Miami, FL — Selling lemonade, hot chocolate, shark-shaped cookies and wristbands has helped 8-year-old Sophi Bromenshenkel become a global phenomenon.

Through her efforts she has raised thousands for shark conservation and been recognized as Oceana’s 2011 Junior Ocean Hero. This month she graces the cover of the latest issue of Oceana Magazine. “Oh my gosh, that is a big picture of me! I¹m really proud of my award and my shark work, says Sophi.

Dubbed the shark girl at her school in Minnesota, she has educated several community groups on the threats facing sharks and how they can contribute to shark conservation. Sophi has even convinced her church to host shark month, where parishioners donated to her cause. Her contributions go directly towards purchasing satellite tags, which are used by University of Miami (UM) scientists to track a single shark’s movement. The data can be used to determine mating and feeding areas and help to create Œshark sanctuaries that are protected from fishing.

The pint-sized member of UM’s R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program (RJD) team headed by Director Dr. Neil Hammerschlag will be in Miami on Thursday, October 13 at 5:30 p.m. for the South Florida premiere of This is Your Ocean: Sharks at the Bill Cosford Cinema. She will join world-renowned wildlife artist Dr. Guy Harvey, who appears in the movie, in painting a collaborative piece. The artwork will be auctioned at the end of the evening, and all proceeds from the event will benefit the RJD program.

I feel really excited on the inside about painting with Guy Harvey, says Sophi. I have 3 of his shirts and a magazine about him. I think we will be great friends because we both know so much about the ocean and art!”

Tickets for the screening are $20 for general admission and student tickets are $10. A $2,000 donation can be made to purchase a shark satellite tag, as well as attend a VIP dinner following the screening. Reservations are encouraged due to the limited seating. Kindly RSVP to Carla Lovinsky at 305-421-4061 orclovinsky@rsmas.miami.edu.

About the University of Miami and the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in 2009, the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program is a joint program of the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science and the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy at the University of Miami. The Rosenstiel School offers one of largest, most comprehensive marine and atmospheric programs in the nation. The Abess Center encourages innovative interdisciplinary initiatives that bridge the gap between hard science and environmental policy. For more information or to get involved, please visit www.rjd.miami.edu.

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