Samantha Whitcraft

Whitcraft_bio_pic.jpgSamantha’s role at Shark Savers is Program Manager coordinating citizen science. As a marine conservation biologist she has worked to protect the oceans and its animals in the field, lab and office. Researching biodiversity, threatened and endangered species, and sustainable fisheries has taken her to the Amazon with National Geographic, to the Mesoamerican reef with NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program, and to the Bahamas and the Caribbean to promote eco-tourism that emphasizes ocean advocacy and adventure. She is a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor, free-lance nature writer, and passionate community activist.

Samantha has worked with sharks and other marine animals including seabirds and seals at the New England Aquarium and Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, and sea turtles in Costa Rica. In Hawaii, she managed the Kaho'olawe Island Marine Reserve working closely with the UH’s Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program, NOAA’s Monk Seal Program and Humpback Whale Sanctuary, and the U.S. Navy. It was in Hawaii that her fascination with sharks began when a very curious tiger shark investigated her kayak during a lagoon survey at Kure Atoll.

After five years in Hawaii, Samantha returned to the mainland to serve as Senior Research Associate at the University of Miami's Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Science investigating the application of ecosystem-scale connectivity science to functional networks of marine protected areas throughout the Caribbean. After a life-affirming week at the Bimini Shark Lab, she volunteered with the shark advocacy and scientific communities to help pass regulations to fully protect lemon sharks in Florida waters.

Samantha holds a Masters Ordinarius in Literature and Arts from St. Andrews University, a Bachelor’s in Natural Sciences from Harvard University and earned her Masters of Marine Affairs and Policy at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. She is Adjunct Faculty in Natural Sciences at Miami-Dade College and leads eco-educational trips through her company, The Selkie Society.