March 21, 2019  

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Gulf Coast Research Laboratory to Host Hurricane Bowl Competition

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Students from 15 different high schools will converge on The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs early Saturday for the 2016 Hurricane Bowl.

The Hurricane Bowl is an annual ocean science competition where teams of four or five students answer trivia questions and thought-provoking team challenge questions. Southeastern states such as Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee will be represented at the competition.

“The schools practice tirelessly all year for the competition,” said Aaron Lamey, Hurricane Bowl regional coordinator. “Only one of the 23 teams will have the chance to advance and travel to North Carolina for the National Finals.”

The all-day competition begins at 8 a.m. and continues until one team becomes victorious and is named regional champion. In 2016, it is estimated that 2,000 students from more than 300 high schools with compete throughout the nation.

Lamey, a marine educator at the GCRL’s Marine Education Center, oversees the competition and recruits teams to compete each year. Through a diversity grant, he is also able to help recruit and prepare teams from underrepresented schools.

“It’s a great opportunity to encourage and support students to pursue careers in ocean sciences,” Lamey said. “We take great pride in reaching out to those who are considered underrepresented and giving them equal opportunities.”

This year’s competition will mark the 19th year the GCRL’s Marine Education Center will host the regional event. The theme of the 2016 National Ocean Sciences Bowl and the local competitions is “Our Changing Ocean: Science for Strong Coastal Communities.”

Officials with the Consortium for Ocean Leadership said the theme was chosen as a timely and relevant topic due to escalating populations, erosion, flooding and storm impacts being among the stressors that impact our nation’s coasts.