Arkansas students win Dolphin Challenge marine science competition

February 05, 2017

By Cindie Powell

Students from the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Science and the Arts (ASMSA) won the Dolphin Challenge, the northern Texas regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), held in Galveston on Saturday, Feb. 4.

Hosted by the Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University, the competition was held on the campus of Texas A&M University in Galveston.

ASMSA’s “Team A” of Tristan Tompkins, Jason Ly, Rebecca Parham, Juliet Green and William Duke, coached by Lindsey Waddell, will advance to the NOSB competition finals April 20-23 in Corvallis, Ore. ASMA, which took second place at least year’s Dolphin Challenge, is a public residential high school in Hot Springs, Ark. Schools in states without regional NOSB competitions can compete in the one closest to their school.

Second place honors Saturday went to the Coppell High School team, Nikita Belathur, Amie Deng, Anita Kalangara, Adrea Hernandez and Jingchun Quan, coached by Laronna Doggett with Assistant Coach Cathy Douglas.

Students from All Saints Episcopal High School in Lubbock — Tyler Phy, Cole Beasley, Abi Jordan, Sajan Dihenia and Sam Small — captured third place. Coached by Russ Hutcheson with Assistant Coach Elizabeth McGinnis, the team also won the Ralph Rayburn Sportsmanship Award. Named for the late Associate Director and Extension Program Leader at Texas Sea Grant, the award goes to the team judged by competition officials to best embody the spirit of earnest competition while demonstrating exemplary decorum.

NOSB is a quiz bowl-style competition, in which students answer questions in all disciplines of the ocean sciences: biology, chemistry, physics, geology, geography and the social sciences. It is managed nationally by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. NOSB is designed to encourage and support the next generation of marine scientists, policy makers, teachers, explorers, researchers, technicians and informed citizens to be stewards of the ocean. About 2,000 students from more than 300 high schools around the country participate each year.

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Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.