During a visit to the Mote Marine Laboratory Center for Shark Research, with friend and fellow tournament co-director, Jack Donlon, Brooks and I were handed a special bonus. Mote is the official science partner and research sponsor of the Ultimate Shark Challenge we're directing and the three of us were there meeting with Robert E. Hueter, Ph.D., Director of the center to discuss some of the finer logistical details.
Afterwards, as we made our exit, Bob introduced us to the one and only 'Shark Lady' - Dr. Eugenie Clark. We're glad he did. For the two of us, it was a one of those forever memorable opportunities to meet a true pioneering explorer and living legend in the world of shark and marine research. Tirelessly passionate is one way to describe her. Long after many would've hung out their wetsuits to dry and put away the pens and journals, the Shark Lady is still deep in it, turning over rocks and sharing what she finds with the world.
L - R: Brooks Paxton II, Dr. Eugenie Clark, Sean Paxton
For those that aren't as familiar with the vast extent of her work, here's a brief overview from SharkLady.com.
Eugenie Clark is a world-renowned ichthyologist and authority on sharks who is popularly known as the SHARK LADY. Although she is now retired from teaching in the Department of Biology at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she joined the faculty in 1968, she still holds the title of Senior Research Scientist and Professor Emerita. She currently works on her research in the Center for Shark Research at the Mote Marine Laboratory Mote Marine Labs, where her title is Senior Research Scientist and Founding Director.
She was a research assistant at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at the New York Zoological Society, and at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. She was the founding director (1955 to 1967) of the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, now a leading center for shark research called the Mote Marine Laboratory with which she is still affiliated.
Dr. Clark is the recipient of three honorary D.Sc. degrees and awards from the National Geographic Society, the Explorers Club, the Underwater Society of America, the American Littoral Society, the Gold Medal Award of the Society of Women Geographers, and the President's Medal of the University of Maryland. She has authored three books and over 160 scientific and popular articles.
She has conducted 71 deep submersible dives. Her latest research projects concern the behavior of tropical sand fishes and deep sea sharks. These studies have been featured in 12 articles she has written for National Geographic magazine. View Complete Resume
L - R: Robert E. Hueter, Brooks Paxton II, Sean Paxton discuss research tracking tags
What can we say, there are worse ways to spend the day. We couldn't leave without a stroll through the aquarium. It never gets old. If you're anywhere near Sarasota Florida, run, don't walk to Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. Here's a few shots from our visit ...
Mount of 14.5 foot, 1262 pound world record greater hammerhead captured in 2006
And another larger female