Our inaugural Science Saturday event, a turtle tagging workshop held at UVI's Center for Marine and Environmental Studies was a tremendous good time for participants big and small. 

Shane Berry gets very up close and personal with a large Green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas. All work is conducted pursuant to a National Marine Fisheries Service permit.

Shane Berry gets very up close and personal with a large Green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas. All work is conducted pursuant to a National Marine Fisheries Service permit.

We set out with the goal to inform the public about on-going sea turtle research at CMES and we did just that! A presentation highlighting this research was given in the CMES conference room while arts and crafts activities were facilitated downstairs for our younger audience. Lastly, our researchers demonstrated how they assess sea turtle health which was a lively and direct experience for many to see.

All sea turtles species found in the US Virgin Islands are protected under the Endangered Species Act and are listed on the IUCN Red List. It is illegal to touch or harass them at any time. This event was possible under an exclusive research NMFS permit. What a wonderful and unique opportunity this was for the community to have a close encounter.

Dr. Paul Jobsis, Director of the Center for Marine and Environmental Science at UVI discusses sea turtle researching taking place at the University.

Dr. Paul Jobsis, Director of the Center for Marine and Environmental Science at UVI discusses sea turtle researching taking place at the University.

MMES Candidate John Cassell discusses marine life at the touch tank.

MMES Candidate John Cassell discusses marine life at the touch tank.

This large Green sea turtle is ready for tagging. All work is conducted pursuant to a National Marine Fisheries Service permit.

This large Green sea turtle is ready for tagging. All work is conducted pursuant to a National Marine Fisheries Service permit.

Dr. Jobsis presents a juvenile Hawksbill sea turtle,  Eretmochelys imbricata, to a captivated group. All work is conducted pursuant to a National Marine Fisheries Service permit.

Dr. Jobsis presents a juvenile Hawksbill sea turtle,  Eretmochelys imbricata, to a captivated group. All work is conducted pursuant to a National Marine Fisheries Service permit.

Scott Eanes weighs, measures and gives the turtles a health check.  According to Dr. Jobsis, this guy is VERY well fed, as evidenced by the generous flesh protruding from the top of his shell! All work is conducted pursuant to a National Marine Fisheries Service permit.

Scott Eanes weighs, measures and gives the turtles a health check.  According to Dr. Jobsis, this guy is VERY well fed, as evidenced by the generous flesh protruding from the top of his shell! All work is conducted pursuant to a National Marine Fisheries Service permit.

All photos by John Cassell and Jarvon Stout

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