Karen Eckert

Karen Eckert profile imageCountry: USA

Occupation: Executive Director, WIDECAST (Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network); Research Scientist, Duke University

Specialty: Integrating management and conservation efforts at international (primarily Caribbean) scales

Best part about my job: Working closely with more than 50 WIDECAST Country Coordinators – the most passionate, creative and dedicated people in the world! Creating successful conservation models. Teaching, mentoring students. Traveling and experiencing sea turtles with our son, Adam.

Biggest challenges I face: Fundraising. Fundraising. Fundraising.

The most unusual or exciting thing that’s happened to me while working in the field: When our Earthwatch volunteers confided that they couldn’t distinguish between Scott and I, when patrolling behind us. We’re still trying to figure out which of us should be insulted (or complimented?)! Or, being nearly arrested in Malaysia in 1989, having been mistaken for trafficking in refugees rather than tracking leatherback turtles in the South China Sea.

Why I like being a member of the MTSG: Contributing to the science and conservation of sea turtles at a global scale; being in touch with issues larger than my daily work; collaborating with wonderful colleagues.

Turtle researcher / conservationist I most admire: Jim Richardson for introducing me to sea turtles, and for teaching me (by example) the value of precise, complete, long-term data.

When I’m not working on turtles I like to: Travel, cook, read; pretend my to-do list is complete.

Ten years from now, I hope I will be doing: The same thing.

Relevant links to find out more about me and my work: WIDECAST Website; Pew Marine Fellows Program