University of Miami


Weird Job

When our local paper asked for wacky, wonderful job stories, I had to share mine: “Can I squirt him in the eye?”  I felt weird being so blunt with the brave little geek in braids, but having graduated from high school in the seventies, I knew I’d feel weirder negotiating with five teens over shark tagging tasks.  So when the grad students got our shark situated under their bodies, I got to test his reflex, and his eye membrane nictated nicely which meant that he wasn’t too stressed.  On the next round I clipped a bit of tissue off another […]


Sea Quest: Florida


Sharks as Science Bait

On a mission to meet sharks, I worked with students and teachers from schools on both Florida coasts.  The two instructors had gone above and beyond in prepping their classes.   We met four of Steven Wilkie’s freshly polished shark experts on our visit to the Ten Thousand Islands estuary with Environmental Specialist Pat O’Donnell.  Wilkie, of South Fort Meyers High, gives up uncounted evenings and a good deal of sleep to expose many such tiny groups to real-world research. He and O’Donnell also took pains to individualize their onboard lecture for Yazmin, a wannabe accounting major, by emphasizing the importance of statistics and data software in research.  […]