New “Exploration Science” program is open for applications, looks pretty freakin’ awesome.


exploration-scienceThe University of Miami has started a new Master of Professional Science program called “Exploration Science“. The program will teach students both the theory and skills behind field-based research, and graduates will be well equipped to lead field research expeditions in a variety of environments around the world.

Classes include “Exploration Technology”, a course on the history of exploration, and an introduction to citizen science which will involve planning a citizen science project. There are also numerous electives available at both the marine science school and main campus, as well as field experiences involving SCUBA diving, aviation, and tropical ecology. The program can be completed in 12-18 months.

“Successful exploration involves a mix of scientific and practical skills as well as sensitivity to the ethical and cultural dimensions of working in different parts of our globe,” said Kenny Broad, director of the Abess Center and 2011 National Geographic Explorer of the Year in a provided press release. “New technologies allow researchers to communicate and share the experience of discovery—from the nosebleed heights to unimaginable depths­—with an audience beyond just scientists. We believe that a specialized curriculum combining risk assessment, decision sciences, and hands-on training in skills ranging from navigation to science diving to remote medicine can further the next generation of explorers.”

Applications are due July 15th.

Disclaimer: my department, the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy, is a partner in this new program, but despite this conflict of interest, I consider myself more than objective enough to declare that this program sounds pretty freakin’  awesome.

Shark Science Monday: How you can help WhySharksMatter tag sharks!


Those of you who follow me on twitter know that in addition to being a grad student, I work with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources coastal shark survey. This summer, we will be catching and tagging sharks, and we need your help!  From mid-May through August, we’ll take the boat out 2-4 times a week for single-day surveys. We leave around 6 or 7 in the morning and return mid to late afternoon. There is often room for a volunteer or two, and the help is always appreciated.

Since I started advertising this opportunity last week, I’ve received over 150 e-mails inquiring about it. Many of you are asking the same questions, and while I”m always happy to answer questions about sharks, I’m instead going to answer the most common questions in this post.

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Adventures with Citizen Science: perspectives of a shark biologist

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on facebook may have seen that last month, I asked for volunteers to come catch and tag sharks with me here in Charleston. While I was pleased by how excited respondents were for this opportunity, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that involving members of the public in scientific research is an old idea. It’s called Citizen Science.


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