Shark-Human Interaction by Erich K. Ritter, PhD
Erich K. Ritter, PhD, is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on shark behavior. His comprehensive study Shark-Human Interaction includes a thorough discussion of his ADORE-SANE concept that details how divers, swimmers, and snorkelers can greatly enhance their ability to safely interact with any shark species under a wide-variety of conditions.
When Dr. Ritter approached Edit911 for our book editing services several years ago, we were honored and excited to accept him as a client. We had already edited some parts of his book in chapter form and as articles he later published in scholarly journals. Our task was to help him assemble his ideas into an organized structure and to assure that the transitions from paragraph to paragraph and chapter to chapter were smooth and effective. Working closely with Dr. Ritter, several of our science editors performed very close manuscript editing to help him realize his vision of a definitive, highly authoritative, eminently readable, and practical guide to the subject.
Dr. Ritter explains why he feels he needed editing and how Edit911 has assisted him: “I learned long time ago that no matter how the good scientific results are, they mean nothing during a reviewing process should the language not be satisfactory. Every non-native English speaker knows what kind of frustration comes along with it. Some of the remarks I have received on my papers in the past were often quite personal and once or twice even nasty. Often, I felt that the reviewer did not even try to see what the meaning of the paper was but concentrated solely on how the paper was written. In two cases, the reviewers knew me (since I was the only one working in this field), yet they still rejected my papers based on their style. One reviewer even added, “…since it is known that he is not a native English speaker….”
Dr. Ritter continues: “Not having grown up in an English speaking world is a constant handicap for most of us who must publish in peer-reviewed journals, and we often dread the beginning of another paper, knowing that no matter how long we sit in front of a paper and try our best to make it readable, someone else has to take over and correct it. Of course, there are often colleagues who are willing to help but even for native English speakers it can be a challenge, and although everything might stylistically be correct when done editing, the wording might still not feel right.”
“So I started to shop around for professional, scientific editing, and figured if they charge money for it I will get the results needed. But after testing a few, they were not worth the money. Then I found Edit911, and my papers finally made it through the reviewing process. What keeps impressing me the most with Edit911 is how they cut my writing down to fewer sentences, enhance the flow of the wording, and do so with impeccable scientific precision. I have since recommended Edit911’s editing services to others who face the same problem as I do.”
Dr. Ritter’s book is fascinating to read and extremely valuable for anyone who enters the oceans of the world—the sharks’ domain. We are proud of how his book turned out and extremely gratified that he entrusted his groundbreaking study to our book editing service.
Shark-Human Interaction, published by SharkSchool, is available from Amazon: http://amzn.to/UTPKaf
Dr. Ritter’s Bio:
Dr. Ritter earned his Ph.D. from Zurich University in “Behavioral Ecology” as its only professional shark-human interaction specialist. He did his post-doc at the University of Miami’s Rosenschiel School. He has taught field courses for students, naturalists and divers in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Maldives, Egypt, Mexico, Costa Rica, South Africa and Hawaii. He conducts his field research primarily in the Northern Abacos, Bahamas at the “Shark Education & Research Center” (SERC).
Dr. Ritter is also the head of the SharkSchool™, an organization that teaches divers, snorkelers, rescue swimmers and others how to interact with sharks, what to look for when entering the water, and most importantly how to feel safe among sharks. He functions as a case investigator of the Shark Research Institute’s GSAF (Global Shark Attack File). He is also the chairman of SAVN™, the Shark Accident Victim Network, and non-for-profit organization to help shark victims. He has given lectures worldwide and was guest on many different TV shows, including a quick appearance in the movie SharkWater.
Dr. Ritter’s Writings (all edited by Edit911):
Scholarly Papers Published:
Ritter, E. K. (2012). A rare use of a shark’s pectoral fin? Scooping off a sharksucker from the flank. Open Fish Science Journal, 5: 57-59.
Ritter, E. K. & Amin, R. W. (2012). Effect of human body position on the swimming behavior of bull sharks, Carcharhinus leucas. Society and Animal, 20: 225-235.
Ritter, E. & L. V. C. Compagno (2012). Clasper flaring: maintenance behavior, or a normally hidden feature of male whitetip reef sharks, Triaenodon obesus? Open Fish Science Journal, in press.
