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Mote Marine Laboratory reflects on 2013 and readies for the future

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Mote Marine Laboratory, located at 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota, has had an amazing 2013, and is looking forward in exciting new directions for their world-class marine science and education facility. New additions, such as the Lab’s first education programs in Charlotte Harbor, brought Mote closer than ever to its roots: the one-room Lab on Charlotte Harbor founded by famous “Shark Lady” Dr. Eugenie Clark in 1955.

This year, Mote’s new President and CEO, Dr. Michael P. Crosby, took the helm following 27 years of successful leadership by Dr. Kumar Mahadevan, who became President Emeritus. They also hosted a new International Consortium for Marine Conservation, taught college courses on the Lab’s Sarasota campus, which were made possible through a partnership with the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, and so much more. Mote’s new education programs in Charlotte County reached more than 6,000 participants and Mote hosted 30 high school interns and a record 180 college interns.

In 2013, Mote conducted hundreds of studies on a wide range of issues critical to ocean health and supporting Southwest Florida’s economy. They were featured by 63 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and thousands of stories about our research in popular media, as well as new books and book chapters. Mote scientists also expanded their international partnerships with researchers in Japan, Israel and other nations and expanded their partnerships with Southwest Florida communities.

Mote continued its mission to foster science and ocean literacy, and their school and public programs reached 29,023 children and adults through our special programming. Mote Mobile and other traveling exhibits reached more than a million people nationally and internationally.

The Aquarium at Mote welcomed an estimated 345,000 of visitors, partly due to the success of our limited-time exhibit Sea Lions: On The Water’s Edge, which wrapped up on May 1. In February 2014, Mote will unveil its third limited-time exhibit: Survivors: Beautiful and Extreme Adaptations.

A total of 1,325 Mote volunteers worked 251,769 hours, sharing their time and expertise as Aquarium docents, behind-the-scenes contributors and even research assistants in the Lab. Together with Mote’s interns, they saved the Lab an estimated $5.5 million.

Founded in 1955, Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 research organization based in Sarasota, Fla., with field stations in eastern Sarasota County, Charlotte Harbor and the Florida Keys.
Mote is dedicated to today’s research for tomorrow’s oceans with an emphasis on world-class research relevant to conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity, healthy habitats and natural resources. Showcasing this research is The Aquarium at Mote, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year.

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