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A letter from Scott Rowan, founder of The Super Fins™


The Komodo dragon was about 25 feet away, then he charged at me in a flash, his disease-infested mouth snapping at my face. I was squatting down at the time, my head at easy-to-eat height for the Komodo. The razor teeth were roughly 2 inches from my eyes, chomping wildly. There were no humans nearby, just the hungry Komodo and me. If it weren't for the plexiglass separating us, the Komodo would have had this fat man for breakfast.

It was one of the coolest, greatest experiences of my life! I felt so lucky to experience such a rare thing.

That was in 2006 when I was volunteering in husbandry at one of the largest aquariums in the country. My first day, I was being introduced around when one of my future colleagues in the hallway outside the room began laughing so loudly I wondered what was so funny. The eruption of laughter got louder, closer, my colleague clearly walking down the hallway just a few feet outside the open doorway. A 600-pound sea lion waddled past, following one of the trainers like a puppy behind her two-legger. That's when I realized a sea lion's bark sounds oddly like a big man's laugh. I laughed, too.

One day I was asked to teach a class of 30 loud children about the reptiles and amphibians I was assigned to care for during my shift. It was a surprise. I wasn't planned for it. As a newspaper reporter, I had experienced gang fights in both Chicago and Washington D.C. (one erupted in gunfire), was threatened by NFL linemen, and called names I won't share here, but the sight of 30 children expecting me to teach them was more intimidating than a 300-pound lineman on steriods or a gang-banger with a gun. I was attacked once by a puhi eel (dangerous cousin to the moray eel) and that was somehow easier to deal with than these kids. Then something weird happened. I heard myself say:

"Want to learn something gross about this snake?"

All 30 kids squealed with delight, they leaned forward and I told them the few things I knew about the glass snake (favorite: x-ray them and you'll see four limbs inside; they're really reptiles that resemble snakes).

I was hooked on teaching. But I didn't have much experience, so I spent years volunteering with the aquarium and with Chicago-based ESL (English as Second Language) companies to learn first-hand how to engage students of any age with one basic demand: DON'T BE BORING!

I began The Super Fins™ in 2006, working on characters to teach marine biology to anyone willing to listen. I firmly believe that all two-leggers, from 3 to 103 years old, find the super powers of animals to be fascinating. If you do not, then The Super Fins™ is not for you.

I've worked on more than 1,200 published books, manufactured news for TV, radio and print that entertained millions of people in 9 languages, but only found myself proud of a dozen or less projects - ones that actually sought to teach, not merely entertain.

Ancient mythology is one of my passions because I see the same lessons Egyptians, Greeks and Romans taught being shared today, only in ways some people don't recognize (pro wrestling "heels" vs good guys, Batman and Wonder Woman, etc.)

I founded The Super Fins™ as a 21st-century way to "edu-tain" (educate + entertain) two-leggers of all ages about aquatic issues. I support all animal organizations, but my 20+ years in mass media, publishing, public/media relations and marketing leaves me feeling that too many organizations have good intentions, but their information is boring to read.

The Super Fins™ has a simple goal: use every medium possible to engage two-leggers of all ages about other individuals who have four fins, flippers or paws without being boring.

We eventually plan to have "smartoons" (smart cartoons that teach) along with journalistic stories, videos, podcasts and anything that will help two-leggers appreciate and help our aquatic friends.

We have dozens of volunteers (writers, artists, photographers, etc) working with us now and if you're intersted in being part of a new way to teach and learn, I ask you to consider joining us. Come on in, the water is warm.


- Scott Rowan
founder of The Super Fins™

Scott's favorite environment
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