K-State Team Wins Division GeoBowl

K-State Team Wins Division GeoBowl

Top scorers make up select team for national geography event.

A team of students from Kansas State University has won the GeoBowl competition in the at the annual meeting of lthe Association of American Georgraphers Great Plains-Rocky Mountain Division.

Tyra Olstad, a team member and doctoral student in geography from Tonawanda, N.Y., tied for first place in individual scores in the competition and will be part of a select team representing the division at the national meeting April 14-18 in Washington, D.C.

The K-State team was organized by the university's chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the international geography honor society, from volunteers in the department of geography. Along with Olstad, team members included Melissa Belz, doctoral student in geography, Samantha Hartley, master's student in geography, and Colton Youngs, freshman in philosophy, all from Manhattan; and Jim Wells, doctoral student in geography, Averill Park, N.Y.

"The GeoBowl included toss-up questions that ranged from simple location facts -- naming capital cities, bodies of water, relative position of countries, etc. -- to queries about language families, religions, ancient trade routes, ecosystem dynamics, geospatial modeling techniques and even the settings for works of literature," Olstad said.

The GeoBowl competition is patterned after the old television show "College Bowl," where each team sits at a table with electronic buzzers that members can each activate if they think they know the answer to a toss-up question. Additional questions also are asked where the team members can confer and answer as a team. To take first place at the divisional level, the K-State team unseated the defending champion team from the University of Wyoming.

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