Another day, another grant application in progress.
Looking forward to when I get to actually go do my research!
I am using these pictures as a reminder of what I am working towards.
Someone asked me yesterday, what my grants are for, so for those of you who don’t know, I am working towards my PhD in environmental sciences, and my research focuses on sea turtle biology and conservation. The grants I am applying for will (hopefully) fund this research. Most scientists have to come up with nearly all the funds to support their work, I am one of those scientists. It is hard work finding enough money to cover all expenses, which is why I am constantly applying for grants that my project qualifies for.
I work with critically endangered hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in the Eastern Pacific ocean, specifically I do my field work in El Salvador and Nicaragua. This population of sea turtles exhibits very unusual behavior for sea turtles as they nest and forage (find food/eat) within mangrove estuaries, a behavior unique to this population (as far as we know).
What we don’t know is where else they spend their time. Do they grow up in the estuaries or the open ocean? Do they migrate or stay nearby or even within these estuaries? These questions are important because in order to protect a species, we need to understand where it is first. My research integrates the social (via interviews) and natural sciences (e.g. catch-and-release studies) to try to figure that out.
I work closely with the fantastic non profit the Eastern Pacific Hawksbill Initiative (ICAPO, in Spanish). They offer volunteer opportunities where you can spend time at the field sites, work with sea turtles and help with our research and conservation efforts!