Jillian Morris is the founder and president of Sharks4Kids. Jillian graduated from the University of New England in 2005 with a degree in behavioral biology and has worked with sharks in some capacity for over a decade. An internship with Mote Marine Lab launched her work with sharks and lead to projects in Florida, Western Australia and the Bahamas. As a videographer and photographer, Jillian joined the conservation media group OceanicAllstars in 2008 and is the executive director. She has filmed for National Geographic, BBC, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel. In 2012 Jillian created Sharks4Kids, Inc., combining conservation work, filming, photography and science to create shark education curriculum, activities and videos to bring into the classroom.
Dr. Derek Burkholder is the vice president and lead scientist. Derek has been working in the world of shark and sea turtle ecology and conservation for the last 12 years. He received his Bachelors degree from Albion College in Albion, Michigan and during that time was first introduced to the amazing world of shark research. After graduation he moved to Florida as a Research Scientist at MOTE Marine Lab for a year before starting his graduate studies. Derek traveled to Shark Bay, Western Australia for his PhD research and received his PhD from Florida International University in 2012. He is currently working as a Research Scientist as part of the Guy Harvey Research Institute and Save Our Seas Shark Center at Nova Southeastern University.
Duncan Brake. media director, is an Emmy nominated cinematographer who graduated with a degree in marine biology from Sterling University in Scotland. After graduating he worked as a junior scientist and fisheries observer in the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. During this time he began honing his filming skills, capturing stunning images and video of the amazing and unique wildlife. A stint at the Sharklab in Bimini, The Bahamas found Duncan more involved in various shark related film shoots. He returned as the media manager and began filming for National Geographic, BBC, Animal Planet and Discovery among others. Duncan created the media organization, OceanicAllstars as a means of bringing like-minded individuals together to create photos, videos and graphics to spread conservation messages.
The goal of Sharks4Kids is to create the next generation of shark advocates through education outreach and adventure. Our website offers a wide range of curriculum, teaching guides, activities, videos and other educational materials to help both students and teachers dive into the world of sharks.
Our outreach programs provide classroom visits both in person and via Skype. We connect students around the world to the reality of sharks, replacing fear with facts and fascination. In 2015 alone we visited schools in 7 countries in person and 23 via Skype, connecting with almost 15,000 students.
The adventure programs offer students the opportunity to see sharks in the wild. These include shark snorkels and dives for the whole family as well as our Shark Camp in collaboration with Seacamp, in the Florida Keys. These two to three day programs allow middle school girls to take part in shark science. They learn about sharks, do a work up on a nurse shark, as part of an ongoing research project and then get to do one to two days of shark fishing using different scientific methods. During the last session the girls tagged and released 16 sharks including an eight foot bull shark.
Shark4kids genuinely believe kids have a voice and hope to inspire them to speak up, knowing they will be heard and can make a difference.
Not everyone can be in the water with sharks, but that doesn't mean you can't help in their fight. Please check out the links below to help support or follow Jillian and her Sharks4Kids crew in their mission to not only save sharks, but educate the people about their importance to the ocean's ecosystem.