Turtle Education in Nebraska!

Greetings from the Midwest! Last summer I spent an amazing 3 months as one of the National Marine Life Center’s interns working in turtle rehabilitation and environmental education. While I’ve since moved back to Nebraska to continue working toward my college degree, I’ve used my current position as a resident advisor in the dorms to continue teaching people about turtles and other marine life.
When you enter my floor in the residence hall, you immediately know that the person in charge is a little obsessed with turtles. From the bathroom decorations, to the name tags on the doors, to even the bulletin boards, it is a marine life wonderland.

A welcome sign hung in the bathroom.
My "Where Am I?" board to help residents find me when I'm needed.

In fact, my residents’ nametags that are hung on the door are an adapted version of the sea turtle craft I used during Fins and Flippers – Sea Turtle Week last July!

Recently, I was awarded the Passive Program of the Series Award as well as the campus-wide February Star Programmer of the Month Award for my educational sea turtle bulletin board that is currently hung in my hallway. This bulletin board covers interesting facts about each species, their geographic range, as well as size charts and a diagram depicting their life cycle.

My award-winning "Sea Turtles" educational bulletin board!

Most of the information I used was taken directly from the blogs that I wrote this summer about sea turtles. It was wonderful to go back and read what I learned during my research this summer.

I also had a great opportunity to partner up with another resident advisor and have a multiple-floor educational event on penguin conservation to celebrate Penguin Awareness Day, which was January 19th.

An advertisement we used to promote Penguin Awareness Day!

This program was very well attended with 35+ residents coming out to celebrate. We had a quiz game with our residents that included information about different species, including diet, range, and natural as well as man-made threats to the penguins.

Resident Ryan Butler celebrating Penguin Awareness Day at our award-winning educational program!

All of our prizes were penguin-related, and the food was loosely penguin-themed as well. This program was also recognized with an Outstanding Active Educational Award.

I intend to continue my environmental education with bulletin boards and/or bathroom posts on the difference between seals and sea lions as well as dolphins and porpoises, the main focus of my summer internship project.

I can’t wait to come back to the National Marine Life Center over spring break to see the progress on the Marine Animal hospital, as well as seeing the progress on the patients I had the opportunity to work with and those patients I haven’t met yet! Watch out Cape Cod, here I come, again!