I was involved in the turtle tagging program during my time at HPA. It was one of the highlights of my time there and definitely influenced my decision to major in Biology, which eventually led to getting a Master’s degree in Oceanography.
I attended the turtle tagging trip that went to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. My parents were working out there and we were able to set up a week long trip. It was late in my senior year that we went, and the only trip I went on. I wished I had gone on a trip sooner, it was a lot of fun and a great experience.
turtle tagging was a blast…i always enjoy telling my friends on the mainland about it. they get a kick out of it. in fact i’m wearing my turtle tagging shirt right at this moment…its been to my college in maine and now its with me in fiji…kinda like the sweet memories.
It is great to heard that celebrating for twentieth anniversary of the Sea turtle Research Program!I joined the turtle tagging trip when I 10th grade in HPA, I guess. Great experiences that something we are not able to do it in Japan.
I am one of those that was out there in the middle of the night catching turtles in Kiholo Bay in 1987-1988. I am not sure, but I think I was on one of the first expeditions. I was in the marine biology class with Dave Gulko my junior year- I graduated in 1989. Anyway-great memories, and in part, probably lead to my career path protecting natural resources on the island of Hawaii.
I participated in Turtle Tagging from when I was in 8th grade to my junior year of high school (1997/98 school year – 2000/2001). By far the best trip was the overnight at Kiholo with the Mr and Mrs Watson. About 10 of us, and someone from Kealakehe High School (turtle tagging was an equal opportunity event! If you want to know his name it was Clay Barnett..I knew him outside of turtle tagging) spent the night at Kiholo, did night dives counting turtles and day swims to tag them. Any camping event with the Watsons was incredible, but this was an absolute blast and since Kiholo is a turtle mecca, we got so much done!! That’s my contribution to this 20 year anniversary. This is an amazing and very unique program!
I graduated in 1998 and participated in a number of turtle tagging trips during my time at HPA, including two independent projects in my junior and senior years. The turtle tagging program was a wonderful opportunity and served to inspire and solidify my interest in biology. I decided to pursue science as a career, and am currently finishing up my PhD in biology at Princeton, studying the physiology and behavior of another sea-going reptile: the Galapagos marine iguana.
I went turtle tagging! I do believe I was a junior when I went. I remember almost not going but after a sit down with Mr. Gulko I was allowed to go.It was really fun tagging and measuring all those turtles. The one thing I did not expect were the little needle fish that are in the lagoon. We went out on my first night and there were all these little fish kamakazi-ing themselves at you. I remember being told not to shine lights at each other because they are attracted to light. What I remember the most about the whole trip is how my perception of the green sea turtle changed after that. My mom and I went diving after graduation near the entrance to Kiholo bay and we saw a couple of turtles. I remember feeling proud about my tagging experience while watching them swim around. I am happy that I was able to go.
My most memorable experience turtle tagging with Mr. Rice was at Kiholo Bay under a full moon. It was my first night dive and I was very nervous. I grew more confident knowing I had about twenty close friends along with Mr. George Balaz, Mr. Watson and Mr. Rice in the water with me. Mr. Rice spotted the turtle first and urged me on. As I went to grab the turtle, a quick yank back alerted me to the eel just below. Though I was clearly jolted by the near encounter I was rewarded later that evening with my first hand catch. Boy those turtles are strong!! I will never forget my HPA turtle tagging experience and will treasure the memories of the multiple trips and those beautiful turtles.
