VIMS alum coaches team to Blue Crab victory

VIMS alum Kevin Goff (MS 2002) coached the Chesapeake Bay Governor's School team to a first-place finish in this year's Blue Crab Bowl, a high school academic competition focused on the ocean sciences.

Goff, who earned his Master's degree at VIMS by studying dredge performance in the Atlantic sea scallop fishery with faculty advisor Dr. Bill DuPaul, has now led his team to two consecutive first-place finishes in the regional competition. Goff and his team will travel to the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB©) in Pacific Grove, California on May 13-15, where they will compete against 24 other regional champions for the national title.

Despite winter storm warnings, the 2006 Blue Crab Bowl drew nearly 70 students from 14 high schools around the state for a day of heated competition. Using questions designed by marine scientists, the round-robin, double-elimination contest tested students' knowledge of oceanography, geology, biology, and maritime history.

VIMS alumn Kevin Goff coached his team from the Chesapeake Bay Governor's School to a first-place finish in this year's Blue Crab Bowl. This is the school's second consecutive first-place finish. From L: Jonathan Lee (junior, Essex High School); Abby Hughes (senior, Rappahannock High School); Tiffany Lee (senior, Essex High School); Luke Bessler (junior, Lancaster High School), and Coach Goff.The Blue Crab Bowl is a cooperative effort between the Department of Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences and the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, Old Dominion University, and the Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program at VIMS. More than 60 faculty, staff, and graduate students from both institutions donated many hours of their time to ensure the success of the event. ODU President Dr. Roseanne Runte welcomed students to the contest and commended them on their hard work.

Coach Goff's team includes students from three schools: Abby Hughes, a senior from Rappahannock High School, Luke Bessler, a junior from Lancaster High School; Tiffany Lee, a senior from Essex High School, and Jonathan Lee, a junior from Essex High School

Second place was taken by Fauquier High School, Warrenton. In third place was Broadwater Academy, Exmore. Fourth place went to Churchland High School in Portsmouth, a first-time competitor. Other competing teams included Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School, Virginia Beach; Coeburn High School, Coeburn; Flint Hill School, Oakton; Fredericksburg Academy, Fredericksburg; Grafton High School, Yorktown; James Monroe High School, Fredericksburg; Liberty High School, Bealeton; Maury High School, Norfolk; I.C. Norcom High School, Portsmouth; and Paul VI Catholic High School, Fairfax. Two teams, Alleghany High from Covington and James River High from Buchanan, were forced to withdraw due to winter storm conditions.

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl© is a program of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research & Education (CORE) and is funded through the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP), a collaboration of 15 federal agencies. Its purpose is to encourage and support the next generation of marine scientists, policy makers, teachers, explorers, researchers, technicians, environmental advocates, and informed citizens.

Local sponsors of the regional Blue Crab Bowl include Virginia Sea Grant, ODU's Office of Institutional Advancement and Admissions, Old Point National Bank, Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia, Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, Hood College, Life Net-Virginia Beach, Hampton Inn Norfolk Naval Base, and the VIMS Marine Advisory Program.