University of Georgia defends Quiz Bowl championship title

By Julia John

The University of Georgia's done it again! With a final score of 55 - 20, they've clung to the quiz bowl championship yet another year.

Defending champions the University of Georgia remained victorious in the 20th annual Quiz Bowl after facing off against the Purdue University in the finals Tuesday evening at the 2017 TWS conference in Albuquerque.

Faces locked in determination, the two teams answered as many wildlife questions as they could to one-up their opponents on stage at the Convention Center’s Kiva Auditorium. Drinks in hand, audience members murmured their own answers, cheered on their favorite school and clapped in admiration when contestants correctly answered obscure questions on taxonomic names and characteristics.

Overall, this final round seemed a little trickier than those leading up to it. Some questions involved live and preserved specimen. Others included recorded wildlife calls. Several questions featured prominent historical scientists, a few were pulled from stories in recent issues of The Wildlife Professional and a couple featured New Mexican wildlife.

Who never received a PhD but is considered the father of modern ecology? Teams guessed Aldo Leopold and John Muir, but the right answer was George Evelyn Hutchinson.

In 1997, the Linnean Society issued a formal posthumous apology to which mycologist, conservationist and illustrator for its sexist mishandling of her research? The answer, which neither team got correct, was Beatrix Potter.

What state may soon ban the release of helium balloons, which pose a danger to both terrestrial and marine wildlife? The competitors were stumped, but it was New Jersey.

But the University of Georgia confidently stated that it was the IUCN that became the first international environmental organization in 1948, adding 10 points to their lead.

When the questions were over and everyone had learned something new, the reigning champions had defeated Purdue 55 to 20, demonstrating their unmatched wildlife expertise for another year. The winners will get to keep their institution’s name emblazoned on a plaque that graces the walls of TWS headquarters, and they will return to the University of Georgia with their own plaque, original piece of artwork and championship buttons.

California University of Pennsylvania won third place after beating Arizona State University at the beginning of the finals.

Student teams from across the United States and Canada answered wildlife trivia in a hard-fought battle to prove their colleges’ knowledge in wildlife science and policy. The contest kicked off Monday and consisted of three sessions sponsored by Ducks Unlimited.

Wildlifers can get another exciting fix of wildlife trivia at next year’s Quiz Bowl in Cleveland, Ohio, where student teams will meet again to claim the 2018 championship title.

Julia John is a science writer at The Wildlife Society. Contact her at jjohn@wildlife.org with any questions or comments about her article.

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