Padre Island National Seashore protects the most important nesting beach in the US for the critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and has been a member of a bi-national recovery effort for the species since 1978. The Park relies heavily upon in-person public programs to help educate the public on recovery and protection efforts of the Kemp’s ridley and to minimize negative interactions with sea turtles by the public. However, due to the current global health crisis, methods currently employed by the Park, such as public sea turtle releases, are limited to protect the health and safety of visitors and staff alongside lower visitor attendance as more people opt-out of in-person experiences. Alternative ways of educating, engaging, and informing the public are desperately needed to provide educational and outreach opportunities to a wider audience or those with health concerns. The intern will work with the Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery and collaborate with the Interpretation Division supporting the following projects:
- 1. Develop and create web-based scientific communication and outreach products regarding sea turtles and ocean conservation to provide remote learning opportunities on the Park website and social media platforms;
- 2. The intern will receive training on outreach and distance learning tools and will apply this knowledge to create content aimed at providing educational information to visitors and the public on protected species at the Park, Park research programs, and conservation goals; and
- 3. Support the Sea Turtle Program through participation in all aspects, including nest monitoring, stranding response and necropsy, and hatchling and stranding releases.