February 26, 2019


Maile Sullivan, Education Specialist, Washington Sea Grant, (206) 543-2822 or

Garfield High School Team Wins First Place at Statewide Orca Bowl Competition

The Junior Olympics of Marine Science in the Northwest

Seattle, WA – On Saturday, February 23, 2019, 20 teams of high school students from Seattle to Soap Lake descended upon the University of Washington (UW) Fishery Sciences Building for the 22nd annual Orca Bowl. The teams tested their knowledge of marine science with one another, hoping to earn a spot to the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) Finals, which will be held in Washington, D.C. on April 11-14, 2019.

The team from Garfield High School, consisting of Malini Williams, Magdalena Phillips, Spencer Hulsman-Wells and Aviv Pinker, went undefeated and took first place at the competition. Newport High School from Bellevue and Ocean Research College Academy from Everett took second and third, respectively. Tacoma Science and Math Institute took home the Megan Vogel Sportsmanship Award for their upbeat attitude and integrity.

The event was fun-filled and high energy, with many teams and volunteers in marine-themed costumes. All the fun and excitement served a clear purpose: education and encouraging the next generation of marine scientists and ocean stewards. Even as our coastal ecosystems contend with threats including climate change, ocean acidification, habitat degradation, and fishing pressure, the dedication of these students – who regularly spent several hours studying after school to prepare for the event – demonstrates that the next generation has what it takes to fight for the planet.

Orca Bowl was organized by Washington Sea Grant, a program within the UW College of the Environment. Thank you to our local sponsors who made Orca Bowl possible:

Major Local Sponsors:

  • UW Washington Sea Grant
  • UW Joint Institute for the Society of the Atmosphere and Ocean
  • UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Science
  • Seattle Aquarium
  • Groundfish Forum, Inc.
  • Ocean Peace, Inc.

The 2019 national NOSB program is made possible through the following sponsors:

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Wendy & Eric Schmidt
  • Deerbrook Charitable Trust
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • American Honda Foundation
  • Eastman Foundation
  • Shell Exploration & Production Company
  • Lockheed Martin

For more information, contact Maile Sullivan at (206) 543-2822 or


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Housed in the College of the Environment at the University of Washington, Washington Sea Grant leads research, outreach and education for people to understand and address challenges facing our ocean and coasts.

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