of a UW Sea Grant-funded project.

The Aquatic Sciences Center is the administrative home of the
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute & University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute.

©2011 University of Wisconsin Board of Regents