Set your DVR to catch Florida Keys Community College’s Chief Science and Research Officer Dr. Patrick Rice on “The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation” on CBS on Saturday, October 17 at 10 a.m.  Hosted by CBS news correspondent Mo Rocca, the show is described as a “weekly celebration of the inventor’s spirit—from historic scientific pioneers throughout past centuries to the forward looking visionaries of today.”

Rice, who in addition to overseeing the College’s grant-funded, scientific research projects, develops shark repellent technologies with the company, Shark Defense Technologies, LLC.  In the show, he explains and demonstrates the technology behind Shankbanz, a shark-repelling bracelet he helped create. Sharkbanz use special patented magnetic technology to deter sharks from attacking people.

“Sharks possess highly-sensitive electro-receptors used to judge distance, shape, and even the heart rate of other animals near them,” explains Rice.  “As a shark approaches a person wearing Sharkbanz, magnetic waves coming from the band disrupt its electro-receptors.  It’s very uncomfortable for the shark—like getting a very bright light shined in your eye.  The shark quickly swims away, and often does not return to the area.”

CBS filmed a portion of the segment in June on FKCC’s Key West Campus and on Smathers Beach in Key West.  The show also included footage captured in Bimini, Bahamas, where Rice successfully tested the effectiveness of Sharkbanz using a dummy surfer with Caribbean reef sharks.

“The goal of our research is to not only protect people, but also to protect shark populations.  While sharks may have unfairly earned a bad rap, they are valuable members of our marine ecosystem.”

Last year, FKCC’s ongoing shark-repellent research was highlighted in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report on fisheries bycatch reduction presented to Congress in Washington, D. C. That study gauged the effects of shark-repelling bait on the number of sharks accidentally caught by fishermen who are targeting species that live in the oceanic pelagic zone such as tuna and swordfish.  The technology has the potential to save tens of thousands of sharks per year.