On Monday my daughter and I went to watch the sunrise (such as it was) at the Emerald Isle beach. The background of the blog is one of the pictures from that day. We came across some turtle tracks moving out of the surf onto the beach, the nest was laid, and the tracks returned to the ocean. (See photo below) A fisherman came over and asked what it was and my limited undergrad biology student explanation probably left him with more questions than answers. You can get a general idea of the size of the turtle from the human foot prints next to the trail. My daughter and I continued our walk to the pier. When we made our way back to the nest we saw that the local authorities had marked the nest with a large circle. Of course we wanted to show off our find so later in the day when the family went to the ocean to swim we tried to locate the nest. It had been moved to the dunes where it was roped off with orange tape and a sign posted.
On Tuesday I visited the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort http://www.nicholas.duke.edu/marinelab/to get first hand information about their grad school program. While there I asked about the turtle nest. My guide, Lauren, said that the locals are pretty well educated about conservation and that the nest would not be disturbed. Local authorities would monitor the nest and collect data.