Episode 35 – Otto Tranberg’s Legacy

In this episode, the students in the Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles class from the Duke Marine Lab explore the past, current and future status of sea turtle conservation on St. Croix, in the US Virgin Islands. Based on interviews conducted during a 10-day immersive experience on St. Croix, the episode reviews the successes, challenges, and unknowns of conserving and managing sea turtle populations on the island.  

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Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles, class of 2022

Class members group shot

East End of St. Croix at sunrise. L to R: Nora Ives, Eva May, Jieyi Wang, Jordan Scott, Lilia Moorman, Leah Vogt, Madysen Gilbert, Kelly Stewart, and Matthew Godfrey.

Student Biographies

Nora Ives, who earned a Master in Environmental Management degree from Duke in 2022, is currently an environmental analyst, based in California. She is interested in the power of storytelling to illuminate science, uplift underrepresented voices, and inspire communities as we work towards more resilient and holistic environmental conservation plans. She was instrumental in finalizing this and many other podcasts for Seas The Day. 

Website: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nora-ives/ 

Eva May earned her Master in Environmental Management degree from Duke University in 2022 and is currently a Fisheries Scientist at Monterey Bay Aquarium in San Francisco, California. Eva works on issues related to interdisciplinary marine conservation and applied science, using a multi-faceted approach toward sustainable fisheries management.  

Jieyi Wang (iMEP’22 international Master of Environmental Policy) – Jieyi is a second-year graduate student in the Duke-Kunshan Master of Environmental Policy program. During her undergraduate years majoring in marine geology in Tongji University, Shanghai, she gradually found her interest in conservation. From the experience of community social investigation and fieldwork internship, she finds that the local communities are the key to achieving the biodiversity goals, which will also contribute to sustainable development. In the future, Jieyi would like to devote herself to community-based conservation with local communities in China. 

Jordan Scott is an undergraduate student at Duke University. She is interested in marine ecology and conservation. She was enrolled in classes at the Duke Marine Lab in the spring session of 2022. 

Lilia Moorman is an undergraduate student at Wittenburg University. She is focused on biology, conservation, and marine ecology. She enrolled in classes at the Duke Marine Lab in the spring and summer sessions of 2022. 

Leah Vogt is an undergraduate student at Wittenberg University who spent the past spring semester at the Duke Marine Lab. She is studying biology and environmental science and is interested in going into conservation work in the future. She really enjoyed the chance to learn about and see real world conservation efforts for sea turtles in St. Croix.  

Madysen Gilbert earned her Master in Environmental Management degree from Duke University in 2022. She is interested in how physical and ecological processes of marine environments are impacted by human activities and how conservation and restoration efforts can combat these effects. She earned her B.S. degree in both Environmental Science and Geoscience at the University of Iowa, where she was a Research Assistant working on paleobiology and biostratigraphy lab work. 


Instructor Biographies

Matthew Godfrey is a wildlife biologist with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. He is also adjunct faculty at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University (Marine Lab) and the Department of Clinical Sciences of the College of Veterinary Medicine at NCSU. He has worked on sea turtle biology and conservation issues for several decades.  

 

Kelly Stewart is a research scientist with the Ocean Foundation and is adjunct faculty at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University (Marine Lab). Kelly collaborates widely with various groups on research related to sea turtle ecology and conservation, and is passionate about contributing to training and mentoring of students who collaborate on different research projects.  

 


Featured in this Episode

We are grateful to staff in St. Croix who agreed to talk to us for this interview.

Mike Evans and Claudia Lombard are wildlife biologists with US Fish and Wildlife Service at the Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge.

Haley Jackson earned her Master in Environmental Management degree from Duke University in 2021 and worked as an education and outreach specialist with the St. Croix Sea Turtle Project. 

 

Learn more about:

The St. Croix Sea Turtle Project at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge

St. Croix Leatherback Project – The Ocean Foundation 

 



Supplemental material for this episode