** BREAKING NEWS ** BREAKING NEWS ** Newswise — FORT LAUDERDALE/DAVIE, Fla. – A new day, a new development in the race for the White House. And this latest development is significant enough that Nova Southeastern University (NSU) has decided to extend the finish date for its Shark Race to the White House.
"With the latest news coming out, we decided we needed to keep our poll going as we don't know how this might impact our sharks," said NSU professor Mahmood Shivji, Ph.D., with a wry smile. "We've seen some serious miles covered and with the latest news, maybe one or both sharks will feel the need to really start swimming – we want to be sure our poll is as thorough as possible."
Shivji, who is overseeing the shark research, was, of course, kidding as what happens on land isn't really going to have an effect on what the Clinton Shark and the Trump Shark are doing in the Atlantic Ocean. The project is proving pretty popular, so the decision was made to let our "experts" keep doing what they do as a way to predict the next occupant of the Oval Office.
These sharks are part of the ongoing marine science research on shark migrations at NSU's Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography. The Clinton Shark and the Trump Shark are the latest animal prognosticators to weigh in on an issue of national and international importance. They join the ranks of Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog who lets us know annually how much longer winter will last and Paul the Octopus, the soccer savant who, in 2010, predicted the winner of the World Cup.
The rules are very simple: On Monday, Sept. 26, as the human candidates took the stage for their first nationally televised debate, NSU researchers started tracking their marine counterparts – the Clinton Shark (whose motto is "Swimming Stronger Together") and the Trump Shark (whose motto is "Mako America Great Again") – as they do what mako sharks do, that is, swim in the Atlantic Ocean. NSU researchers will continue collecting data from both sharks and then at noon Friday, Nov. 4 NSU's Shark Race to the White House will end.
At that time, whichever shark has tallied the most miles traveled during the race will be declared the winner and, hence, predict which candidate will win the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. As of Monday, October 31, 2016, the Trump Shark was leading the Clinton Shark 511.81 miles to 446.38 miles.
What makes this project great is that voters – in fact, anyone in the world – can follow the Clinton Shark and the Trump Shark in near real-time online via NSU's Shark Race to the White House website (nova.edu/presidentialrace.) This special-edition website allows visitors to "animate" the sharks' tracks to see where they have traveled, how far they have traveled and more. We also want people to share the race with others via their social media networks using the hashtag #makoprediction
These sharks are contributing to the ongoing research by NSU scientists as they learn more about mako sharks in order to better protect them. While this is a fun, light-hearted way of looking at the 2016 Presidential Election, the research behind this project is pretty serious.
Shivji indicated that worldwide, sharks are being killed off in unimaginable numbers – some estimates say between 70-100 million sharks per year. Clearly, that is not a sustainable level of removal, since many shark species, including makos, reproduce at low rates. That's why the work being done at NSU is vital – we must learn as much as we can about these majestic creatures so we can take steps to ensure they don't vanish from the Earth. Research has been, and will always be, one of the pillars that supports a world-class education at NSU.
So now you don't have to worry about polls or debates telling you which candidate is in the lead. All you need to do is turn to the experts at NSU and visit our tracking Website – nova.edu/presidentialrace – to see which candidate is leading the Shark Race to the White House.
And come Nov., 4, may the best shark swim, um, win!
About Nova Southeastern University (NSU): Located in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and first-professional degree levels. A private, not-for-profit institution, NSU has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, while maintaining a presence online globally. For more than 50 years, NSU has been awarding degrees in a wide range of fields, while fostering groundbreaking research and an impactful commitment to community. Classified as a research university with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is 1 of only 50 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie's Community Engagement Classification, and is also the largest private, not-for-profit institution in the United States that meets the U.S. Department of Education's criteria as a Hispanic-serving Institution. Please visit www.nova.edu for more information about NSU and realizingpotential.nova.edu for more information on the largest fundraising campaign in NSU history.
About NSU’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography: The college provides high-quality undergraduate (bachelor's degree) and graduate (master's and doctoral degrees and certificates) education programs in a broad range of disciplines, including marine sciences, mathematics, biophysics, and chemistry. Researchers carry out innovative basic and applied research programs in coral reef biology, ecology, and geology; fish biology, ecology, and conservation; shark and billfish ecology; fisheries science; deep-sea organismal biology and ecology; invertebrate and vertebrate genomics, genetics, molecular ecology, and evolution; microbiology; biodiversity; observation and modeling of large-scale ocean circulation, coastal dynamics, and ocean atmosphere coupling; benthic habitat mapping; biodiversity; histology; and calcification. The college's newest building is the state-of-the-art Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center, an 86,000-square-foot structure filled with laboratories; offices; seminar rooms; an auditorium; and indoor and outdoor running sea water facilities. Please visit cnso.nova.edu for more information.