Title

Sea Turtle Spotter: A collaborative citizen science project to enhance awareness and data collection for marine turtle conservation

Document Type

Poster

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

18-5-2020

Abstract

Upwell uses Sea Turtle Spotter (STS), a free, international online citizen science project on the iNaturalist.org platform to collect and analyze incidental observations of sea turtles and enhance knowledge of marine habitat use. STS compiles sighting data on a global scale, complementing national sea turtle citizen science initiatives, such as the NOAA sea turtle hotline (swfsc.turtle-sightings@noaa.gov) managed by the Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Upwell's outreach, currently focusing on five of the world's seven sea turtle species, began in the eastern Pacific and recently expanded to the western Pacific. Sea turtles rely on various marine habitats at different life cycle phases. While nesting beach protection has significantly improved, many sea turtle populations remain critically endangered levels due to pernicious at-sea threats. Telemetry, capture-recapture methods and stable isotope analysis can contribute a wealth of information on habitat use, yet time and funding shortages limit wider application. Combining citizen science data with the aforementioned research techniques can yield valuable data at decreased cost while improving conservation awareness. Upwell encourages sailboaters, surfers, sportfishers, SCUBA divers, snorkelers, artisanal fishers, kayakers and other ocean enthusiasts to register incidental sightings of sea turtles at sea. STS provides a user-friendly, accessible platform to aggregate additional data needed to characterize habitat, predict patterns of usage, and prioritize conservation actions to reduce at-sea threats to marine turtles.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Vanessa Hunt

Department/Program

Science Education

Additional Mentoring Department

https://cwu.studentopportunitycenter.com/2020/04/sea-turtle-spotter-a-collaborative-citizen-science-project-to-enhance-awareness-and-data-collection-for-marine-turtle-conservation/

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May 18th, 12:00 AM

Sea Turtle Spotter: A collaborative citizen science project to enhance awareness and data collection for marine turtle conservation

Ellensburg

Upwell uses Sea Turtle Spotter (STS), a free, international online citizen science project on the iNaturalist.org platform to collect and analyze incidental observations of sea turtles and enhance knowledge of marine habitat use. STS compiles sighting data on a global scale, complementing national sea turtle citizen science initiatives, such as the NOAA sea turtle hotline (swfsc.turtle-sightings@noaa.gov) managed by the Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Upwell's outreach, currently focusing on five of the world's seven sea turtle species, began in the eastern Pacific and recently expanded to the western Pacific. Sea turtles rely on various marine habitats at different life cycle phases. While nesting beach protection has significantly improved, many sea turtle populations remain critically endangered levels due to pernicious at-sea threats. Telemetry, capture-recapture methods and stable isotope analysis can contribute a wealth of information on habitat use, yet time and funding shortages limit wider application. Combining citizen science data with the aforementioned research techniques can yield valuable data at decreased cost while improving conservation awareness. Upwell encourages sailboaters, surfers, sportfishers, SCUBA divers, snorkelers, artisanal fishers, kayakers and other ocean enthusiasts to register incidental sightings of sea turtles at sea. STS provides a user-friendly, accessible platform to aggregate additional data needed to characterize habitat, predict patterns of usage, and prioritize conservation actions to reduce at-sea threats to marine turtles.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2020/COTS/120