Tourism Corporation Bonaire has announced that Dr. Eugenie Clark will become the second North American recipient to receive Bonaire’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. A panel of distinguished media chose Dr. Clark, legendary ichthyologist and authority on sharks, after long deliberations on several candidates. Dr. Clark will travel to Bonaire during the island’s Celebrate Our Planet Week, from August 22 through 28, 2010, a highlight week of the Bonaire Dive Into Summer program.
During her time on Bonaire, she will make several dives with visitors and residents of Bonaire, as well as give two presentations: one for adults, and one for Bonaire’s schoolchildren. She’ll also be kept busy with a book signing of the newest edition of her book, “Lady With the Sharks” and will be the guest of honor at the home of Lt. Governor Glenn Thode when she is honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Read more after the jump.
Dr. Eugenie Clark is popularly known as the “Shark Lady”. Throughout her long career, Dr. Clark has studiously applied the basic tenets of conservation which support sustainable tourism. She was the founding director (1955 to 1967) of the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, now a leading center for shark research called the Mote Marine Laboratory, with which she is still affiliated. Today, Dr. Clark is Senior Research Scientist and Professor Emerita, Department of Biology, at the University of Maryland.
Her history with Bonaire goes back to 1983, when Dr. Clark began visiting over several years as a staff lecturer for short courses for medical doctors on “Human Underwater Biology.” Besides her lectures on Bonaire, she has given over 100 formal lectures at meetings, conventions, and universities in Australia, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Egypt, England, France, Indonesia, India, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Taiwan, and USA; 30+ lectures at community centers and schools; 3 lectures by phone; 50+ TV appearances and 60+ radio programs (local, national, and international).
Dr. Clark became a member of Bonaire’s Queen Angel Club in 1983, a club which is still active today.
Dr. Clark is the recipient of three fellowships, four scholarships, six medals (including the gold medal of the Society of Woman Geographers and the University of Maryland President’s Medal), and 34 other awards for work in marine biology, conservation, exploration and writing (including the National Geographic Franklin L. Burr and DEMA Hall of Fame awards in 1993) and three Honorary Doctor of Science degrees from University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (1992), University of Guelph, Ontario (1995), and Long Island University (1995). She has authored three books (Lady with a Spear, The Lady and the Sharks, and The Desert Beneath the Sea) and over 165 scientific and popular articles.
“Dr. Clark’s service and unending dedication to the betterment of the world’s oceans has been fully demonstrated through her many outstanding achievements,” said Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, Director of Tourism. “The goals for which she has tirelessly worked mirror our own goals for Bonaire and the world,” she concluded.
The Bonaire Lifetime Achievement Award honors long serving, high performance professionals whose careers have truly made a difference. It is for achievement over a period of several years rather than a single contribution and it is awarded for achievement that distinguishes the individual’s work and provides a legacy for future generations. In 2009, Dr. Sylvia Earle was awarded the first Bonaire Lifetime Achievement award for North America. This month, Bonaire’s own Captain Don Stewart received the island’s inaugural local award. Dr. Eugenie Clark joins an august society of recipients.
For more information, click on “Bonaire Dive Into Summer” on Bonaire’s official website