Michael Salmon, Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Florida Atlantic University
For the second time in as many years, The National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation had generously provided funding to support the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Marine Laboratory, as well as the undergraduate and graduate educational program of the Department of Biological Sciences. This year’s donation consisted of $26,000 for equipment and supplies necessary for ongoing experiments being conducted at the FAU Marine Lab, $12,000 to support research projects on marine turtles, and $4,000 for NSTST Foundation Scholarships to be awarded to graduate students working toward advanced degrees in any field of marine biology. The Scholarships will be awarded later this year, during the Fall semester. When they are completed, Environmental Outreach will publish an article about the recipients and the importance of their studies.
The funds provided last year were used to renovate the Gallery section of the Marine Lab, where the public can observe ongoing projects being done on shark and ray sensory systems, effects of global climate change on marine plants, and several projects being done on marine turtles including studies to determine the sex ratios of the hatchlings from local nests, as well as studies on growth, migration, and the effects of artificial lighting on nesting females and the hatchlings that emerge from those nests and attempt to crawl to the sea.
Figure 2. Dr. Wyneken tells the NSTST Foundation Board Members
the secrets to raising leatherback sea turtles. Pictured are (left to right):
Eileen Nesdale, Frank Wojcik, Mike Osborne, Jeanette Wyneken, and
Mary Beth Mudrik (Communications, Dean’s Office, FAU).
Figure 1. Members of the National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation present
a check to Florida Atlantic University. Pictured are (left to right): Dr. Janet
Blanks, Dean, College of Science; Connie Versteeg (Education); Eileen Nesdale
(NSTSTF Office Manager), Dr. Mike Salmon, FAU Biology; Mike Osborne,
(NSTSTF Marine Programs); Dr. Sylvia Gografe, FAU Veterinarian; Dr. Jeanette
Wyneken, FAU Biology; and Frank Wojcik, (NSTSTF Executive Director).
The renovations this year included new equipment (such as a UV sterilizer to purify the water supply), new tanks for rearing hatchlings,
Figure 3. Connie Versteeg (NSTSTF marine
biologist) and son Kade inspect a juvenile leatherback sea turtle.
fluorescent lighting fixtures, and supplies needed to rear over 400 turtles of three species (green turtles, loggerheads, leatherbacks) to a size where their sex can be determined. The Visitors’ Viewing Gallery, improved by funds provided last year, is one of Gumbo Limbo’s major attractions – over 100,000 people pass through annually.
“We appreciate the on-going support we receive from the National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation,” said Jeanette Wyneken, Ph.D., professor within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science’s department of biological sciences. “The Foundation funded a major