The Top 10 RJD Science and Outreach Accomplishments of 2012


2012 was a great year for the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program. As it comes to a close, we wanted to share our top 10 science and outreach accomplishments from the past year with you.

10) In December, the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Progam’s Facebook Fan Page passed 1,500 fans! Have you become a fan yet? We use the page to share live updates and photos from the field, as well as to share marine science and conservation news from around the world. Like us on Facebook, and, while you’re at it, follow us on twitter, too!

9) We deployed 24 satellite tags in 2012, 8 on bull sharks, 2 on great hammerhead sharks, and the rest on tiger sharks. We also added a new type of satellite tag called a “HammerTag” to our toolbox. The custom-made tag has the ability to recharge its battery via a small solar panel, permitting multi-year deployments You can track all of our satellite tagged sharks from our website.

A tiger shark with a new HammerTag. Photo credit: Jim Abernathy

A tiger shark with a new HammerTag. Photo credit: Jim Abernathy

8 )  RJD research was frequently in the news. In 2012, we were covered by CBS, NBC, BBC, and more.

7) RJD students presented their research at three major scientific conferences: ScienceOnline, Benthic Ecology, and the American Elasmobranch Society conference. Additionally, RJD director Dr. Neil Hammerschlag gave a talk at TEDxMiami.

6) We partnered with TOMS shoes to create the Shark Shoe. Proceeds benefit our research, and brochures included with the shoe educate people about the importance of sharks and the threats they face.

5) We had more than 60 research cruises throughout South Florida and the Keys. Additionally, we had three week-long Bahamas sampling trips (see this video for a great summary of one), and a trip to Haiti.

4) We launched our beautiful new website, which includes this new and improved blog. The blog kept readers up to date on our research, and  covered topics ranging from overfishing to harmful algae blooms. Please check out !

3) We collected hundreds of important biological samples from many local shark species of interest. All sharks are caught and handled using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques designed to minimize harm to the animal, and all are released within minutes.

The RJD team works up a shark

The RJD team works up a shark

2) We took 1,443 people (including over 1,000 high school students) into the field with us to learn about ocean conservation and participate in our ongoing scientific research.

mast students

1) We had ten peer-reviewed scientific publications, including two featured cover articles. These covered numerous diverse topics, including toxins found in shark fins to the effects of ecotourism on tiger shark migrations. All of our papers can be found here.

Thanks for reading! With your continued support, 2013 will be even better!


The RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program (RJD) is a joint initiative of the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science and the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy.

1 reply
  1. Terry Abrams
    Terry Abrams says:

    This is really exciting stuff, I used to have a teacher tell me we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the depths of the ocean…Keep up the good work, cant wait to see what 2013 brings!

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