R.J. Dunlap’s Christine Shepard Shares Shark Stories With “O” Magazine

Christine Shepard Credit: Orlando Hehar

MIAMI — September 19, 2011 — The October issue of “O Magazine” features an article written by Lisa Katayama on Christine Shepard, multimedia specialist for the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program (RJD) at the University of Miami. As “Deep-Sea” videographer for RJD, Christine follows Program Director Dr. Neil Hammerschlag and his team on their excursions throughout the South Florida area, tagging sharks all in the name of marine conservation.

“Christine is doing a great job communicating our science to the general public through innovative media applications,” says Hammerschlag. “The article illustrates the impact her work is having: we are extremely proud to have her expertise on our team.”

The RJD program uses GPS tags to track various shark species, many of which dwarf the 22-year-old Shepard in size.  Last year RJD satellite tagged a total of 392 sharks, as they navigated throughout the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys and the Atlantic Ocean. “Once I swam with sharks up close, I just fell in love,” Shepard says.

In the article she provides important safety rules for swimming with sharks, based on her experience, “Eye contact tells them ‘I see you; you see me; let’s be respectful of each other. Filming sharks face-to-face helps people see beyond our ideas about them.”

To read the article, please visit

About the University of Miami and the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program
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.

Founded in 2009, 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. The Rosenstiel School offers one of largest, most comprehensive marine and atmospheric programs in the nation. The Abess Center encourages innovative interdisciplinary initiatives that bridge the gap between hard science and environmental policy.  For more information or to get involved, please visit

oprah •  r.j. dunlap conservation program •  dr. neil hammerschlag •  christine shepard •  gulf of mexico •  conservation •  sharks •