#SciFund Challenge: Turtles in the Deep

#SciFund is a month-and-a-half long initiative to raise funds for a variety of scientific research projects. Project leaders post a project description and an appeal for funds, and members of the public are invited to make small donations to projects that they deem worthy. Donations come with rewards such as access to project logs, images from fieldwork, your name in the acknowledgements of publications, among other possibilities. Many of these projects are marine or conservation themed. Over the next week, we’ll highlight some of our favorites. Please take a look at these projects and, should you so desire, send some financial support their way. If you do make a donation, let them know how you found out about their project and leave a comment (anonymous if you’d like) on this post letting us know.

Turtles in the Deep

Lindsey Peavey is a graduate student at the University of California (and formerly from the Duke University Marine Lab) who studies the ecology of large marine vertebrates, including sea turtles. She is currently tracking the foraging behavior of Olive Ridley sea turtles in the open ocean. Funding for this project will go towards covering travel expenses, satellite tracking tags, and supporting research interns.


As a nice bonus, her home institute will match funding, so your donation will count double. It’s a good enough project that we’ll even forgive her misuse of the term “deep” for “open ocean”, because we can’t all be as poetic as deep-sea biologists. Go check out Lindsey’s project page and pitch in to help a new graduate student get her research off the ground.

A short note on the “turtle harvest” e-mail

An e-mail has been making the rounds over the last few weeks purports to show evidence of an illegal turtle egg harvest in Costa Rica. It contains several pictures like this:

While the pictures are real, the e-mail is misleading. They show a sustainable, legal turtle harvest that actually helps the Olive Ridley turtle population. Our favorite observational nerd, Christie, has a thorough break-down of the what’s really going on and the Costa Rican Tourist Bureau has released further information. It’s a shame that a few people more interested in sensationalism than the truth are hurting the efforts of dedicated and effective conservationists.

~Southern Fried Scientist