Austin, Sanger teens excel at 2015 National Ocean Sciences Bowl

May 13, 2015

By Cindie Powell

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The winners of both of Texas’ regional National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) competitions received awards at the 2015 national finals in Ocean Springs, Miss., April 23-26.

Competing against 22 other regional champions from around the country, Austin’s Chaparral Star Academy took seventh place honors at the quiz bowl-style contest for high school students. The team — Kimberly Brockhausen, Alex Clarke, Brady Romero, Jason Cannon and Tad Ellsworth — was coached by Kris Barnett, with Allyson Fox serving as assistant coach. The students won the Loggerhead Challenge, the regional competition for the southern part of Texas held at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, to advance to the national competition. Chaparral Star Academy also won sixth place at the national finals last year.

The students from Sanger High School — Kierstin Bradley, Trent Hopson, Zach Fargo, Jacy Beam and Jaret Gillum — were honored with the James D. Watkins Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes the team that best embodies the spirit of earnest competition while demonstrating exemplary decorum. The team, coached by Lori Bradley with assistant coach Kathy Vidourek, won the Dolphin Challenge, the northern Texas regional NOSB competition held at Texas A&M University at Galveston. It is the fourth time, and the third consecutive year, that a Texas team has received the sportsmanship award at the national competition; the last two times have been Dolphin Challenge winners.

Texas’ two regional competitions are hosted by the Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University, and Terrie Looney, the program’s Coastal and Marine Resources Agent for Jefferson and Chambers counties, is the NOSB regional coordinator for both.

“I’m very proud to see Texas manners recognized at the NOSB competition,” Looney said. “Both of the Texas teams were outstanding, and I could not be more thrilled at how well these students performed.”

NOSB tests students’ knowledge 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. In 2015, more than 1,800 high students participated, and many past NOSB participants have pursued college degrees and careers in ocean science.



The Sanger High School team won the James D. Watkins Sportsmanship Award. Pictured are, from left, Jaret Gillum, Jacy Beam, Kierstin Bradley, Trent Hopson and Zach Fargo.

Austin’s Chaparral Star Academy took seventh place at the competition. Pictured are, from left, Tad Ellsworth, Brady Romero, Kimberly Brockhausen and Alex Clarke; not pictured is team member Jason Cannon.


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.