Turtles in the Gulf
Geospatial Mapping of Marginalized Species
First there were sea turtles, then there was man.
Among the most iconic of marine mega fauna is the sea turtle, a threatened and endangered group of species including the Hawksbill, Leatherback, Kemps, Loggerhead and Green. These animals face a host of threats in waters around the world, and perhaps none more than those in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Today, scientists are still rushing to understand the patterns and behavior of these turtles. Research is hoped to provide protection and a secure future for these animals in the aftermath of the spill, but poaching and by-catch continue to be potent factors in suppressing their slow-breeding population.
I spent the summer of 2011 following, documenting and working with this team of biologists. Long hours and weeks without break are the norm for this level of study, but more than ever, as humanity continues to expand unchecked, scientific knowledge is critical for the restoration and balancing of our oceans and its species.