Dr. Tracy Fanara aka Inspector Planet Uncovers Extraordinary Science Nuggets!


Dr. Tracy Fanara, NOAA Scientist is at the top of her game, doing what she does best – Environmental Science Research.

Greetings to you! In this blog, I’d like to introduce you to my friend and colleague, Dr. Tracy Fanara. Tracy’s current position is with NOAA [National Oleanonic Atmospheric Administration], where she is their Coastal Portfolio Modeling Manager. I like calling her NOAA Scientist   In her role with NOAA, Tracy researches the coastal waters and lowlands of the U.S., which are threatened by climate change, sea-level rise, flooding, oxygen depleted “dead zones,” oil spills, and unforeseen disasters.

I was honored to have collaborated with Tracy on my fourth installment in the award-winning Kobee Manatee® Children’s Educational Picture Book series. This long-awaited title, Kobee Manatee® Climate Change and the Great Blue Hole Hazard was released in September. Tracy went above and beyond her collaboration! She and her team added tons of golden nuggets on climate change and plastic pollution. And how these environmental hazards are overtaking our oceans, by killing its sea life and bleaching its coral.

Why is Dr. Fanara also known as Inspector Planet?

Tracy experienced a horrific childhood when she was exposed to the Love Canal disaster in Buffalo, New York. In this disaster, toxic waste located at Love Canal transformed a small suburb of Niagara Falls and it raised questions that still resonate today. It was the spring of 1978 where Lois Gibbs, a resident of Love Canal read a local newspaper story and quickly learned she was living only a few blocks away from about, “20,000 tons of toxic waste buried in an old landfill, located in the center of the Love Canal community. That waste had been dumped and covered up in an old canal in the 1940s and 1950s by a local chemical company, and was now leaking into backyards and basements of nearby homes. Residents claimed those chemicals had given them a gamut of health problems.” Tracy herself was born with blue baby syndrome from the polluted water, which resulted in decreased amounts of hemoglobin in her blood. With these low amounts of hemoglobin, she wasn’t getting enough oxygen. This resulted in her skin turning blue. 

It was this traumatic Love Canal event, which led Tracy to her calling and her receiving a Ph.D. in science from the University of Florida. Tracy is on an unstoppable quest to teach children about the importance of science and removing pollution from our earth and its waters. Clearly, it’s no wonder she is called Inspector Planet

“Every part of what I do whether it’s making videos or communicating or creating sustainable designs, all of it is art and it’s a huge part of science.” – Inspector Planet

Tracy was the design engineer on “two nationally winning EPA design teams, and she was a National Science Foundation SPICE fellow, subcontracted for the United States Geologic Survey, and was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow by the US Federal Government.”

Dr. Fanara has taken on “projects from led concentration at military sites to designing an aquaponics system for wastewater treatment in space.” Tracy spends time outside of work on communicating science (TV, podcasts, school visits, and public speaking), and she was featured in Marvel’s Unstoppable Wasp, which led to her co-produce the comic series, Seekers of Science. You may have also seen her on Mythbusters the Search.  Tracy can also be seen on The Weather Channel as an expert guest on AMHQ, on their Weird Earth series, on CBS Mission Unstoppable as an expert, and the Science Channel’s What on Earth. AND now let’s add another very cool hat to Tracy’s extraordinary contribution to science …

… Dr. Fanara could get a seat on Elon Musk’s SpaceX lunar mission! The company’s first civilian mission to the moon is scheduled to launch in 2023.  “Knowing I am one of these very few people who have made it this far, it’s really humbling because this is such a huge mission and it means so much to so many people,” Tracy explained. She continued, “I wouldn’t take this opportunity for granted. I would do what I can to bring all of these countries together on a mission to extend humanity’s time on earth to preserve our lives and livelihoods because everybody is connected. All of our earth systems and our space systems, it’s all interconnected.” Learn more about Tracy at: www.inspectorplanet.com 

Kobee Manatee® Climate Change and The Great Blue Hole Hazard, award-winning children’s picture book with NOAA Science expert, Dr. Tracy Fanara.

Keep watching for more of my updates on both climate change and the Florida manatee aka Kobee Manatee!

If you see any sick or injured manatees, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-3922 (FWCC). They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.

Here’s the Save the Manatee Club link to learn more about us manatees …


Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …


~ Robert Scott Thayer