Sea Secrets

Exploring Our Oceans 2014


Sea Secrets series brings the latest information on our ocean planet to the South Florida community

MIAMI (December 18, 2013) -– The 2014 Sea Secrets lecture series presented by the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and The Ocean Research and Education Foundation will host distinguished scientists and explorers to enlighten the South Florida community on our blue planet – from unraveling the mysteries of tiger sharks and drugs from the sea to protecting the breathtaking biodiversity that lies beneath, and so much more.

Sea Secrets will kick off on Jan. 15 with a lecture on the enigmatic tiger shark by R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program Director Neil Hammerschlag. The lectures, which run through May 14, are free and open to the public and designed to provide insight and information about the oceans that cover two-thirds of our planet to a non-scientific audience.

Programs take place in the Rosenstiel School auditorium, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Virginia Key, beginning with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by a lecture at 6:00 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.Parking is available at the Miami Seaquarium.

The 2014 Sea Secrets lecture series is sponsored by The Shepard Broad Foundation, Sullivan, Admire and Sullivan, P.A. and Southern Wine & Spirits.

Winners of the University of Miami’s 2014 Underwater Photography Contest will be announced after the April 16 lecture and winning images will be on display at the Rosenstiel School library.

2014 Sea Secrets Lecture Series

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Neil Hammerschlag, Ph.D.
Director of R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, and Research Assistant Professor at Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

Sharks are one of the most feared and mysterious animals on Earth. However, due to destructive fishing practices, many shark populations globally have drastically declined in recent decades. The tiger shark is the largest predatory shark in tropical seas, renowned for its massive size, beautiful body markings, indiscriminate appetite and occasional bites on humans. By tracking and swimming with tiger sharks, ecologist and shark researcher, Dr. Hammerschlag, has discovered previously unknown migration patterns and behaviors of this super predator. Join Dr. Hammerschlag as he shares his new findings, stories and photos of the enigmatic tiger shark.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Daniel G. Baden, Ph.D.
William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Marine Science, Director of the Center for Marine Science, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Translational science is cross disciplinary, scientific research that is motivated by the need for practical applications, helping people, animals, or the condition of general life on earth. Dr. Baden will discuss the concepts of Disruptive Technologies and Innovation in the context of Florida red tide research, and seek to draw some analogies from the work of Clay Christensen and Langdon Morris. Both scholars examine human behavioral responses to changes in technology, and contribute to an ever-growing body of evidence that the only way to progress is to subscribe to Permanent Innovation. Examples from his work will include red tide toxins for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, drugs developed for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, and drug carriers from red tide. Not for the faint-of-heart, the presentation will include serendipity, basic and applied science, business concepts, some psychology, little tests and examples sprinkled throughout, and a participatory permanent innovation session at the end.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Elliott Norse, Ph.D.
Founder and Chief Scientist of the Marine Conservation Institute, Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, and Author of A Blog to Save the Earth

There is no task on Earth more important than maintaining its diversity and the ecological processes that underlie our survival, economic and social well-being. Unfortunately, the world’s oceans are now gravely threatened, and are likely to undergo profound changes in our lifetime. During this lecture, Dr. Norse will briefly summarize the problem and discuss at length the solution that the Marine Conservation Institute offered at the Third Marine Protected Areas Congress in Marseille, France in October 2013. It is called the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES).

Wednesday, April 16, 2014*
Shawn Heinrichs
Founder of Blue Sphere Media, LLC – Emmy Award winning cinematographer, photographer, scuba diver, and marine conservationist

Art is an essential tool in halting the destruction of threatened species. People only protect what they love—and recognizing this, we can bring the beauty and vulnerability of marine life to mainstream audiences across the globe, fueling a new wave of curiosity and appreciation for the oceans, and inspire the global community to take immediate steps to conserve them. Mr. Heinrichs is an Emmy Award winning cinematographer, photographer, and marine conservationist. He has worked with leading journalist and film teams including CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Yann Arthus Bertrand, and National Geographic, and delivered projects for many of the top marine conservation organizations including WildAid, Shark Savers, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and Pew Environment Group. His award winning work has been featured with National Geographic, BBC, New York Times, Huffington Post, Washington Post, WIRED and numerous other print and online publications. * Winners of the University of Miami’s 2014 Underwater Photography Contest will be announced after the lecture and winning images will be displayed in the library.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Keren Bolter
Ph.D. Candidate in Geosciences, Florida Atlantic University and Center for Environmental Studies

Keren Bolter is energizing South Floridians to be concerned about sea level rise. Miami is ranked as one of the world’s most vulnerable cities in terms of exposure to sea level rise. This is due to South Florida’s unique situation: low-lying porous limestone geology, high-valued coastal properties, treasured ecosystems, and dense populations at risk. So, why does high-rise construction continue in high-risk areas? Why are people buying these condos? Maybe the perceived risk is misaligned with the actual risk… Are you concerned about sea level rise? Should you be? Mrs. Bolter aims to answer these questions in her research. Mapping the actual risk to sea level rise in terms of flooding, storm surge, and loss of property, she then compares this to perceived risk of residents, measured via surveys. Results show where risk is underestimated and where increased awareness should be targeted. There are many opportunities for resilience, if we prepare and adapt to our changing shoreline.

sea secrets

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is 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. For more information, please visit

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