Amin, R., Ritter, E. & P. Kennedy (2012). A geospatial analysis of shark attack rates for the east coast of Florida: 1994-2009. Fresh Behavioral Physiology, 45 (3): 185-198.
Amin, R., Ritter, E. & L. Cossette (2012). An investigation of shark density and attack rates in California. Journal of Environment and Ecology, in press.
Ritter, E. (2011). Use of sand ripples to enhance chafing in Caribbean reef sharks (Carcharhinus perezi) and blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus). Bulletin of Marine Science, 87 (3): 413-419.
Scholarly Papers Submitted:
Ritter, E. (2013). Coasting of pelagic thresher sharks, Alopias pelagicus, in comparison to oceanic whitetip shark, Carcharhinus longimanus, and the blue shark, Prionace glauca, two other species of the same ecomorphotype. Journal of Fish Biology.
Ritter, E.K, Amin, R. W. & A. Zambesi (2013). Do lunar cycles influence shark attacks? Open Fish Science Journal.
Ritter, E. (2012). Shark-Human Interaction. Situations Findings Recommendations. SharkSchool Publishing.
Available at http://www.sharkschool.com/shark-human-interaction/
You can read even more about Dr. Ritter and his work at these links:
Shark School: http://www.sharkschool.com/shark-human-interaction/
Global Shark Attack File: http://www.sharkattackfile.net/
Shark Research Institute: http://www.sharks.org/
Shark Accident Victim (Dr. Ritter is the Chair): http://www.sharkvictimnetwork.org
You may contact Dr. Ritter directly:
The Icarus Deception is yet another inspirational, informative, and dazzling Seth Godin manifesto and self-help book. As in many of his previous books, Godin delights with insights on how to succeed in business (“…our success turns not on being the low-price leader but on being the high-trust leader.”), while self-actualizing and maximizing your potential and happiness in all areas of life.
The essence of Godin’s multi-layered thesis is that life is an art form and everyone is an artist. “Art is not a gene or a specific talent,” says Godin. “Art is an attitude.” We’re not all painters or musicians or graphic designers, but we should all use our tools and skills to be artists. By that, Godin means we should strive to be the best we can be at what we do and who we are: “Your work is your art (and vice versa).”
Whether we tend bar, fix cars, build houses, or run a day care center—no matter what we do—we should do it better and care more about it, and others, than anyone else. When we do, we benefit both ourselves and those who experience our artistic work, because people crave connections with people who care. “We embrace the humanity in those around us, particularly as the rest of the world appears to become less human and more cold. Who will you miss? That is who you are listening to.”
These aren’t new ideas, necessarily. Godin’s influences and references run far and wide—from Zen, sociology, psychology, and philosophy; from Plato (the implied Platonic ideal) to Jobs (the meshing of art and technology), and Emerson (self-reliance and Transcendentalism) to Pirsig (the motorcycle we maintain is ourselves).
Yet, Godin’s metonymic intellect strides from one synthetic adage and observation to another with the grace and fluidity of a racehorse. His style is both muscular and light, alternating from an almost pugnacious tone that challenges and dares the reader to a sweet and encouraging grandfatherly voice that loves his family—his tribe—and wants only the best for them. I always feel like I’m on a rollercoaster reading his books: they’re a fun, crazy, fast, exhilarating, and not a little bit daunting ride.
As we know, Icarus flew too high and died, but what many don’t know about the story—because of the deception forwarded and publicized by the industrial, corporate, conformity machine that repressed the rest of the story—is that if he had flown too low, he’d have crashed into the ocean and drowned. So the allegorical moral to the story is that we should, indeed, fly as high as we possibly can, just short of flaming out.
So how does one achieve greatness while minimizing the risks of utter failure? By creating art. Always be creating. And always be creating relationships through your art. “Art is the unique work of a human being, work that touches another.” True quality is customer/client/friend/acquaintance aware, driven, and accomplished because “people want your humanity, not your discounts.” If you make cabinets, make cabinets people will be amazed by. If you treat patients, treat every patient as you would your own child. If you clean carpets, clean them as if your own baby will be crawling on them. “When we treat the people around us with dignity, we create an entirely different platform for the words we utter and the plans we make.”
Clearly at the heart of Godin’s books is his enormous heart. One of today’s greatest shining lights, he inspires, he instructs, he pats you on the back—saying, “You can do it!”—and kicks you in the ass—saying, “What are you waiting for?”
