High School Team Led By Indian-Americans From California Wins National Finals At 24th Annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl

A high school team led by Indian-Americans from San Ramon, California-based Dougherty Valley High School, has bagged the first place in the national finals at the 24th annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl.  

The NOSB is an interdisciplinary ocean science education program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. It tests how knowledgeable students are on ocean science topics, such as cross-disciplines of biology, chemistry, policy, physics, and geology. 

This year’s competition was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The championship team comprised Venkat Ranjan (captain), Harish Balasubramanian, Prayrak Bajaj, Daniel Zhu and Bryan Yan. 

The theme this year is ‘Plunging into Our Polar Seas’. The students had to learn about scientific processes of the changes taking place in the Arctic and Antarctic. 

RADM Jon White, president and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, was quoted as saying, “Polar science is one of the most important — and rapidly changing — fields within Earth science, and NOSB students rose to the challenge of studying it with the dedication and enthusiasm I’ve come to admire from these future ocean leaders. Congratulations to our winners and to all teams who participated in our regional bowls and at the national level, and many thanks to all of this year’s numerous volunteers who made this challenging, virtual NOSB a tremendous success!” 

One particular Arctic study was highlighted by this year’s theme — the Multi disciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate, or MOSAiC, project. 

As part of this year’s event, the teams also presented science recommendations on legislation in the Science Expert Briefing, a mock congressional hearing. 

The award session this year will also be held virtually due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The top four teams will be given exclusive opportunities to talk to leaders in the ocean science community to discuss their career paths and much more. Dr. Jyotika Virmani — executive director of the Schmidt Ocean Institute — will be one of the leaders in the ocean science community with whom the top four teams will get to interact. Each of the top eight teams will be given gift cards. 

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