COSM

Description of Nests

Description of Loggerhead Nests

The learning curve for deciphering Loggerhead nest morphology is advanced by observing and formally documenting as many nests as possible by measuring, sketching, and photographing them. The process of doing this developed in the St. Catherines Sea Turtle Conservation Program involves construction of mock nests, documentation of real nests, and critical thinking exercises in the field. Teacher-students have nest reading and documentation explained to them in a classroom lecture, then have nest reading and documentation demonstrated for them in the field as a nest is conserved, then learn as they conserve nests in learning groups of two or three students. Their documentation and experiences are recorded in field notebooks and transferred to their students in the classroom, often with the construction of a mock campus sea turtle nest with ping-pong ball eggs. These activities are supported by web-based content and slide shows or video movies made by the teacher.

Simple, unobstructed backbeach nest on South Beach near Mc Queens Inlet. Teacher-interns are reading and documenting nest before they dig it to validate clutch. [Nest 7/21/00].

The process of documentation consists of a variable matrix of photographing nests before they are conserved, measuring them using fiberglass or steel tapes, locating them with a GPS device, measuring them, sketching them to scale (with proper orientation) in a notebook, characterizing the type of nest by type, reading and discussing the nest from the perspective of the turtle, and by formally predicting the egg chamber position.

Last updated: 12/15/2014

Sea Turtle Program at St. Catherines Island • (912) 478-1744 • jgaskin@georgiasouthern.edu