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MOTE FOUNDER EUGENIE CLARK TURNS 87 AND KEEPS ON DIVING By: Hayley Rutger

Mote's very own "Shark Lady" celebrated her 87th birthday 200 feet underwater, gliding about as deftly as her namesake. Dr. Eugenie Clark, Mote's founding director, rode to the depths of California's Lake Tahoe in a cutting-edge submersible vehicle, the Super Aviator by Sub Aviator Systems, SAS, on May 4.

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Deep dives are all in a day's work - or fun - for "Genie," who has traveled 12,000 feet down and ridden in submersibles more than 70 times for her world-renowned research on sharks, other fish and their environments. But riding in the swift and maneuverable Super Aviator, which "flies" like an underwater airplane, brought new thrills. "They demonstrated with me inside how it could breach from 200 feet underwater, leaping out of the water," Genie said. She rode along with an SAS pilot in the two-person submersible, monitoring the oxygen and pressure in her personal cabin and learning how the graceful submersible operates. "The most spectacular part was the maneuverability of the vehicle," she said. "I'd like to see how this would work on a coral reef." SAS engineers designed the Super Aviator for underwater research and exploration as deep as 600 feet and speeds as quick as 10 knots. Capt. Alfred McLaren, director of SAS and a world-renowned ocean explorer and scientist, saw Genie off on her birthday. Also in attendance were two of Genie's children, son and daughter, Tak and Aya Konstantinou, and her friend Melanie Marks of Shark Trust Wines, a San Diego wine seller that donates 10 percent of its revenue to research, including projects at Mote. Marks also took a ride in the Super Aviator when Genie offered her spot for a second dive. That evening, Genie celebrated her birthday among some of the world's finest marine scientists and engineers, including Dr. Phil Nuytten, founder and president of the pioneer underwater technology company Nuytco Research Limited and contributor to the development of the Super Aviator. Nuytten's "Newtsuit" dive gear and submersibles have been important tools for Dr. Sylvia Earle, a legendary marine biologist and trustee of Mote Marine Lab, who set the depth record for women's solo dives at 3,281feet down. Other world-famous engineers at Genie's celebration included Pierre Valdy, known for shipwreck salvage operations for the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea - including expeditions to the RMS Titanic - and retired Maj. Gen. William A. Anders of the Air Force, who as a NASA astronaut traveled aboard the first manned ship to orbit the moon, Apollo 8. Genie Clark founded the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory - known today as Mote Marine Laboratory - in 1955. Her onewoman operation has now grown into seven research centers manned by a team of scientists who lead their respective fields. Genie, now a Mote trustee, continues to dive and do research. In September she will lead a monthlong expedition

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to Indonesia to study sand-diving fishes and specialized sand chutes in coral reefs where thousands feed. Genie will bring along Madelaine Ellena Derbeek, a student at Durant Senior Highschool in Plant City, FL, who received Mote's Eugenie Clark Expedition Scholarship - an award that allows exceptional students to participate in marine research.

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MOTE FOUNDER EUGENIE CLARK TURNS 87 AND KEEPS ON DIVING

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MOTE FOUNDER EUGENIE CLARK TURNS 87 AND KEEPS ON DIVING