Wednesday, November 26, 2014

SEA TURTLE SCIENTIST- Stephen R. Swinburne

I'm not surprised to discover that the SCIENTISTS IN THE FIELD series has several (at least four, I think) books on the CYBILS nonfiction list. Today's offering, SEA TURTLE SCIENTIST, follows Dr. Kimberly Stewart, the "turtle lady," in her efforts to save the sea turtles of Saint Kitts and Nevis. The reader follows Stewart in her midnight watches of enormous mama turtles crawling up onto the beach to lay eggs, and her digging of nests that have hatched. The book includes chapters on how the turtles hatch and begin their journey, how the community is working to save the turtles and interestingly, a chapter on a native from Saint Kitts, that used to hunt sea turtles, but now works with Stewart on her conservation effort. Swinburne presents the complexities of conservation- the local people depend on sea turtles for food and use the shells to make jewelery, which is a source of income.

The story of Stewart's work is interspersed with numerous (I counted at least ten) related articles, e.g. WIDECAST (a Caribbean organization that works to save sea turtles), sea turtle facts, a history of Saint Kitts, how sea turtles are killed, etc. Back matter includes a glossary, a selection on how to help sea turtles, another on how to adopt sea turtles, and a bibliography of books and websites for further reading. By the time I was finished reading, I had resolved to stop using plastic grocery bags and also to go on an eco-vacation to a turtle preserve.

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