Center For Ocean Sciences Education Excellence COSEE Alaska
Follow this link to skip to the main content
Select an Author:
Most Common Tags:
Climate change (39)
Arctic Ocean (25)
Changing Arctic Sea Ice (17)
Ocean and Climate Literacy (9)
Ocean Acidification (8)
Alaska Marine Ecosystems (7)
Communicating about Climate Change (7)
Marine Ecosystem Science (7)
Bering Sea (5)
Communicating Science (5)
Culturally-relevant Science Education (5)
Carbon Cycling (4)
Alaska K-12 Science Education (3)
Changing Species Distributions (3)
Gray Whale (3)
Herring (3)
Polar Bear (3)
Walrus (3)
Alaska Native Perspectives on Climate Change (2)
Changes in Alaska Marine Ecosystems (2)
Changing Ocean Current Patterns (2)
Gulf of Alaska (2)
Humpback Whales (2)
Salmon (2)
Temperature Patterns (2)
Traditional Knowledge (2)
Alaska Marine Ecosystem (1)
Alaska Natives (1)
Arctic Ecosystems (1)
Arctic Sea Ice (1)
Bowhead Whale (1)
Changes in Ocean Current Systems (1)
Changing Alaska Marine Ecosystems (1)
Climate Change Impacts on Alaska Marine Ecosystems (1)
Climate Change. Sea Level Rise (1)
Collaborative Research (1)
communicating (1)
Global Climate Change (1)
Heat storage in the Ocean (1)
Intertidal Community Ecology (1)
K-12 Science Education (1)
King Salmon (1)
Lesson plans (1)
Long-term Temperature Patterns (1)
Marine Ecosystems (1)
Methane Hydrates (1)
Noise in the Ocean (1)
Ocean Data (1)
Ocean Water Temperatures (1)
Predation (1)
Red Algae (1)
Resiliency to Climate Change (1)
Ringed Seal (1)
Sea Stars (1)
Squid (1)
Sticklebacks (1)
The Bering Sea & the Aleutian Islands (1)
Tide Prediction (1)
Traditional Knowledge Changes in Alaska Marine Ecosystems (1)
Underwater Methane (1)
Warlus (1)
Water Temperature Patterns (1)
Weather Patterns (1)
Whales (1)
Award-winning High School Students at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium
02/13/2012 | Marilyn Sigman, Alaska SeaGrant/MAP

Three Alaskan high school students took a giant step into the professional world of marine science last week when they attended the Alaska Marine Science Conference, a four-day series of presentations and workshops related to current research in Alaska's seas. The Alaska Marine Science Symposium attracts more than 1,000 participants.

After winning awards at the 2011 COSEE Ocean Science "fair within a fair" at the Alaska State Science & Engineering Fair, China Kanter and Ember Eck, from Kotzebue, and Molly Brown, from Barrow, collaborated on a poster presentation for the AMSS with COSEE Alaska Executive Director Robin Dublin, Center for Cross-Cultural Studies Director Ray Barnhardt and Alaska Native Knowledge Network Manager Sean Topkok. There were over 250 poster presentations, the majority of which were from university and agency researchers.
At the 2011 Alaska State Science and Engineering Fair, China and Ember's award-winning project, The Big Easy, won the high school award in both the science and cultural-relevance categories that are unique to the COSEE-sponsored fairs. Molly’s project on bowhead whales, which was relevant to Molly's Inupiaq culture, won the middle school award in the culture category.

The Big Easy project began with China's observation about a lake that had shrunk in size over the course of a few years and the recognition by both China and Ember that this regional phenomenon had cultural and community implications as important breeding habitat for migratory birds was being reduced. They obtained aerial photography to determine the change in size from the 1950's to the present and researched possible mechanisms related to changes in permafrost and thermokarst topography. Molly started her inquiry with a question about the role of whale blubber in the buoyancy of whales and conducted experiments on the floatation properties of both whale meat and whale blubber.

At the Alaska Marine Science Symposium, all three girls described their projects in detail, answering hard questions from over 30 interested scientists during the 90 minute evening poster session. At no point did they know who was judging their work. At the Awards ceremony, they won the combined high school/undergraduate award, much to their surprise, and received certificates before an audience of approximately 750 scientists!

The students attended much of the conference, including the days which focused on the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea Large Marine Ecosystems, which are their "backyard." In addition, each was interviewed on film for small videos that will be developed to encourage other students to participate in the ocean science fairs. By the end of the conference, Molly was beginning to think she might become a marine biologist.
The ocean science fair program and travel for the three students and two chaperones was sponsored by COSEE Alaska.

<< COSEE Ocean Science Fair and Faces of Climate Change Videos Featured at the Alaska Forum for the Environment Back to Blogs - Home Alaska Marine Science Outreach and Education Partners >>