Educational Shark Research Goes Virtual

R.J. Dunlap Conservation Program Puts Exciting Marine Conservation At Kids’ Fingertips

MIAMI — January 12, 2011 — Experiencing the excitement and challenges of shark research is now only a click away, thanks to the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program (RJD) at the University of Miami. Interaction with the vibrant, multi-media interface provides students and marine enthusiasts with a hands-on shark conservation platform from the comfort of their home or classroom.

Set atop a sea of turquoise water and teeming tropical reefs, five segments featuring video, photo and text create a sequential workflow for students to learn and experience what goes into the scientific research to protect shark populations. Although much of the content is catered toward a high-school level and above, the interactivity with still photos and video are of interest to children as young as elementary school.  Teachers, regardless of location, will be able to help their students collect a boarding pass for this action-packed adventure with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Nearly six months in the making, the Virtual Expedition is the newest addition to an ever-expanding volume of resources in the online RJD “classroom.” According to RJD Director Neil Hammerschlag, Ph.D., many schools around the country already piously follow the Google Earth tracks of RJD’s satellite-tagged Bull, Tiger and Hammerhead sharks. “The new online expeditions, as well as the interdisciplinary high-school curriculum available for download through the site, offer a great insight into the importance and complexity of marine conservation education.”

The shark expedition page forms part of the newly upgraded University of Miami — Rosenstiel School web site devoted to increasingly interactive science information and education. The updated site offers improved navigation, search engine optimizations (SEO) and prominently features major news items on the home page, information for students, a special events calendar, and information on initiatives underway at the School.

Launched in 2010, the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program is a joint program of the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science and the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy at the University of Miami. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions, offering dynamic interdisciplinary dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. The Abess Center creates innovative interdisciplinary initiatives that bridge the gap between hard science and environmental policy. 

The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives.

r.j. dunlap conservation program •  satellite tags •  education •  research •  sharks •  leonard and jayne abess center •