Millions of people are eagerly awaiting the start of college football season. While many storied rivalries exist, few are more eagerly anticipated than the annual Auburn University vs. The University of Alabama game dubbed the “Iron Bowl”. But why stop with sports? The Marble Bowl is a brand new competition that pits Alabama and Auburn fans against each other in a citizen science competition.
Why the Marble Bowl?
The name, Marble Bowl, is obviously a riff on the Iron Bowl. Why marble? Turning to the natural resources world, incorporating different state symbols into the name and logo of this competition was key. Marble is Alabama’s state rock. This rock from in and around Sylacauga is renowned for its beauty, and has been used in the construction of iconic buildings around the country.
While the competition may be fierce, cooperation is important. The Marble Bowl is a collaboration between the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama Museum of Natural History, Auburn University Museum of Natural History, and Auburn University College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment. To represent a couple of Alabama’s features, the Alabama state bird, the northern flicker, is shown on a branch of the state tree, the longleaf pine.