Meet Sharks4Kids Ambassador Stephanie Huynh
Stef is a physical therapist by day and a shark enthusiast the rest of the time. She has learned everything she knows about sharks through scuba dive encounters and a genuine love and interest of these animals. She does school presentations and creates other educational content.
Follow Stephanie's shark adventures on INSTAGRAM
1. What is your favorite shark/ray and why?
I’ve always had a great admiration for the Great White Shark from a very young age. Probably because I saw the movie Jaws when I was 6 or 7 years old and was more fascinated by this creature rather than buying into the phony storyline that scared so many others!
2. What is one species of shark you would like to dive with?
I know I will probably never have the opportunity because I don’t like cold water diving, but I would love to encounter a Greenland shark. They fascinate me because they are so mysterious and can live to be hundreds of years old!
3. Why do you want to teach students about sharks?
I want to teach students about sharks before they get a bad impression of them from others or develop an irrational fear of them from the TV or the media. If kids can grow up with a true understanding of what sharks are really like and know the importance of their role to this planet, they will have an amazing impact on bringing them back from the brink of extinction.
4. Why did you start shark diving? What inspired you?
My fascination of the Great White Shark didn’t make me fear the ocean but instead drew me to it. I became certified in scuba diving simply to cage dive with the Great Whites of Guadalupe Island. After having achieved this goal, I became interested in expanding my knowledge of other shark species, learning more about environmental issues, and advancing my scuba diving training so that I could dive confidently with more sharks.
5. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about sharks?
I wish everyone knew just how important sharks are to the planet and to sustaining human life. People often don’t recognize that the oxygen we breath comes from the ocean and that sharks are the ones who keep the ocean healthy.
6. What is the coolest moment you have had with sharks?
One of the coolest moments I’ve had with a shark was coming face to face with a Tiger shark for the very first time. I’ll never forget how Jitterbug from Tiger Beach slowly approached me, making direct eye contact. Although a bit intimidating to be in the presence of such a massive predatory being, the curiosity we had towards each other seemed mutual. It was just such a special moment I shared with this incredibly powerful, yet vulnerable, creature.