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My dissertation combines social science (participatory action research), in-water capture, habitat suitability analysis, and biogeochemistry (stable isotope ecology) to elucidate the habitat use by critically endangered Eastern Pacific hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata).
I am a network member of, and work in close collaboration with, the non-profit, the Eastern Pacific Hawksbill Initiative (ICAPO, in Spanish) and am passionate about respecting and utilizing traditional ecological knowledge to inform and assist in
Other Research & Interests:
I am also passionate about anthropogenic (human-generated) debris awareness and mitigation, I have done some outreach on this topic, and am currently leading a project on my campus to ditch single use plastic water bottles and promote reusables.
This passion for anthropogenic debris awareness started during my time as Lead Educator at the Living Coast Discovery Center, where I developed education programs with a focus on the anthropogenic debris issues. This passion was heightened during a 2 year study I led analyzing the gastrointestinal content of 71 sea turtles bycaught (accidentally caught) in the North Pacific Ocean. I spent hours and hours pulling anthropogenic debris (mostly plastics) out of sea turtle stomachs and found the second and third highest frequency of occurrence of anthropogenic debris ingestion ever reported for sea turtles. This data contributed to two publications Wedemeyer-Strombel et al. 2015 and Schuyler et al. 2015.