Marine Science Major Studies Terrapins in Virginia

During the summer, ESU student Shannon Krieg completed research at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station in Wallops Island, Virginia. Photo Credit / Shannon Krieg
During the summer, ESU student Shannon Krieg completed research at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station in Wallops Island, Virginia. Photo Credit / Shannon Krieg

During the summer, ESU student Shannon Krieg completed research at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station in Wallops Island, Virginia.
Photo Credit / Shannon Krieg

By Chris Powers
SC Staff Writer

Shannon Krieg, a senior marine science major at East Stroudsburg University, recently spent her summer researching terrapin turtles at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station in Wallops Island, Virginia.

Krieg has spent a large amount of time at the consortium, having volunteered, taken internships, and taken classes between semesters.

According to Krieg, “I spent the last couple of summers down at Wallops, where I had an internship first.”

Over the course of her internship, Krieg was introduced to the research she did over the past summer.

Krieg said, “During my internship I maintained tanks and did research as well as having some office responsibilities, and through the internship research I started working on the terrapin project.”

“Through this research project I worked with Dr. Stone, a professor at Kutztown University,” Krieg continued.

This is typical of courses and projects run at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station. Often, students work with professors from other schools in the State System.

This gave Krieg a distinct advantage for her research. She said, “With this connection, the following summer I was able to go to the Field Station and study terrapins the entire summer.”

For her project, Krieg said, “I compared the gravid female size to the clutch size and each individual egg size.”

Gravid female turtles are turtles carrying developing eggs.

Since seeing developing eggs inside of a female turtle would be difficult, Krieg said, “X-rays were taken at the Atlantic Animal Hospital in order to see if the gravid female had eggs inside her.”

In order to collect the turtles for research, Krieg said, “We set up traps and checked them every day, and we drove around a government facility and caught them after they were done nesting.”

According to Krieg, “We then took them back to the lab, where they were weighed, measured, and marked.”

After all of the measurements were made, she said, “Then they were released.”

Krieg mentioned that she had a great personal gain from this experience as well.

She said, “The personal impact that this had on me is that I know now that I can handle anything that comes my way, whether it be stranded on a boat or catching enough terrapins to get valid data.”

Krieg also said that this experience at the Field Station helped her and influenced her career by “showing me how much I love working in the field and how easily I could do this for the rest of my life.”

Email Chris at:
cpowers@live.esu.edu

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