Ultimately, Godin professes tough love for all and antipathy for those grounded in apathy. “We embrace the humanity in those around us, particularly as the rest of the world appears to become less human and more cold. Who will you miss? That is who you are listening to.”
In performing any academic editing, such as dissertation editing or thesis editing, you will usually need to use two style guides. The first is provided by your university and may or may not be combined with the policies and procedures for dissertations and degree conferral. The second is a professional style manual.
One Style Does Not Fit All
Some schools use one professional style manual for all departments; others allow each department to choose its own manual. The most common of these are the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), and the MLA Handbook (MLA). Some departments use A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Turabian). Other manuals are used less commonly in the writing of dissertations and theses.
Go Right to the Source and Ask the Horse
You can determine which style manual you are required to use by checking the university style and formatting guide or asking your advisor. Ideally, the professors for your courses leading up to the dissertation process will expect you to use the required professional manual for their assignments. In that way, you will begin to build the skills needed in the dissertation or thesis process.
Learn & Apply Its Rules
Professional style manuals include information related to the technical aspects of writing your dissertation, including the requirements of formal language, and to the publication of articles and books. Some manuals are narrow in focus; others try to anticipate as many situations as possible that writers may confront. Most typically include information related to the following:
- Punctuation (including use of italics)
- Preferred spelling (including hyphenation)
- Use of numbers
- Use of abbreviations
- Use of scientific terminology
- Formats for tables, charts, and other graphics
- Reference list or bibliography entry requirements by type of source
- Internal citation formats
- Footnote and end note formats
- Levels and formats for headings and subheadings
- Elimination of bias in writing (including gender bias and preferred terminology for racial and ethnic groups)
Pay Attention to the Edition
When you locate the specific professional style manual for your department, be sure to note which edition the university requires. These manuals undergo continual revision, with new editions being published as often as every three years. Typically, universities will update their requirements to include the most recent manual editions. However, students who begin the dissertation process under one manual edition are not usually required to change as long as they complete their dissertations in a timely manner.
Be Wary of the Guides’ Limitations and Contradictions!
You should also be aware of the limitations of these professional guides. For example, APA and MLA are geared specifically to the sciences and language and literature, respectively. CMS is much broader in scope and is generally used in the social sciences. When APA and MLA do not contain specific information, editors often rely on CMS to determine correct form and required information. They then adjust the formatting to meet APA or MLA requirements.
You may also find that information in the professional guides contradicts information in your university dissertation style and format guide. Remember, the university guide always trumps the professional guide.
Consider Using an Editing Service
If you’re stumped or just want to be sure, you may want to hire an editing service to check everything for you. Be sure to tell your academic editor not only the specific style manual required but also the specific edition. Editors often have multiple editions of these manuals to use as resources. Knowing which one you must follow is imperative to ensuring an accurate edit of your paper.
Students occasionally have difficulty adjusting to online formats, especially if they are accustomed to being in a classroom with ‘real’ people and a ‘real’ instructor. When instructors design online classes, we work under mandates to align them as closely as possible to their on-ground counterparts as far as material covered. Although this is true, the dissonance arises because students may feel alone, hanging on the periphery of the educational arena, attached only by a rectangular screen.
It doesn’t have to be that way, however. Online is not an abyss; it is merely a new way of communicating. The majority of online courses provides a venue for discussion and encourages interaction with your instructor and your classmates, ‘bonding’ if you will. In the best online classes, students ‘get it’ and sustain productive dialogue. Thus, the primary difference between online and on-ground courses lies with you and has to do with self-motivation, self-discipline, time management, and sticktuitiveness, all qualities that will put you ahead, not only in academia but also in the world of work.
Whether you are a first timer or a seasoned pro in the virtual world, there follows a list of suggestions that can aid your online success.
- Download and read the syllabus. Be aware of when modules or discussion boards will change or close.
- Transfer all due dates to a planner or calendar. Monthly ones work best because they allow you to see ‘what’s ahead.’
- Avoid procrastination! Just because there are ending due dates does not mean you should put off the assignment. In an on ground class, there are constant reminders; in an online class, these may not be as evident.
