Featured Angels

Stephanie Arne

 

Hails from: Pierre, South Dakota
Currently lives in: In a Tiny House-on-Wheels on a nation-wide tour with the Creative Animal Foundation.
Favorite Place: The Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii and Africa.
Birthday: February 8th
Favorite Things to Do: Diving, public speaking, production, yoga, acrobatics

Favorite Shark: Whale Shark and Great Hammerheads

What shark are you most like and why? I would love to say that I am most like a sexy tiger shark but I am pretty sure I am a regular ole’ white-tip reef shark. I am curious, gregarious and quick only when I need to be. Oh! I and I love showing new divers that sharks are cool.

If you could tell people one thing about about sharks and/or the oceans, what would it be? Do a shark dive and your perspective on sharks will change immediately. You will become so obsessed that you will become an avid diver, underwater photographer and a shark advocate (covered with shark tattoos while wearing yoga pants covered with whale shark spots. It happens to the best of us). If you learn they are misunderstood, you will do what you can to protect them and the ocean we all need to survive.

How did sharks draw you into their watery world?
I started diving in the Florida Keys in 2006 and on my first open water dive at Looe Key a lemon shark swam past me and my instructor and everything I was taught about sharks was proven to be false in a matter of minutes. I felt like I saw the secret truth about shark behavior and I eventually spent several years studying reef sharks on the Great Barrier and whale sharks on the Ningaloo Reef in Australia.

Short Bio: Stephanie Arne hosts the online version of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom which features short, dynamic and fun webisodes exploring the modern-day Wild Kingdom. Originally from South Dakota, Arne began her career at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and San Diego Zoological Society.

An accomplished wildlife educator, she has worked in the field on wildlife projects in many places including Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Borneo and Papua New Guinea

Learn More:

Website: www.StephanieArne.com
Facebook
Twitter: @StephanieArne

 

Jaclyn Gerakios

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Hails from: Worthington.Ohio
Currently lives in: St. Petersburg, Florida
Birthday: April 30
Favorite Place: The Ocean (any and every one)
Favorite Things to Do: Shark advocacy, teach sciene, spend time with friends and family, scuba diving
Favorite Shark: Sand Tiger Shark

What shark are you most like and why?
I think I am most like the Scalloped Hammerhead Shark. I enjoy being social and love being surrounded by other ocean minded people like me, just like when Hammerheads school together in the wild. I also enjoy warm temperate waters

If you could tell people one thing about sharks and/or the oceans, what would it be?
The oceans are our life support system (no matter where you live). The oceans need sharks to be in balance and, in turn, we as humans need the ocean to keep our planet healthy.

How did sharks draw you into their watery world?
Sharks are beautiful misunderstood creatures. I have always been fascinated with them and now that I understand them I want to help others understand them and love them too!

 

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.-- Arthur C. Clarke.

 

Learn More:
Educational Coordinator
Twitter: @SeasWithMrsG

Short Bio:
Jaclyn is an avid ocean and shark lover.  She has a Bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in marine biology and a Master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Environmental Education.  Jaclyn currently works in Florida as a science teacher and as a dive master at the Florida Aquarium. Jaclyn is very passionate about sharks and protecting our oceans.  She has a Shark Angels club at her school, where her students work to raise awareness about shark conservation.  Her club traveled to the Florida state capital this past year to advocate to legislatures for a bill to ban shark fins in Florida.  She also volunteers her time on the board of directors for the Florida Marine Science Educators Association and on a local sea turtle patrol.

Erin Whitley

Hails from: Phoenix, Arizona
Currently lives in: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Birthday: May 19
Favorite Place: In the water, on the water or near the water
Favorite Things to Do: Any adventure outdoors. Diving. Fitness & nutrition. And most important inspiring & motivating people to reach their full potential.
Favorite Shark: Hammerhead Shark

What shark are you most like and why?
The Mako. These sharks are “fit” and very diverse. They can be found all over the world in cold and warm waters. They have one of the most streamlined bodies of all sharks making them very fast and flexible.

If you could tell people one thing about sharks and/or the oceans, what would it be?
Sharks are the most important component to keeping our oceans clean and regulated. The ocean is a critical component to human life. We must protect the sharks, to protect our oceans so that we as humans can continue to thrive.

How did sharks draw you into their watery world?
Sharks are such mysterious, misunderstood, intimidating yet beautiful majestic animals. Mankind is raised to believe they are man-eating machines when in fact they want nothing to do with humans at all. Sharks are so important to our eco system and I want to help in anyway I can to show their true beauty.

Learn More:
Facebook:
Erin Whitley
Instagram: @SharkGirlFitness

Short Bio:
I’ve been an athlete and lover of the ocean my whole life. I’ve lived near the ocean for over 20 years, took up scuba diving in 2011 and never looked back. I parted ways from the corporate world in early 2015 to pursue my passion for diving, health and fitness and became a recertified personal trainer and nutrition specialist. In 2010 I competed as an NPC Fitness Competitor and since 2012 I have ran in over 30 5K’s, 10K’s, half marathons and triathlons combined. My passion for protecting the ocean, saving sharks and encouraging people to live a healthy life grows everyday and I am blessed to have “Earned My Wings” to continue walking this path with The Shark Angels.    

Liz Parkinson

Hails from: Windsor, Great Britain
Currently lives in: Nassau, Bahamas
Birthday: May 25
Favorite Place: Being by the water, on it or in it.
Favorite Things to Do: Freedving, scuba diving, writing, hiking and flying
Favorite Shark: Tiger Shark

What shark are you most like and why?
I think I am most like a reef shark. The reef sharks I know are always busy, swimming around and being social.

If you could tell people one thing about sharks and/or the oceans, what would it be?
Being under the surface of the water can and will change your life. Being surrounded by sharks make your life better.

How did sharks draw you into their watery world?
I have spent my life actively associated with water in one way or another. The beauty of it and the life that it sustains has become a passion of mine. To me, sharks are the perfect being in the ocean. Their majestic presence is something that holds with it an extraordinary power and it is this power that draws me to want to be around them.

Learn More:
Facebook: Liz Parkinson
Instagram: @lizparkinson1
Twitter: @lizparkinson25

Short Bio:
Liz grew up in South Africa, came over to the US on a swimming scholarship for University, got into diving while living in Hawaii, now I dive with sharks.

Jodi Leafer

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Hails from: From Boston, MA
Currently lives in: Jacksonville, FL
Favorite shark: Great White

What shark are you most like and why?
Great White: Powerful, Mysterious, Graceful, Confident

Jodi is a licensed Customs Broker and has been in the Global Logistics, Trade Compliance Industry for over 25 years. Currently, she is the Manager of Customs & Trade Compliance for Johnson & Johnson . She loves the Ocean and is very adventurous and will try anything at least once.