Dr. Ellen Prager – Safina Center Fellow
Dr. Ellen Prager is widely recognized for her expertise and ability to make science entertaining and understandable for people of all ages. She has built a national reputation as a scientist and spokesperson on earth and ocean science issues and is a sought-after speaker for public-oriented events and as an expert by the media. She has appeared on The Today Show and NBC News, Good Morning America, Fox News, CBS Early Show, CNN American Morning, Larry King, The Weather Channel and in shows for the Discovery Channel.
Dr. Prager’s book The Shark Whisperer, published in May 2014 by Scarletta Press, is the first book in a middle grade fiction series, Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardians, that combines humor and adventure with learning about the ocean, marine life, and ocean issues. Sylvia Earle calls it “an underwater Harry Potter”.
In May, 2015, the second book in her series, The Shark Rider was released to excellent reviews. Ellen is now in the final editing stages of book three, Stingray City, which will be released in May, 2016. Her books are being used by educators in their classrooms, developing related educational activities, and are also a key part of summer reading programs. The response to the series has been fantastic (check out reader reviews onAmazon.com!) While Ellen loves writing these books, the best reward has been her interaction with readers and their parents! She also spent time in Grand Cayman this fall for television, radio, and newspaper interviews to explain how a proposed pier development plan would do irreversible harm to the local marine environment—acres of coral reef—and economy. Check out her essay, The Myth of Coral Reef Relocation. Ellen also met with cruise industry executives to further explain her strong opposition to this risky development plan.
Other publications include her illustrated young children’s book, Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey, and Under the Sea released by Sylvan Dell. For adult ocean-enthusiasts, her book Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter, took an entertaining look at marine biodiversity, its relevance to the average person, and why ocean life and resources are now at risk. It has been called hilarious, tastefully salacious, and fascinating.
Dr. Carl Safina, Founding President of The Safina Center explains that “Ellen is a kindred spirit and we’ve been on parallel quests to explain and inspire about nature and the sea for at least 15 years. Her work has just the kind of high-spirited, inventive quality I like to be associated with. It’s a pleasure to be in her circle of light and to help boost her reach.”
“Having long known Carl and admired his work, I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to now collaborate with him as a Fellow of The Safina Center,” says Prager. “Being a Fellow will provide support for my work to bring ocean science and conservation to broad audiences, in particular with my new middle grade fiction series.”
Prager has written articles for scientific journals, public-oriented magazines, and several other books including Chasing Science at Sea: Racing hurricanes, stalking sharks, and living undersea with ocean experts and The Oceans. She published a series of children’s books with the National Geographic Society. The first book in that series, SAND received the 2000 Parents Choice Award and was followed by Volcano and then Earthquakes.
Dr. Prager has participated in research expeditions to places such as the Galapagos Islands, Papua New Guinea, the Caribbean, Bahamas, and the deep waters of the Florida Reef tract. She currently works as a freelance writer, consultant, science advisor to Celebrity Xpedition in the Galapagos Islands, and as an NBC News on-air expert. Prager was previously the Chief Scientist for the Aquarius Reef Base program in Key Largo, FL, which includes the world’s only undersea research station. She also served as Assistant Dean at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
Prager’s full bio here.