- Check email at least daily. Most online instructors use this form of communication and many will send periodic reminders of due dates along with other information. [Email will go to your university address].
- Frequently, check the course home page for announcements.
- Check the To Do or Assignment List in each module. They will clearly spell out the expectations for the week or partial week of the course.
- Do NOT be afraid to contact your instructor. If you have a question, chances are good others do as well.
- Note the instructor’s posted response time on the syllabus. If you do not receive an answer within that specified period, send another email. Technology is miraculous but, occasionally, things do fall into a virtual black hole.
- On the point above … your classmates may be clever and bright and terribly together but asking them questions about assignments is often less informative than asking the instructor.
- A little known fact … your instructor can monitor your time on the computer. If an accrediting board or board of regents mandates x number of contact hours per course [in Tennessee, it is 45 for a three hour credit class] and your report shows that you have been online for four hours, your grade may reflect that deficit even if you have submitted all the academic work. Even downloading or printing the modules takes a certain amount of time, which will show in your report.
- Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you enrolled in the class. That may sound odd but it happens … if you have been absent in an on-ground class, your instructor may say ‘welcome back’ or ask where you’ve been or remind you that attendance is important. In an online class, the instructor may send an inquiry by email but, without a response, we may assume you have dropped or are merely disinterested.
- Please adhere to correct formatting on your papers … instructors appreciate a readable 12-pt font and double spacing. Put your name on everything and use it in your document tags [e.g., Save As … Paper 2 Your Name]
- Please adhere to the rules of grammar and spelling [even in your discussion board postings and responses].
- Learn and use APA documentation … if you have doubts, purchase the book, access http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/, or ask your instructor. [Important: If you cannot write a paragraph explaining the difference between plagiarism and paraphrasing, please contact your instructor before submitting work].
- Save your documents in an accessible format, preferably .doc or .docx … do not submit papers marked “Read Only,” which prohibits corrections.
- To review: show up, communicate, discuss, dissect, and analyze. Don’t procrastinate.
All of Edit911’s dissertation editors and book editors use an MS Word function called “Track Changes” to edit the documents our clients submit. In case you’re not familiar with the program, you can find it on your toolbar under “Review.” Simply click on it to turn it on. The Track Changes program allows the copyeditor to do two things to your manuscript: to make changes in the text itself (indicated by a color other than black, so that they can be found easily) and to add comments in the right-hand margin of your manuscript.
Dealing with Changes in Your Edited Text
There are two ways to deal with the changes in the text itself. If you agree with the copyeditor’s changes in the text, you can either highlight each suggested change individually and then go “Accept” on the Review toolbar, or if you are satisfied with all the changes your copyeditor has made in the text, you can click on “Accept All Changes in Document” on the Review toolbar, but you don’t have to highlight anything for those changes to occur.
Value-added Editing with Comment Balloons
In the right-hand margin, your copyeditor will chat with you about issues arising within the manuscript. It is important to pay attention to these comment balloons because in general they are an attempt to talk with you about issues greater than the spelling of a word or the correct punctuation of a sentence.
Here are some balloon comments I made on a recent document that I edited:
“I don’t understand what this word means in this context. Can you choose a different word that will be clearer for your reader?”
“In the previous paragraph, you referred to this character as a male (he), but in this paragraph, you referred to the same character as female (she). Was this just an error?”
“This statement is a direct quote from a published article, and so you need to give the appropriate bibliographic reference in parenthesis.”
“This paragraph would be better to sum up your argument, rather than to introduce your argument.”
“I think scenario would be a better word choice here than script.”
“In your bibliography, you have spelled this author’s name as Smith, but here you have spelled it as Smyth. Please locate the correct spelling and then change accordingly.”
“This would be a good place to cite a reference from Foucault to support your argument.”
Using the Comment Balloons to Maximum Effect
Occasionally these comments opened up some back-and-forth discussion with the author, though most were straightforward in pointing out a need for change that the author could take care of herself.
If your document will go back and forth to the copyeditor, you can type inside the balloons yourself, though you might want to write in all capital letters to distinguish your comments from the copyeditor’s.
To get rid of the Comment Balloons once you have attended to each, you must click on them individually. The advantage of this is that you can once again review the dialogue with the copyeditor before making it disappear.
Track Changes is quite easy once you get the hang of it. When you do, you’ll wonder how we ever did without it!