Have you ever wondered what daily life is like for a sea turtle biologist? We invite you to meet our sea turtle biologists!
We are so grateful for the many sandy miles our biologists walked at all hours of the night during the 2016-2017 nesting season. Together, we're creating a future for sea turtles.
What attracted you to this field position?
In Mexico, I had been working with sea turtles, so I thought that it would be a great opportunity and experience to learn more about these amazing animals, to know about other techniques of working with them and understand conservation on an international perspective and particular, the role that Latinoamérica plays on sea turtle conservation and how it can be improved.
Describe your typical day on the job.
The first thing after waking up it is to go to Kike´s Place for breakfast at 11:00, then come back to the station at 12:30, more or less. Between 12:30-14:00 we have a moment to work on the computer, take a nap or just chill. If we have Earthwatch volunteers we use this time to do different activities with them.
At the beginning of the season each one of us had different assigned jobs. In my case I have to do triangulations, meaning if on night patrol we had a turtle nest, I have to mark the exact position of the nest on the beach, measuring and writing the distance between the nest and the north and south markers, vegetation and high tide. I have to do this every day after we had a turtle, between 14:00-15:00hrs. After this, we sometimes play soccer on the beach and swim in the ocean. At 18:00 we go back for dinner at Kike´s Place. They have really good food and different options for us. Once done, we come back to the station for the night patrol, with start time for patrol depending on the tide. Usually we walk 6hrs, 3hrs before and 3 hrs after high tide. We switch schedules every night for patrol so we walk with different people and patrol a different beach. Also, in the middle of the season we started to check the hatchery, to keep the nests safe from raccoons, so we added the hatchery patrols to the schedules.
What is the best part of your job?
I think for me there are two big parts, one, obviously it is the turtles, that unique and magic moment that you have with them, just you, the beach and the turtle it is an incredible experience. After almost 6 months of work with them, you really know them. It is amazing you can follow and learn more about their lifecycle. The other thing is the people, either volunteers or tourists. With a simple talk about sea turtles, conservation and the work that we do, you can see how they enjoy it and learn a lot, and that is more than enough for me. To see and try to understand the perspective of local people in this topic of conservation it is really important.
How has your experience inspired you?
Working here made me see and understand another side to the conservation, and all the factors involved to make it happen. The great importance of sea turtle conservation, is that there is still a lot of work ahead. Working with the people, the communities, and wrapping them up in this work for conservation is very important. And in Mexico we need a lot of effort on this, so there is a lot of work to do at home.
What has been the funniest moment thus far?
I can say that the stay here has been very fun, all the team it is amazing. We always try to enjoy it and make all the activities that we do together fun.
Describe Costa Rica in three words.
Friendly, nature, diversity