Turtle tagging was a highlight of my high school career. I vividly remember the trip to Kiholo Bay. The boys were in charge of grabbing sleeping turtles in the black lagoon. Girls had the task of shuttling the turtles on their backs in a floating tube back to shore. It was fear and excitement in one! The next day we weighed, measured and tagged them. I still feel guilty for the enema process they had to endure. But it was an incredible experience that I treasure. Thank you Mr. Rice
Thanks for all the good memories of getting to skip school and go to beach all day tagging turtles! My favorite was that week long trip to Lanai, in 03 or 04, it was a great way to see some other islands while still doing some good research.My favorite memorys of the turtle tagging are the trips, of course. taking the time off from the classes to go to the beach. 2 hours of catching sleeping turtles and the rest of the time goofing off, camping on great beach locations I was made responsible for cooking the prepared dinner for everyone on one of the trips. Cooking stir fry and hamburgers with Mr. Watson. I took four hamburger patties and stuck them together to create one giant meatball and cooked it very slowly. Mr. Watson told me that the whole thing was going to be raw in the middle, but when I cut it in half, the thing was perfectly mid well. Worst time: No.2 using the chemical toilet No 1 cleaning the chemical toilets after returning to HPA
I took part in the first two years of the program. I remember fondling sitting on the point with a search light checking the net every 15 minutes and then, if we saw the splash of a trapped turtle, snorkling in the cold and black water to retrieve our new friend. Along the way, our splashing would sometimes spook other turtles sleeping on the bottom and they would take off. I remember one time, David Gulko (Marine Biology Teacher from 1986-1989 I believe) caught hold of one and was taken on a wild ride until he received assistance from Dr. George Balaz. I smile thinking back to those nights sitting on the beach of Kihilo Bay listening to the waves lap the shore and sleeping out under the stars in a perfect Hawaiian night. I can’t believe that was 20 years ago!
I had participated in several tagging trips throughout my stay at HPA. The multi-day camping/tagging trips were some of most memorable experiences of going to HPA. But the one story I still tell to this day is when I got bit by a turtle. Good to hear the program is still going strong and I would love to be able to help out again.
This is Becky Emory and I just wanted to send a quick email because of the 20th anniversary of turtle tagging. I was part of the program from 2001-2003 & I must say that my favorite trip was the week we spent on Lanai. This has been one of the most facinating experiences I’ve had so far and I thank you for it.
Turtle tagging was one of most euphoric and awesome experiences of my life. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of it.
This is Walter Coronel, class of 1999. I remember being involved in a number of different tagging operations during both the day and at night involving both scuba and mask/snorkel. The scuba trips were amazing. We watched the turtles at cleaning station (tower of coral) being cleaned by wrasse fish and caught some of them nearby. This was somewhere off of Puako. I remember holding on to one turtle from a pretty deep water spot and having it pull me up to the surface. It was a rush because the turtles are so fast. We passed the turtles into the boat and put tags on them. Then we measured them, weighed them, and recorded the data before we released them. I also remember catching them at night in the lagoon. They would be sleeping and we would catch them. One was so much larger than I thought it was that when I grabbed it I was pulled 4 or 5 feet under the water and had to let him go after he reached the bottom. I also remember the radio tags. We would use the hydrophone to find the radio tagged turtles which had a three digit number tag, something like 929 or 838. We would listen to the turtle’s tag beep and then follow the noise to the source and record some data about the time and position. All in all the tagging project has been something that I have shared with a lot of people. I think that it is an unusual experience that most people don’t even know is possible.
I was a very adament tagger, I have so many amazing memories about it that I don’t know what to say. It did however inspire my first tattoo of 3 honu.
I’m happy to say that I was a former participant of the Turtle tagging program. I am Daniela (Carreira) Araki, Class of 1993.I believe I participated in my sophomore year, possibly 1991, but I’m not positive on that. I remember having such a wonderful experience with handling the turtles. I remember we even had the fortune of viewing a Hawksbill Turtle, that year. (Which was a rarity, from what I remember being told.) I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to participate in HPA’s Turtle Tagging program. Thanks to HPA, I have many fond memories of my High School years to look back on, such as the Turtle Tagging program.
I previously participated in the HPA Turtle Tagging Program while attending HPA sometime b/w 1989 thru1991. In my opinion, the program offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to students. I find myself telling stories of my trip with others even to this day. It definitely gives you an appreciation for Mother Nature and perspective on how fragile ourenvironment really is. Mr. Rice has done a fantastic job running this program and I thank him for this great experience.
Marc’s turtle tagging program is a big part of what made me want to come back and teach at HPA. Having the opportunity to go to a school that really recognized each student as an individual and provided what felt like custom opportunities for us to shine let HPA win my heart. The Turtle Tagging program was a part of this for me.