CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Donna Shaver of Padre National Seashore has been working around 40 years on sea turtle biology and conservation in Texas.
“I decided I wanted to dedicate my career to try and save this magnificent species that was almost lost in one human generation,Shaver," says Chief of the Division of Sea Turtle Science, Shaver.
Her career has taken her from upstate New York to Corpus Christi, Shaver says she has had six different job titles, but her road to success was not always easy.
“When I first started at the National Park Service in 1980, I had a man tell me, oh these women in the parks service are taking away the jobs from the bread winners of the family,” says Shaver.
As the Chief of the Division of Sea Turtle Science, she says she is happy to share her experiences and expertise with young people.
“Young women say, Dr. Shaver, I'm so proud and I want to thank you. I'm so glad I got to work with a strong female role model.”
It is clear who she is working for.
“I need to speak for the turtles because they cant speak for themselves,” she says.
She says her years of research are helping her understand threatened and endangered sea turtles in the Coastal Bend. In fact her pioneering work is said to be critical to the ongoing recovery of the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle.
“So, the experimental efforts worked to help increase our nesting here," says Shaver. "That’s what was really very exciting.”
Donna Shaver was presented with the the 2021 Distinguished Texas Scientist Award and was invited to speak by the Texas Academy of Science. To watch her presentation click here.