We would not be successful without our many collaborators around the world. In addition to the hundreds of individuals with whom we have worked, we collaborate with a number of conservation and research organizations around the world. These interactions allow us to pursue research and conservation initiatives more effectively in the international arena and allow for the exchange of graduate students and biologists with these programs.
Fundação Pró-TAMAR is the nongovernmental organization that, in concert with the Brazilian government, is responsible for the conservation and management of sea turtles along the Brazilian coast as well as on the offshore islands and waters of Brazil. This very successful organization is used as the model around the world for involving local communities in the conservation of sea turtle populations and for supporting excellence in research.
Departamento de Oceanografia e Pescas
Departamento de Oceanografia e Pescas (DOP), Universidade dos Açores is located on the island of Faial. The Azores Archipelago is on the mid-Atlantic Ridge and is a major foraging area for oceanic juvenile loggerheads. We have a long-term collaboration with faculty and students at DOP.
Disney’s Sea Turtle Conservation Program
The Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment team has a long-term conservation program focused on protecting sea turtles. The program contributes to the Florida statewide sea turtle nest monitoring program near Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, conducts applied research at the Vero nesting beach, rehabilitates debilitated sea turtles at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® and at The Seas With Nemo and Friends at EPCOT®, and offers public outreach at Disney’s theme parks and resorts. A principal goal of the program is to connect kids and families with sea turtles by guiding experiences with these charismatic animals and by sharing stories about their role in the natural world. The ACCSTR research faculty position filled by Blair Witherington is funded by Disney. In addition to managing Disney’s sea turtle program, Blair’s role within ACCSTR involves student mentoring and collaborative conservation research.
Caretta Research Project
Caretta Research Project is a non-profit environmental organization located in Savannah, Georgia, USA, under the auspices of the Savannah Science Museum. Founded in 1972, the primary goal of the project is to monitor loggerhead sea turtle activity and to protect nests on Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. A second goal is to educate the public on issues related to conservation and management of marine turtles.
Our most extensive network of collaborators are in The Bahamas
Since we first began our research in The Bahamas on the island of Great Inagua in 1974, we have worked closely with The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) The BNT is a non-governmental, non-profit organization, mandated by The Bahamas Parliament to develop and manage the National Park System of The Bahamas. The BNT manages and protects hundreds of thousands of acres of valuable wetlands, forests, marine environments, and tropical ecosystems. Several of our study sites in The Bahamas are in Protected Areas managed by the BNT.
St George’s school in Newport, Rhode Island, has been a long-term collaborator in our program. Their sailing vessel, Geronimo, takes students to The Bahamas, and, over the past 20 years, they have tagged hundreds of sea turtles for us. Captains and crew on the Geronimo beginning with Stevie and Babbie Connett and now Deborah Hayes and Mike Dawson have tagged many sea turtles and inspired many students aboard the Geronimo.
When Captain Stevie Connett retired from the Geronimo program, he and Barbara Crouchley established Family Island Sea Turtle Research and Education. We are fortunate that they continue to tag turtles for us throughout The Bahamas. They also conduct educational programs in marine biology and conservation in schools on many of the Family Islands.
Since 1994, colleagues in the Friends of the Environment – Thomas Bethel, Lory Kenyon, and Nancy and Michael Albury – have collaborated with us to tag sea turtles in the waters around the Abacos and monitor the nesting beaches. The waters around the Abacos have important aggregations of sea turtles.
Our newest collaboration, initiated in 2012, is with the Cape Eleuthera Institute and the Island School on the island of Eleuthera. Annabelle Brooks is in charge of the sea turtle studies and involves Bahamian and international students in the project.
We have been fortunate to collaborate with the TNC Bahamas Program on efforts to conserve sea turtles in The Bahamas and to assist in the planning for marine protected areas.
Brenda DuVal and her team at the Beach Break Salon in Gainesville, FL, communicate to their clients the importance of conserving sea turtles for healthy marine ecosystems. They also support the ACCSTR by donating 5% of all take-home sales and holding an annual silent auction.