Spoonbill Bowl 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - On Saturday February 18, 2017, USF College of Marine Science hosted the 2017 Spoonbill Bowl Competition.  At 7:30 in morning 18 teams from 13 from Florida’s West Coast regional high schools arrived, ready to have breakfast and start the day.  It was a fun filled day of fierce competition and lots of ocean science education for all involved -- teams and room officials alike. This year’s event could probably be considered one of the most exhilarating! The competition had many tie- breaker rounds going into the afternoon elimination rounds. The air was filled with nervous energy as the players of the final rounds took their places.

The winning round was played by the defending 2016 Champions, the Academy of Environmental Science (AES) A- Team, and the 2015 Champions, Eastside High School A-Team. When the final round’s time clock sounded it was Eastside High School’s A-Team from Gainesville Florida that emerged as the 2017 champions.  The Academy of Environmental Science (AES) A- Team won second place and the AES B-Team won third place. The Sportsmanship Award was won by Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School from Bradenton Florida. Continuing a Spoonbill tradition of a team t-shirt contest, the Durant High School team won the competition.

This event would not be possible without the overwhelming support of volunteers from the College of Marine Science and many of our neighboring marine agencies—Eckerd College, USFSP, USGS, FWRI, NOAA Fisheries, Florida Aquarium, Ocean Optics, Center for Open Exploration, Florida Marine Science Educators Association, Florida Sea Grant and World Power and Water.

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Katie S. Davis receives the Fish Florida Scholarship

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Katie S. Davis has received the Fish Florida Scholarship, awarded to students working toward improved public understanding of the marine environment.  Katie is a master's student in the College of Marine Science's Population Dynamics and Marine Ecosystem Analysis Lab, and her research is focused on the assessment of benthic communities along the West Florida Shelf using a Camera-Based Assessment Survey System (C-BASS).  The habitats of the West Florida Shelf support many economically-important reef fish communities and are composed of various algal, coral, and sponge species.  Using video from C-BASS, and in coordination with other researchers within the College, Katie is analyzing the presence of and associations between these organisms.
 
Katie is also an employee of NOAA Fisheries.  One of her goals is to communicate research so that the fisheries can better understand, support, and comply with regulations, and to find ways to enable the public to become more engaged in regulation-making processes.  "I believe that the more people know about the marine environment, the more they will appreciate and want to protect it," she says.  
 
"USF is fortunate to have [Katie's] talent, enthusiasm, and work ethic," says Lara Kramer, Director of the Fish Florida scholarship program, "It is Fish Florida's mission to promote public awareness of and encourage the protection of marine fisheries and coastal habitats.  Supporting future fisheries research and managers with scholarship funds is just one way of doing that."
 
A scholarship check of $2500 was sent to the University to be applied toward Katie's tuition for the Fall 2014 semester.
 
About Fish Florida: www.fishfloridatag.org
 
About C-BASS: www.marine.usf.edu/news/the-camera-based-assessment-survey-system-c-bass/