A window inside life at Augustana College

Turtle internship: WE HAVE TURTLES!

For those of you that do not know, I am on an internship in Swansboro, North Carolina at Hammocks Beach State Park on Bear Island studying loggerhead sea turtles. I arrived to the island on May 19th with high hopes of learning valuable skills that will help me in my future career endeavors.

The first turtle that we saw arrived on Sunday June 10th and we have since had 3 nests on the 16th, 17th, and 18th of June. We are able to name the turtles as well and their names are Betsy, Rosemary, June Ann, and Emily.

I was on patrol each of the nights that we have had a turtle nest and my reaction varied each time. When Betsy, our first and largest turtle appeared, I was dumbstruck and could not find words to explain how excited I was. Once I realized what we had to do-the tagging progress and measuring-I began to worry a little because it had been almost a month since training. We saw a false crawl right after and actual saw the turtle. This is when all hell broke lose because she was almost back to the ocean. Jeremy, one of the other interns, held onto the turtle so she wasn’t able to crawl back to the ocean as fast while Caleb and I raced around trying to get all the information that we needed.

There is a possibility that we will see a nest boil, which is the turtles hatching, but it is rare to see it happen because you have to be there on the right day and the right time.

I have learned so much already from this internship that I will take with me to my future career and I will remember the memories that I am making for the rest of my life.

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