Texas A&M Galveston’s Sea Life Facility Rehabilitating Bob the Sea Turtle
The Texas A&M University at Galveston’s Sea Life Facility houses a 40,000 gallon natural seawater recirculating system, in addition to smaller experimental systems, where faculty, graduate and undergraduate students conduct studies of marine life. Each year Texas A&M Galveston’s Sea Life Facility partners with the National Marine Fisheries Service Galveston Laboratory - Sea Turtle Facility to provide a space for sea turtles rehabilitating from illness or injury. Once they regain their strength, grow and complete their recovery, they are released back to the Gulf of Mexico.
Their current occupant is Bob, a large juvenile green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) recovering from a buoyancy problem. Due to his size, he is being held in the facility’s largest tank to provide ample space for swimming and diving activity. “Bob is getting the best care,” says Katie St. Clair, Manager of the Sea Life Facility. “Undergraduate student workers and volunteers assist in preparing daily feeds for the turtle and participating in monthly check-ups that document the turtle’s growth and overall condition.”
Through collaborations with Texas A&M Galveston’s Department of Marine Biology, the Sea Life Facility enables undergraduate students to receive hands-on training in animal husbandry techniques, experimental design, and life support system operation and maintenance. The Sea Life Facility’s Outreach Center aims to engage the campus community and general public, via educational displays and guided tours, to learn about research conducted in the Sea Life Facility and marine life in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.