On a warm June afternoon, Carly Sibilia, ’17, hopped in her Chevy SUV and drove down Great Bay Boulevard, a five-mile stretch of concrete along the New Jersey shore. Built in the 1930s to supply a never-completed fish factory in the bay, the road has become another kind of thoroughfare for researchers like Sibilia.
June and July are the prime egg-laying months for the northern diamondback terrapin. As sunset drew nearer and the tide came in, the turtles emerged from the ocean and wobbled their way across Great Bay Boulevard in search of a patch of sand or gravel in which to lay their eggs.
Sibilia drove, scanning the side of the road and, when she spotted a terrapin, pulled over and marked her location with a GPS point. She weighed and measured each turtle, recording these figures and noting whether it carried eggs. Then she made a series of divots in the shell with a file, each notch corresponding with a unique ID code.
This profile appeared on the University of Richmond website and the winter 2016-17 issue of University of Richmond Magazine.