The contest is open to United States high school students in grades nine through twelve (as of September 15, 2012) attending public, private, parochial, or home schools. Verification of age and high school attendance for wining essayists will be required.
Only single author submissions will be accepted. Essay submission period is September 15, 2012 – June 15, 2013. No essays will be considered after this deadline.
Essays must be 5-8 pages double-spaced in 12-point Times font and must include citations and bibliography (see "Source Material" below). The bibliography is not included in the page count.
Essays must be the original work of the student and answer one of the two questions. We encourage students to write about topics that interest them and welcome any student to create their own essay question which explores an aspect of the film that relates to ecosystems that they find most engaging. Should you wish to pursue this option, please email the contest with your proposed topic idea for pre-approval.
The following source materials/citations are required for all essays:
- A minimum of five sources (excluding Wikipedia).
- Those answering the Right Whale question should include "The Right Whale: Urbanizes" video by Noelle Anderson as one source.
- Those pursuing the question on cod and forage fish should include the From the Bow Seat cod excerpt as a source.
- Interviews of experts in the field are also considered sources.
- At least three cited quotations
- Sources cited parenthetically throughout the essay, NOT in footnote form
- A bibliography (using any one of the recognized formats, such as MLA , APA, or Chicago)
Finalist essays will be checked for proper sourcing and originality. All work must be original or cited and in the case of plagiarism, the entry will be disqualified.
All students must first register online. Essay submissions will NOT be accepted without registration. After registering, students should email their essay in Word format to email@example.com. Please use the following format for both your file name and email subject line:
For example, a submission from Bill Smith on January 22, 2013, should have 012213SMITH in the subject heading AND 012213SMITH as the file name.
Winners will be announced on the website and Facebook page in the fall of 2013. An award check will be sent directly to winning essayists. The winning essayist will receive $2,500, the second place essayist will be awarded $1,500 and the third place essayist will be awarded $500. The filmmaker encourages students to use these awards to finance higher education or summer educational experiences. Honorable Mention Certificates will also be awarded to 15 essayists. An additional award of $2,500 will be given to the high school science program of the first place essayist.