The National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation (NSTSTF) recently gifted $60,000 to FAU’s Marine Science Lab at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton.
This new gift will support six graduate students who are studying sea turtles and their behavior with annual scholarships.
“The National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation has been paramount to the success of my research,” said Integrative Biology Ph.D. student Samantha Trail (pictured top left). “Thanks to the support of the NSTSTF, I was able to purchase items to complete my experiments, present those findings at several conferences and publish our findings in Animal Behaviour. Additionally, I was able to share my research to a broader community by contributing an article to the NSTSTF's Florida Environmental Outreach magazine.”
In addition to the scholarships, the gift will also support new lab renovations, equipment and supplies. Some funding will allow for improvements to the lab’s Visitor’s Viewing Gallery – one of Gumbo Limbo’s major attractions.
The Visitor’s Gallery is a high-traffic and key educational display that is designed to build public awareness about the fragility of the sea turtles, our ecosystem and the ocean. FAU’s Marine Lab graduate students serve as community outreach ambassadors at the Gallery.
"I've been at the FAU Marine Lab for four years now and have had the opportunity to speak to thousands of people from all different backgrounds, ages and places about our research thanks to the Visitor's Gallery that has been supported by the NSTSTF,” said Integrative Biology Ph.D. student Emily Turla (pictured bottom left). “I pride myself in being able to thoroughly explain the types of research that happen in the lab in a way that anyone can understand, which is really important!”The Foundation has been a longtime supporter of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and the Marine Science Lab. During the last 22 years, the Foundation has given $345,000.
“Over the years, the Foundation has provided numerous scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students, and funded major renovations as well as costs for graduate students’ research projects,” said Dr. Michael Salmon. “They have been incredibly important sponsors of FAU Marine Biology for a very long time.”
Established in 1987, the Foundation has worked tirelessly to carry out its mission – “to provide educational programming, promote public awareness of Florida’s marine ecosystems, and support sea turtle research both in the United States and abroad.”