From the Nominator
Florida International University (FIU) is a global leader in shark research and conservation. Our projects span the globe, providing the science to keep sharks, their prey, and our oceans healthy. In 2015, FIU embarked on Global FinPrint—the largest-ever attempt at a shark and ray census. The goal was to identify hotspots and troublespots for these predators, and provide a baseline for scientists all across the world. The project received core funding support from Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen. In 2020, we released the first results from this groundbreaking census, further establishing FIU as the ultimate shark research hub, and letting scientists, conservationists, and government officials know all across the world that information desperately needed to effect meaningful conservation is now at their fingertips.
This communications effort was one of the most unique media relations projects we’ve ever undertaken. We worked in a collaborative partnership with the communications team at the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, operating as one Global FinPrint communications team. We hope this collaboration serves as a model for other institutions announcing donor-supported research successes.
We secured more than 400 national and international media hits, totaling more than $4 million in television publicity value alone.
From the Judges
FIU gracefully balances stewardship of a foundation supporter and publicity of a new study, while keeping the long view in mind: affecting change with the research, not just getting FIU into the news. Classy.