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Featured Scholar: Sean Morey

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Title:
Featured Scholar: Sean Morey
Creator:
Watson, Sara
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publisher:
University of Florida
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Language:
English

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Journal of Undergraduate Research
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serial ( sobekcm )

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University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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Featured Scholar:
Sean Morey


2001 - 2002 University Scholar
Mentor: George Burgess
Florida Museum of Natural History


Growing up in the Florida Keys, Sean Morey has met his fair share of sharks. He has
taken a swim with them, caught and released them from his 18-foot fishing boat and
photographed them. Sean has encountered lemon sharks, hammerheads, bull sharks and
reef sharks. But he has never met a shark like Jaws, the violent creature from the
blockbuster Steven Spielberg film.

"Sharks are portrayed with negative human characteristics not found in animals, such as
the vengeful, stalking shark in Jaws" Sean says. "In the third Jaws movie, there was a
mother shark avenging the death of her child. Sharks don't have these human emotions."

Although an English student, Sean pursued his interest of sharks by working at the
ichthyology department at the Florida Museum of Natural History. There, Sean met shark
expert George Burgess, who encouraged him to take on a project he did not have time to
work on himself--creating a slideshow presentation about the media's portrayal of
sharks. Sean presented the slideshow to the joint meeting of the American Elasmobranch
Society and American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists at Pennsylvania State
University in July 2001. He decided this research would make a great USP project. Sean's
paper attempts to prove that the media's negative image of sharks in advertising,
television and movies could have a negative affect on the shark population.

"I have learned that people removed from sharks often only glimpse at them through a
narrow lens crafted by human imagination and fear," Sean says. "This can lead to
emotional retaliation, such as humans aggressively hunting and killing sharks, thereby
destroying an important element in the food web."

Sean hopes to help change the public perception of his finned friends. He tries to educate
people by taking them on his fishing boat and letting them catch a shark, examine it, and
release it back into the ocean. "It is a tough sale to convince the public that these
creatures need to be protected," he says. "Sharks are mystic and may seem like they are
out to get you, but they are not."

Sean graduated in May 2002 with a bachelor's degree in English. He is returning to UF
this fall to take post-baccalaureate courses in classics while applying to English PhD
programs. He plans to become an English professor and says he hopes to turn his USP
research project into book about how sharks have been used in literature and art
throughout the ages.

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S I' UNIVERSITY of
U FLORIDA


Back to the Journal of Undergraduate Research
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences I University Scholars Program I University of Florida I


� University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611; (352) 846-2032.




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PAGE 1

Featured Scholar: Sean Morey Growing up in the Florida Keys, Sean Morey has met his fair share of sharks. He has taken a swim with them, caught and released them from his 18-foot fishing boat and photographed them. Sean has encountered lemon sharks, hammerheads, bull sharks and reef sharks. But he has never met a shark like Jaws, the violent creature from the blockbuster Steven Spielberg film. "Sharks are portrayed with negative human characteristics not found in animals, such as the vengeful, stalking shark in Jaws" Sean says. "In the third Jaws movie, there was a mother shark avenging the death of her child. Sharks don't have these human emotions." Although an English student, Sean pursued his interest of sharks by working at the ichthyology department at the Florida Museum of Natural History. There, Sean met shark expert George Burgess, who encouraged him to take on a project he did not have time to work on himself--creating a slideshow presentation about the media's portrayal of sharks. Sean presented the slideshow to the joint meeting of the American Elasmobranch Society and American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists at Pennsylvania State University in July 2001. He decided this research would make a great USP project. Sean's paper attempts to prove that the media's negative image of sharks in advertising, television and movies could have a negative affect on the shark population. "I have learned that people removed from sharks often only glimpse at them through a narrow lens crafted by human imagination and fear," Sean says. "This can lead to emotional retaliation, such as humans aggressively hunting and killing sharks, thereby destroying an important element in the food web." Sean hopes to help change the public perception of his finned friends. He tries to educate people by taking them on his fishing boat and letting them catch a shark, examine it, and release it back into the ocean. "It is a tough sale to convince the public that these creatures need to be protected," he says. "Sharks are mystic and may seem like they are out to get you, but they are not." Sean graduated in May 2002 with a bachelor's degree in English. He is returning to UF this fall to take post-baccalaureate courses in classics while applying to English PhD programs. He plans to become an English professor and says he hopes to turn his USP research project into book about how sharks have been used in literature and art throughout the ages. Back to the Journal of Undergraduate Research Volume 4, Issue 1 September 2002Contents Submissions Archives Scholar Profiles Future Contributions Contact & Staff University Scholars Program Undergraduate Research Resources Search: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences | University Scholars Program | University of Florida | University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611; (352) 846-2032. 2001 2002 University Scholar Mentor: George Burgess Florida Museum of Natural History --top--


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