SUDS AND SCIENCE
January 18, 2019
Experience our blue planet through the eyes of National Geographic explorers and those who are taking action to make a positive change. National Geographic explorers will share their stories and research from the field, and speak to different exhibits in the aquarium that show conservation in action. All ages are welcome, and tickets include admission to the live event, appetizers, a cash bar, and a special National Geographic memento.
Doors open at 6 p.m., and the live event begins at 7 p.m.
Erin Spencer is a marine ecologist and National Geographic Explorer who studies sustainable fisheries management. Her current work involves using DNA barcoding to assess the rate of red snapper mislabeling in the Southeastern United States, a practice that poses economic, environmental, and human health risks. The goal of the project is to give fishery managers and vendors a clearer picture of the scope of seafood mislabeling, and to give consumers tangible tools for how they can best avoid fraud.
Erin also studies innovative responses to invasive species management, particularly lionfish. In 2014, Erin launched the Invasive Species Initiative, a website that uses digital storytelling to share grassroots approaches to invasive species management. She’s traveled from Florida to Fiji in search of creative ways people are combatting invasive species in their backyards. A number of organizations have featured photos and videos from the project, including NBC, the New York Times, National Geographic, and CBS Sunday Morning.
Erin is a graduate student at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
Christine Dell’Amore is senior director for Animals, leading the digital strategy for all things wildlife and pets. In 2011, she founded the popular series Weird & Wild, which focuses on nature’s most unusual phenomena.
Dell’Amore has worked at United Press International and Smithsonian magazine and has written for a variety of publications, including the Washington Post. She has reported from environmental disasters, including the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and internationally from six continents, including Antarctica. She is the author of the 2012 book South Pole, which tells the story of explorer Robert Scott’s 1912 trek to the South Pole.
Dell’Amore holds an undergraduate degree in environmental science and policy from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master’s in journalism with a specialty in science reporting from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her main passion is traveling whenever and wherever she can, and when she’s home in Washington, D.C., she enjoys cycling and discovering new coffee shops (sometimes on the same day).
Sarah Polger manages digital strategy for contests and campaigns at National Geographic, where she oversees the contest business and brand marketing strategies across National Geographic platforms. Formerly, she was a strategist and senior photo editor for National Geographic Travel and Adventure. Before joining National Geographic, Sarah photo edited news and culture stories working at AOL, The Washington Post, and Smithsonian magazine.
Ann Money grew up on the Chesapeake Bay and has dedicated her career to education and research of marine habitats. Upon graduation from George Mason University, Ann traveled to Alaska to monitor groundfish operations: collecting data, monitoring the capture of protected species, and contributing to setting quotas for the next fishing season. Ann also spent time on the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico working with endangered sea turtles, and collected data aboard one of the first fishing vessels to utilize a Turtle Excluder Device, which allows sea turtles to escape shrimp nets. As Director of Education Programs and Research at the Oklahoma Aquarium for the past 18 years, she shares her knowledge and love of the ocean with thousands of visitors annually.
Ann also discovered several species that utilize bio-fluoresce, and continues to research the functionality of bio-fluorescence on coral reefs in a PhD program for Integrative Biology at Oklahoma State University. In addition to her coral research, Ann teaches students about the importance of our planet’s reef systems.