Workshops

Behavior Change Campaigns for Sea Turtle Conservation:
Team BEACH (BE A CHangemaker) is an initiative started by the State of the World’s Sea Turtles (SWOT) Program at Oceanic Society and Disney Conservation that aims to unite sea turtle conservation projects and professionals around effective behavior change and outreach methods. While many sea turtle conservation programs implement outreach and education, not all of them are created using the most effective methods to yield tangible results and evaluate their successes. The goal of Team BEACH is to create a network of sea turtle conservationists and behavior change experts who can share case studies, best practices, instructional materials, and stories so that outreach efforts are driving behavior change that supports sea turtle conservation. Prior to SERSTM, we will request that members of the Team BEACH network submit real-life conservation issues that they are trying to address in their communities, including the resources and limitations they have to work with. After an introductory presentation in which we discuss how to create a successful outreach campaign and associated evaluation, we will ask workshop participants to form small groups and brainstorm effective behavior change programs for one of the case studies. We will then ask them to present these solutions back to the larger group and facilitate open discussions about each solution with the group. By the end of the workshop, participants will have learned about tools from behavior change specialists and will have applied those tools to real-life scenarios that sea turtle conservation professionals are facing. They may even create strategies that could be developed and implemented by Team BEACH members.

Presented By: Rachel Smith, Rod Mast, Brian Hutchinson, Ashleigh Bandimere, and Lindsay Mosher

 

Sea Turtle Rehabilitation and Health Veterinary Medicine:
The workshop will be a mix of clinically applied topics for vet techs, veterinarians, and support staff such as nutrition and managing starvation/debilitation, pain management, anesthesia, managing traumatic injuries, and innovative wound care, and more to come. The topics to be discussed will be finalized once the speaker list has been finalized but is sure to be very informative. This workshop requires audience participation and attendees will be required prepare information to present in the “What went well and what did not go so well…”  session. Be prepared to send Dr. Norton 1 or 2 slides for a group presentation for this part of the workshop. We want there to be lots of discussion and ideas presented throughout the workshop.

Presented By: Terry Norton, DVM, DACZM and Maria Chadam, DVM

 

Hatching and Nurturing Volunteer Networks.
Success and pitfalls for developing & sustaining volunteer networks crucial to sea turtle conservation programs in the southeast U.S. This interactive and fun session kicks-off with participants sharing organizational information, expectations, and current projects. Hear firsthand from program managers and volunteers about their real-life experiences during cold stunning/stranding events, outreach, nest patrols and day-to-day hospital sea turtle management. The session includes the good, the bad and the rewards when partnering with volunteer networks. Goals of this session are to help participants be aware of potential volunteer networks and their skill sets, to help implement best practices at their locations and to establish a successful partnership between volunteers and conservation organizations.

Presented By: Galveston Bay Area Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists

 

Just Stick to It: Lessons Learned from Sea Turtle Epibiosis.
Epibionts are organisms that inhabit the exterior surfaces of other living organisms. In the marine environment, epibionts representing a wide range of taxa attach themselves to a variety of organisms that commonly include invertebrates, cetaceans, and all species of sea turtles. Typically innocuous to their hosts, some epibionts colonize multiple species, while others specialize to form obligate associations. Clues to the biogeography, ecology, and behavior of both host and their associated epibiotic communities can be found by studying these ancient symbioses. In this Workshop, we will hear from leading researchers who are exploring and often newly-describing the species and ecosystems that develop on the exteriors of sea turtles, and attempting to unravel the complexities of these fascinating inter-species relationships.

Presented By: Larry Wood

 

Satellite and Acoustic Tagging Technologies and Applications for Sea Turtles.
This workshop offers an in-depth overview of current and emerging acoustic and satellite technologies available to sea turtle researchers. Each presenter will provide technical details and case studies highlighting how the different systems and products each company provides can produce the data required to address research questions. Successes and challenges of different applications will also be reviewed. A discussion period will follow the presentations. Join Kevin Ng from Wildlife Computers to learn tips and tricks for tagging sea turtles—everything from tag programming and antifouling to tag attachment. Learn how Live Maps can help disseminate your research information to your funders and the general public. You will also get an in-depth look at real case studies and their data and tracks. Stephanie Smedbol from Innovasea will provide information on the use of Innovasea acoustic telemetry systems for sea turtle tracking, including discussion of new technologies such as tiny high-frequency tags for hatchlings, acoustic data storage tags, and predation sensing tags.

Presented By: Kevin Ng- Wildlife Computers, Stephanie Smedbol – Innovasea, Lindsay Enslow – Lotek

 

Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research Meeting.
The Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research was approved by the Texas A&M University Regents in May 2019 to address the data gaps and research needs to conserve sea turtles in Texas, the western Gulf and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. The Center seeks to organize sea turtle biologists in the region and speak with one voice to attract attention, and funding, for sea turtle research activities and conservation priorities that will protect sea turtle populations and their vital habitats from the beaches to the ocean. The Center’s purpose is to create collaborative relationships with other sea turtle researchers, and sea turtle research entities across the Gulf of Mexico and to positively benefit undergraduate students, graduate students, early career scientists. The Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research will serve as a platform that will attract scientists from academia, industry, state and federal agencies, as well as internationally, who will contribute to finding solutions to the threats that sea turtles face today. The workshop at the SERSTM is open to all who are interested in the Center’s activities and would like to participate in gulf-wide collaborations. The activities from the past 2.5 years will be reviewed and future Gulf-wide proposals will be discussed. This meeting will be constitute the 2022 annual meeting of the GCSTR.

Presented By: Chris Marshall