Occupation: Gulf Office Director of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project since 2002. Founder of the volunteer organization HEART (Help Endangered Animals-Ridley Turtles in 1982.
Specialty: Creating public awareness about the Kemp’s ridleys and educating students and the general public about the need for sea turtle conservation laws and law enforcement.
Best part about my job: Providing a voice for magnificent marine creatures.
Biggest challenges I face: Convincing the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and NOAA of the need to protect the Kemp’s ridleys in Texas waters by establishing a marine reserve or marine protected area adjacent to the Padre Island National Seashore where the majority of Kemp’s ridleys nest in Texas at this time, and provide additional closures.
The most unusual or exciting thing that’s happened to me while working in the field: Seeing a nesting Kemp’s ridley return to the water after covering her eggs at Rancho Nuevo, Mexico, and seeing the release of hatchlings at the Padre Island National Seashore hatched from eggs laid by the first head-started turtle.
Why I like being a member of the MTSG: I receive excellent information and, although a journalist by trade, I am part of an organization of prestigious and internationally respected scientists.
Turtle researcher / conservationist I most admire: Todd Steiner of Sea Turtle Restoration Project who is fearless in taking whatever action is needed to protect sea turtles anywhere in the world.
When I’m not working on turtles I like to: Go camping, go to baseball games, and enjoy my two small grandchildren, Abigail and Spencer.
Ten years from now, I hope I will be doing: The same as above including sea turtle conservation work.