research ship Falcor

The Shark Chaser II Falcor underway.

Thanks to satellite tagging, and the use of sophisticated bio-logging tags some of the secrets of great white sharks have recently been revealed.

One key finding is a location where sharks go to meet. The area, located in an open ocean region halfway between Hawaii and Baja, has been dubbed by scientists the White Shark Café.

The Aquarium of the Pacific, in partnership with the Schmidt Ocean Institute, is hosting several events for students and aquarium visitors to engage the public with the latest shark research regarding this recent finding.

On a regular schedule, the aquarium establishes a ship-to-shore live video connection with the scientists aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor. The live video is broadcast at the Ocean Exploration Hub in the aquarium’s second floor Tropical Pacific Gallery.

Visitors have the chance to talk to and address questions to the researchers aboard the ship, as well as see images and video of sharks. Aquarium educators facilitate the live broadcast and discuss the cruise’s mission, any recent findings, and the types of data being collected.

The Falkor is on expedition to the White Shark Café in the Pacific Ocean, where researchers led by Dr. Barbara Block from Stanford University are studying adult white sharks to better understand their biology and why they congregate in this particular area each year.

Aquarium educators also will visit area classrooms to facilitate ship-to-shore discussions between students and scientists. The aquarium provides materials for teachers to provide context, generate discussion, and encourage student questions during the live connection.

“The aquarium and its exhibits and programs are designed to help connect the public to current ocean research and environmental issues," Dr. Jerry Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific president and CEO, said. "We are pleased to be working with the Schmidt Ocean Institute to share ongoing scientific research with the public live as it happens. This program will inspire our visitors’ interest in science and sharks and give students a tangible example of what careers in STEM fields look like.”

The Schmidt Ocean Institute regularly hosts ship-to-shore connections between scientists on board the research vessel Falkor and institutions like the aquarium, as well as with school classrooms, museums, and other educational facilities.

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