research project


NOSB 2001 Research Project: Environmental protection plan

For the NOSB 2001 Research Project and Oral Presentation, high school teams will develop a long-term environmental protection plan for a local aquatic and/or marine ecosystem. Each team will write an in-depth research paper outlining their plan and give an oral presentation during the Alaska NOSB competition in Seward.

Because of the open-ended nature of the project, it is very important that teams focus on a specific problem that they will be able to research comprehensively. All teams are strongly urged to submit a one-page project outline to Susan Sugai ( no later than 13 October 2000. She will critique your intended project, give you suggestions on how to focus your efforts, and suggest specific references and resources.

2001 student research papers

Research project description


Document preparation guidelines

Judging criteria

Why a research project?

The Research Project:

This project will count as 50 percent of the 2001 Alaska Region NOSB competition. The document will be worth 25 percent and the oral presentation of the project will count as 25 percent toward the 50-percent total.

The Topic:
Produce a 50-year environmental protection plan for a local aquatic and/or marine ecosystem. Issues to be considered include (but are not limited to): human population changes; pollution; climate change; changes in consumption of fresh water; plant and/or animal species; introduction of exotic species; impacts of industries (e.g., logging, mining, tourism); impacts of fishing (sport, commercial, subsistence, aquaculture). Regardless of the specific ecosystem addressed, your environmental protection plan must: be long-term (50 years), carefully assess current knowledge about the ecosystem, consider both scientific and socioeconomic impacts of any proposed actions, present a means of monitoring the system for both positive and negative changes, and address means of providing long-term funding for the plan.

The Task:
Welcome to the real world of science, where you have to deal with problems having no definitive answers. This quandary will call for creative thinking on the part of each team and its members. Your task will be to collect as much information and data as you can. Based on your research and your understanding of aquatic and marine ecosystems, propose an environmental protection plan and present it in a cohesive report. To do this project, your team should either contact or consult written reports on your study area by federal and state agencies, fishing industry organizations, native corporations and the university research community. Track down local sources, or do your own research. You have to find as many details as you can from many different information avenues. From all the varied bits of knowledge and points of view that you explore, you will have to determine what elements of your ecosystem warrant special attention.

Your document should propose means to improve our understanding of the environmental problem you select. Each team is expected to cover all the pertinent scientific and socioeconomic aspects of the topic and prioritize them. Include information on the magnitude of the problem, and how Alaskan industries and communities are impacted. Recommendations should be made on how to assess whether your environmental plan is working and how you will go about revising the plan throughout the 50-year timescale. All recommendations made should follow logically from the material documented in the manuscript.

The following people have volunteered to be resource folks for the NOSB project.

  • Dr. Larry Duffy, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UAF (in Fairbanks at 474-7525,, offered to assist schools out west and work students into his ongoing projects. He will seek travel funds to visit those schools in the fall.

  • Alaska Department of Conservation has watershed coordinators that are willing to work with NOSB students. They are:
  • Chuck Meacham, former deputy commissioner, Alaska Department of Fish & Game (in Juneau at 463-3335,, offered to assist with fish ecological issues.

Document Preparation Guidelines

Judging Criteria

2000 student research papers | Info for coaches and teams

Research paper archives | NOSB home page

Valid HTML 4.0! This page is HTML 4.0 validated. It was last updated 16 August 2001. Contact: ASG web coordinator.

NOSB home