Brielle Jaglowski ‘20 spent her summer on the beaches of Maui, but she wasn’t relaxing. She put in long days scanning sea turtles identification tags so she could track migration patterns throughout the Hawai'ian archipelago. She also camped on the beaches to wait for sea turtles to nests and for nests to hatch, educated visitors about sea turtle ecology, and worked with visiting high school groups to teach them about Hawai'ian wildlife and conservation.
“In past years, I researched terrestrial animals including prairie dogs in Arizona and gray wolves in Washington, but I have always had a great interest in marine biology,” explained the Environmental Science major. “Pursuing a sustainability capstone project in this field seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore this passion and fully immerse myself in the topic. I began looking into various organizations across the U.S., and I was thrilled to find the opportunity to research green sea turtles on Maui with Hawai'i Wildlife Fund.”
Brielle hopes to publish a paper that provides knowledge on the current migration patterns of green sea turtles and the future threats to sea turtle nesting and basking habitat due to factors like sea level rise. She also created art that will be sold at the new Discovery Center on Maui and used for HWF fundraising events to raise awareness of conservation and protection of Hawai'ian marine life.
“The sustainability minor has played a major role in expanding my knowledge on sustainability and environmental issues, especially through an interdisciplinary lens,” said Brielle. “Moreover, the capstone project allowed me to explore, in great detail, a topic I have been interested in, which helped me define my post-graduation goals.”
In April, Brielle was awarded the Outstanding Environmental Scientist Award, an annual award that recognizes a senior Environmental Science major who has made outstanding intellectual contributions to his or her field of study as an undergraduate researcher.
Brielle plans to work as a wildlife technician for a few years before attending graduate school to get a degree in wildlife biology. She is looking forward to a career in conservation and protection of wildlife.