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Eugenie Clark, Ph.D.


photo of Eugenie Clark Ph.D.

Dr. Eugenie Clark, known as "the shark lady," was born in New York City where she attended school. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hunter College and Master of Arts and doctoral degrees from New York University. In 1968, she joined the faculty at the University of Maryland College Park, where she is currently a professor of zoology. She has given lectures at over 60 colleges and universities in the United States. She also has given lectures in 19 foreign countries, and conducted summer science training programs at the high school and college levels.

Clark's interest in fish began at the age of nine when her mother took her to visit an aquarium. She became fascinated by the fish she saw, especially the shark, and was soon going back every week. This fascination was fostered by her mother, who bought her a small tank of guppies. When it was time to go to college, she knew she wanted to be an ichthyologist - a person who studies and works with fish.

She went on to become a world-famous scientist and pioneer in the field of scuba diving for research purposes. Her search for answers has taken her around the world and below the waters of the seven seas. She carried the flag of the Society of Women Geographers to Ethiopia, carried it underwater off Japan and Egypt and carried the flag of the National Geographic Society to Egypt, Israel, Australia, Japan and Mexico.

Clark has been diving with sharks for more than 30 years. She is active in the scuba-diving based field research on fish and submarine dives. An accomplished and prolific writer, she has shared the adventures and excitement of her scientific research through her articles in scientific journals, lectures and television specials, and articles in such popular magazines as National Geographic and Science Digest. She is the author of two books: Lady with a Spear, 1953 (book -of-the-Month Club Selection) and The Lady and the Sharks, 1969.

Clark is the recipient of numerous honors, awards and citations for her work. She is the founding director of the Mote Marine Laboratory (established in 1955 as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory). The Mote Marine Laboratory is where the Dr. Eugenie Clark Chair for Scientific Research has been established to provide the opportunity for young scientists to follow in her footsteps.

Biography courtesy of the Maryland Commission for Women, 1989.

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