Wow! Our loggerhead mamas just keep coming. Apparently the word in the turtle world is that Topsail is the place to be this nesting season. Our Topsail Turtle Project volunteers are busy scampering up and down the entire island, finding and taking calls about turtle tracks and verifying, marking and sometimes relocating nests. As of this writing we have 33 verified nests, and turtle traffic is still heavy. Let’s hope for a great season as we all need something to celebrate as we continue to recover from Flo.
And back on the other side of the bridge are our nine summer interns who are “nesting” right next door to our hospital. They walked into a full house of turtles and after working closely with our regular staff for the first two weeks they’ve begun taking over the day-to-day turtle care. We always offer a job in “middle management” to an intern from the previous year and this time it’s Jordan Teixeira who assumes the duties of lead intern.
Jordan, from Taunton, Massachussetts graduated this past winter from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with a BS in Environmental Studies and a minor in Biology. He’s actually been with us for several months assisting our Director, Jean with our new digital record keeping program, RaptorMed™. Until the interns arrived Jordan spent weeks hunched over a computer in a small office inputting the information on our patients into the data base. Now that we’ve moved into the 21st century finding records on a specific patient will be much easier.
Jordan said he loved his time as an intern last summer so when he was offered the opportunity to come back as the lead he immediately accepted because “I wanted to inspire the next generation of turtle savers.” It’s apparent that Jordan’s experience during his previous summer here is a real plus, and he has a distinct management style. But, he says, “The hardest part is assigning and supervising work rather than doing it myself.” That’s pretty typical of anybody in the same kind of position. Jordan: “I see my work as taking on all the responsibility for any failure while making sure everybody gets the credit when we succeed.” Too bad more people don’t think that way!
At the end of the summer Jordan plans to return to Massachusetts where he has family and friends and begin working full time in outdoor environmental education. “It’s important to get more people outside and more in tune with what’s happening in the real world. We really need everybody to get outdoors a lot more.” If anyone can make people excited about communing with nature we’re pretty sure it’s going to be Jordan.
We’re now on our summer tour schedule: we’re open daily (except Wednesdays and Sundays) from noon – 4 p.m. Lines can be long even early in the summer so prep for your visit by making sure that you are well hydrated and are wearing sunscreen. Many people bring an umbrella for shade if it’s a hot and sunny day. The tour lasts approximately one hour once you are inside. Hope to see you soon!
Karen Sota is the volunteer media coordinator for the Sea Turtle Hospital in Topsail Beach.