The National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation Makes A Major Donation To Florida Atlantic University
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
renovation to the Visitors’ Viewing Gallery last year and now they’ve updated and upgraded our laboratory equipment. We couldn’t do this work without their support.”

“The National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation works to preserve the environment, educate children, keep our programs in the public eye and sponsor and fund projects of those organizations with the same goals,” said Frank Wojcik, Executive Director of the National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation. “The FAU team of researchers is a prime example of scientists who devote endless hours to the uphill battle of preserving our fragile ecosystem.”

The photos provided below were taken July 23, when the members of the NSTST Foundation Board visited the Marine Laboratory and presented their check to the University represented by Dr. Janet Blanks, Dean of the College of Science, and Prof. Jeanette Wyneken, who manages the FAU Marine Lab.

A number of undergraduate and graduate students, working on projects at the laboratory, were also in attendance.
Figure 4. Students working at the FAU Marine Lab. are (left to right): Julie Taylor, Caitlyn Courtemanche, James Long, Luke Martindale and Melanie Gannon.
Figure 5. FAU Graduate Students at the FAU Marine Lab with the “Big Check” from the NSTSTF for $42,314.
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