I am currently in the airport awaiting yet another exciting adventure for the upcoming long weekend. Next Sunday is Saudi National Day, and we also have work off Monday so II hopped onto skyscanner and found the cheapest flight to a country I have not yet explored. I have so much work to do since I have been doing so much field work and have been away from my desk- but I always remind myself that to keep myself happy it is okay to take some breaks now and then. Speaking of having a lot of work to do- I still plan on writing more about my time in Malaysia but I had to put that on the backburner for now.
In the month of September, I have been doing a lot of field work. For instance, one of the chapters of my thesis focuses on the use of photo ID. Turtles can be uniquely identified by the scutes on their faces, so I try to go to Rabigh every two weeks to photograph the turtles we see so I can understand more about the population demographics, residency, seasonality, etc. In addition, I went to a site in the Northern Red Sea known as Al Wajh to help out on a turtle nesting project. I learned how to set up and deploy a satellite tag on a turtle, and collect genetic samples. It was a really cool experience and I hope to write a blog post about it in the future. I have also been trying to prepare for future projects which unfortunately requires quite a bit of paperwork.
For this post I wanted to share some infographics I designed as I am trying to focus on science communication and reaching out to the general public. The first one describes the species of turtles found in the Red Sea, and some of the largest threats that they are facing.
The next poster I designed was to give to the companies in Saudi that will be leading tourism trips to do “turtle watching”. Since the country is just starting to allow for tourist visas and they are really promoting tourism as a way to diversify the country- I expect “turtle watching” to become very population in the upcoming years. A Saudi girl I follow on Instagram posted about a tour she was on that went and watched turtles nesting. I noticed that some of the group’s behaviors were disruptive to the egg laying process. So a woman working suggested that I came up with some general guidelines for future tour groups to go on. This is the poster I made for this purpose- I hope to have it translated into Arabic soon!
My last poster is promoting the photo ID project. I am trying to get as many photos of turtles as possible to build by database, so I put these posters up in dive boats, and I hope to go to some dive centers in Jeddah to hang more up and get the word out. In addition to this poster I actually have been working on a website. It isn’t entirely functional at the moment but you can check it out here, it even has more info about the project if you want to learn more!
Thanks for visiting this page! As always if you have any questions please let me know.