21 May Acclimating to Turtle Time
The probability of seeing a dead turtle and a live turtle within the same hour is low- not impossible, but awfully low. Alas, on my first day at the Padre Island National Seashore (PAIS), I had the honor (or not) of coming across a decaying green turtle and stranded live turtle within the same hour. A few pokes to the cornea of the animal with no response is an ensuring way to determine its state of being. As I observed Paulina, a biologist at PAIS, examine the dead turtle, a thrill was sent through me. I could not help but scorn myself for being excited to feel this way at such an unfortunate scene. My excitement was hard to hide, and I was overcome with questions regarding the procedure for handling the creature.
As a child, I was humbled within the realms of science and math. I often took longer than others to grasp concepts and felt isolated in my academics. My approach to science was often timid and fearful, I loathed to ask questions as it was a sure way to exhibit the shortcomings in my studies. It would take years for me to realize that science is fruitless if there are no questions. As I began to recognize this revelation, my confidence and passion for science ignited. It only felt proper to pursue higher education in a field that would demand questions and reciprocate with failure and impactful experiences. No one is truly great without failure first. At the University of Houston, I am pursuing my Bachelor of Science for Environmental Geosciences and Chemistry. Afterwards, I will begin my Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering to focus on desalination and wastewater management.
As I continue to make strides in environmental stewardship and conservation, I express highly that environmentalism must start with local initiatives; if one will not advocate for their habitat or home, how can they advocate for other regions? As a native of Texas Coastal Bend, I have become well acquainted with the beaches and its creatures. The majority of my weekends were spent at the beach exploring the jetties, chasing the tides and walking along the shore with my dog. As the History Science intern, I have the privilege of unraveling the history of passionate advocacy for animals and our environment. As I emerge myself into the program, I recognize the importance of passion triumphing for science. After all, as passion ceases, science frays.