My interest originated when I was a little girl. My Papa would take me out to the woods and teach me about different animals. He taught me which snakes were venomous, the differences between a semi aquatic turtle and a tortoise and how to track different animals. He taught me that we depend on the animals and that we must respect and take care of them and their habitat. Although my Papa left me when I was 9 years old, his lessons and the passion he instilled in me have never faded.
This passion exploded in my Junior year of college. In 2005, I was involved in a Carolina diamondback nesting/predation study. It was during this study that I was introduced to a long-term semi aquatic turtle population study. I found myself surrounded by people with the same enthusiasm and passion for conservation. I have acquired over 1000 hours in the field working with this group. I am a Senior Member, the Lead Volunteer Coordinator and a Field Lead/ Processing Associate for the Turtle Survival Alliance-North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group. I train new volunteers on all aspects of collection/processing of turtles. I also serve in the capacity of public educator/interpreter and as a supervisor of students and other volunteers conducting research in the field.
I also volunteer for the North Florida Land Trust & the Florida State Parks, monitoring Diamondback terrapin nesting and survival in the Big Talbot Island State Park. I also assist with a statewide status assessment study of diamondback terrapins under the supervision of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
I decided to continue my education and research and am currently working on my Masters in Marine Science from Jacksonville University. My goal is to work in conservation with the ability to do field work and continued research.