Volume 3 2012

Two members of the winning National Ocean Sciences Bowl team from Marshfield, Wis., check out sea life while on their prize-trip to Hawaii in July.

Education News

Wisconsin Team Wins National Ocean Sciences Bowl in Continuing Streak

Coach Instrumental in Students’ Success

Paul Herder, a former Earth science teacher in Marshfield, Wis., has led a four-year winning reign for Marshfield High School in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB). The event is a competitive ocean sciences quiz that challenges high school students from across the country.

The four-person team from Marshfield, Wis., recently won the national tournament in Baltimore. Not only did the students complete rapid-fire buzzer questions, they conducted a mock expert science briefing involving an ocean bill that’s before Congress.

The secret to their success? “We’ve had some brilliant kids who have dedicated themselves to working hard and they enjoy their teammates’ company,” Herder said. Herder, who has retired from teaching and works for a mineral exploration company, hopes to help Marshfield with a fifth win. “The students want me to continue to coach, so if I’m permitted, I definitely want to coach again.”

Marshfield has won each year that Kathleen Meehan Coop has directed the NOSB. Only one other team has done that in the event’s 15-year history. She said the NOSB is designed to be fun and get students excited about the ocean.

For their prize, the landlocked Marshfield students will get a taste of the ocean—a trip to Hawaii to meet marine researchers. “While they are exciting trips to exotic locales, they have a strong science focus, which the students love,” Meehan Coop said.

Wisconsin Sea Grant supports the Lake Sturgeon Bowl—the Wisconsin state competition. In the event that Marshfield does not win the state contest next year, Herder said they still plan to be involved in the national competition because it will be held close to home in Milwaukee, the first time the NOSB will be held in a Great Lakes state. Meehan Coop said that hosting the event in Milwaukee will expose students from ocean states to the freshwater Great Lakes.

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