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Sports and Sharks – James Jones and South Florida youth go deep for science outreach

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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NBA Player James Jones, formerly with the Miami Heat, is spending time with the youth he serves through his foundation tagging sharks.

And having a ball.

They spent the day on a research boat with the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program affiliated with the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science and Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy.
WSVN-TV – 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Let me say how much I love all of this. ALL. OF. EET!! This is so exciting to hear!
I love discovering STEM allies, especially when they come from corners we may not expect. But as I learned more about what inspired Jones to create his foundation, then I can’t say I should be surprised by this at all.

The James Jones Legacy Foundation.

I am proud to call South Florida home; however, as a young man growing up in the inner city, my life was quite different than it is for me now. Peer pressure, bad choices and a lack of role models made juvenile development quite challenging. I was different, I chose to play basketball and I knew that an advanced education was my gateway to a better future. Over the years, I have encountered many young people in our community and have seen so many great kids that just needed a nudge in the right direction.

Looks like everyone, the kids, Jones, even the reporter who covered this story as a Sports feature at WSVN Channel 7 News in Miami, had SO MUCH fun! And I hope that was the take home message for the students. Science is action and relevant and hands-on. AND FUN! Big ups to James Jones and the James Jones Legacy Foundation for giving these kids an experience of a life time. Hopefully the field trip inspired some future #BlackandSTEM marine and conservation scientists.

Photo courtesy of the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program


Shout out to my friend David Shiffman,of Southern Fried Science, who makes the briefest cameo appearance next to Jones. He’s a shark conservation researcher on that boat.

Every year he and his colleagues take about a thousand students (of all ages) out on the research boat to assist them with their research. If you’re interested in learning more about what they do then visit their Facebook Page or follow them on Twitter (@RJ_Dunlap) for information. Or sign up for your own to sign up on Shark Tagging Adventure at this link.

DNLee About the Author: DNLee is a biologist and she studies animal behavior, mammalogy, and ecology . She uses social media, informal experiential science experiences, and draws from hip hop culture to share science with general audiences, particularly under-served groups. Follow on Twitter @DNLee5.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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