NOSB 2011 Research Project

Human Responses to Ocean Events

2011 student research papers

The Research Project

This project will count as 50 percent of the 2011 Alaska Region NOSB competition. The document will be worth 25 percent and the oral presentation will count as 25 percent toward the 50-percent total.

Final papers are due 1 December 2010.

The research project is optional. Teams can compete in the quiz bowl portion of the Tsunami Bowl without doing a project, but since the project is responsible for half of a team's total score, a team not doing the project has no chance of being the overall winner and progressing to the national competition in April 2011.

See the document preparation guidelines for deadlines and instructions on how to prepare the research paper.

The Topic

This year’s theme should focus on humanity’s impacts, reactions, and adaptations to natural oceanic phenomena such as hurricanes, tsunamis, sea level rise, and harmful algal blooms (not limited to these!) or to man-made phenomena such as oil spills, eutrophication, fishing bycatch, and overfishing (again, not limited to these!). This is a very general topic, and you will need to focus upon a particular topic (e.g., adaptations to climatic oscillations). This topic is intentionally broad. It is expected that different teams will develop different types of plans. There is no cookie-cutter answer. Be creative! It is important that you communicate your ideas clearly and completely.

For this project you are asked to develop a plan for implementing an ecosystem-based approach to management of a local marine resource in response to changes brought about by your defined local, regional, or global event.

This means you need to pick your oceanic phenomenon and demonstrate a firm understanding of this event for the reviewers.

  1. Describe your ecosystem and define the role of various target species in it. (Note: this should be fairly restricted—not the entire North Pacific, or entire Arctic, or whole Bering Sea!)
  2. Develop a multispecies management plan with defined goals.
  3. Prioritize what research is needed for successful management.

Reviewers will be looking to see how well you describe your agent of change and your study area. Also of importance are the following:

Note carefully: The reviewers are looking for novelty, insightfulness, and clarity. Be sure to define your scenario. What is the problem? Why is it a problem? Who or what can realistically help the situation? What future research should be done to guide us to improve the situation? Use facts to build your arguments but don’t be afraid to think about the facts in new ways. What are the broader impacts of your ideas? Who or what is affected? Why is this important to them or to you? Present more than facts. Synthesize the information to present the situation from beginning (facts) to end (ways to improve, cope, ameliorate or eliminate the impacts of your particular situation).


The written project is worth 25 points.

Tsunami Bowl Report Rubric—February 2011 Team Total Total Possible
TEAM NAME:      
  1 2 3 4   4
Relationship to defined topic/community Below average: very little relationship to topic, topic not well defined Average: some relationship to topic but not fully developed Superior: clear relationship to topic, topic well defined    
  1 2 3 4   4
Overall creativity of plan Average: traditional ideas with few insightful elements Above average: evidence of insightful elements Superior: highly insightful and creative, contains unique elements    
  1 2 3 4   4
Completeness of plan Weak start and weak ending, or disjointed Weak start OR weak ending OR unclear details Clear plan with obvious objectives and impact    
  1 2 3   3
Incorporation of research (traditional scientific sources, interviews, etc.) Limited use of research Average use of research materials Superior use of research    
  1 2 3 4   4
Clarity of communication Weak communication skills Average communication skills Superior communication skills    
  1 2 3   3
Use of graphics Limited use of graphics Average use of graphics Superior use of graphics (clear and creative)    
  1 2 3   3
Overall appearance of report Poor Average Superior    
Grand total   25

Note: As in the past, a minimum of three judges will evaluate each paper and the cumulative scores will be averaged.


General writing, research, and presentation resources

Addresses for submitting papers

Email electronic submissions to:

Mailing address for paper copy

Dean Stockwell
Institute of Marine Science, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 757220
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7220

Physical address for hand-delivery of paper copy

Dean Stockwell
234 Irving II Building
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7220