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Marine Sciences Research Center Hosts February 2 Event

STONY BROOK, N.Y., January 23, 2002—Eighty students representing 16 school districts from Long Island and New York City will participate in a day-long quiz competition at Stony Brook University focusing on marine sciences. The New York Regional Ocean Sciences Bowl, one of 18 competitions across the country leading up to a national championship, will take place on Saturday, February 2 from 9:30 AM-5:00 PM at the Student Activities Center.

The event, sponsored by the KeySpan Foundation and organized by the University’s Marine Sciences Research Center (MSRC), is part of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, which is operated by the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE)—a research group representing 67 oceanographic institutions and aquaria. Nationally, the science bowl competition involves more than 1,600 students from 320 high schools and is designed to stimulate interest among high school students in the marine sciences in an effort to develop the next generation of marine scientists, educators, and policymakers.

“We are delighted to host this event,” said Bill Wise, Associate Director at Stony Brook’s MSRC. “Because of our nationally renowned programs in marine sciences, our geographic location, and our active involvement with the schools and school districts in the area, Stony Brook is a natural site to hold such an exciting competition.”

Each of the teams representing the participating schools is made up of five students who are required to “buzz in” to answer questions in a Jeopardy-style format. Categories include biological oceanography, marine geography, marine technology, and social sciences. A sample question from past competitions is, “Sixty kilometer-wide strips of the ocean floor can be mapped using (a) the GLORIA sonar system (b) an echo sounder (c) explosion seismic surveys or (d) SEASAT altimeter?”

Points are allotted for each question. The morning competition session will determine the seeding for an initial single-elimination round in the afternoon. Teams surviving the single-elimination round enter a double-elimination format leading to the crowning of the New York Regional Champion. The winning team advances to the National Ocean Sciences Bowl finals in Providence, R.I. on April 26-29.

The participating high schools in the New York regional are Locust Valley, Brentwood, Half Hollow Hills West, General Douglas MacArthur, Smithtown, Longwood, John Glenn, Seaford, Carey, and Mount Sinai, all from Long Island; Mary Louis Academy, Regis, The Smith School, Fort Hamilton, and Saint Ann’s, from New York City; and Churchville-Chili from Rochester.

The event is also sponsored locally by Batelle Corporation, the Ward Melville Heritage Organization, the New York Sea Grant Program, the Miller Environmental Group, the Living Marine Resources Institute at MSRC, and Mr. Paul Windels, Jr.

The correct answer to the sample question is (a) the GLORIA sonar system.

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