The first semester of Thacher School’s Field Biology and Conservation course at the Turtle Conservancy is almost over! This pioneering class is the result of an exciting collaboration with our neighbors - the Thacher School and educators Tommy Hattori and Heather Grant.
Junior and Senior high school students engage in a year of applied science lessons through the lens of turtle and tortoise conservation. The students have each been assigned a giant tortoise from the center for the year and guided by the TC education team of Manci Rasmussen and Kelly Herbinson. Every week they perform health assessments with their individual tortoise and delve into a new species that we work with at the center. Each species is explored to better understand their conservation issues and the ecosystem they inhabit.
The class of 13 students is engaged at every level - even brainstorming ways to help with animal enrichment to give the tortoises a more stimulating home. Students are expected to develop their own conservation strategy proposal for their final project at the end of the year. Stay tuned for the Spring, when students will put their knowledge to work in the field to save our local species, the Pacific Pond Turtle (Actinemys pallida).