Student Kimberly Fitzpatrick was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Women Divers Hall of Fame by one of the organization’s most famous members: “Shark Lady” Dr. Eugenie Clark of Mote Marine Laboratory.
Clark joined fellow member Dr. Anne Giesecke to present the Award to Fitzpatrick on Friday, July 25 at Mote.
The Women Divers Hall of Fame is an international nonprofit professional honors society whose members contribute to wide-ranging fields including science, the arts, exploration, education and much more.
Fitzpatrick, a junior Marine Science major at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, is a third-generation diver who undertook her first dive at age 13. Her new scholarship will support her senior-year research project on using parasites to assess the condition of restored marsh habitats. Her findings will provide knowledge related to the management and conservation of coastal habitats. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree and a career in research or teaching at university level.
Clark founded Mote Marine Lab in 1955, and today the Lab conducts world-class marine science on six of Earth’s seven continents. Clark is a world authority on sharks and fish, has been diving for over 60 years and has conducted 71 deep submersible dives. She was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2000.
Giesecke, an underwater archaeologist, has also been a member since 2000. She drafted the Abandoned Shipwreck Act and advised on the International Convention for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage. She works to engage sport divers in government discussions about the management of shipwrecks and decisions about beach access, ocean policy and preserves.
Learn more about the Women Divers Hall of Fame at: www.wdhof.org