Alumni Spotlight: Rachel Bladow


Rachel Bladow volunteered from May 5-20, 2012 at the STC in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Rachel is from St. Louis, Missouri, and is currently attending the University of North Florida as a coastal biology major. She enjoys music, traveling, reading, and of course, sea turtles.

Why did you decide to volunteer abroad with the Sea Turtle Conservancy in Costa Rica?

I decided to volunteer abroad with the STC in Costa Rica because I wanted to gain hands-on experience working with sea turtles since my future dream career is to work with sea turtle conservation.

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

During the day I had time to relax, read a book, and spend time with the research assistants. The nights were set aside for night patrols where you would spend a few hours walking the beach looking for nesting turtles.

What made this volunteer abroad experience unique and special?

The main aspect that made this experience unique and special,and which was also the highlight of my trip was getting to see my first sea turtle! Not only did I get to see turtles, I got to help count the eggs, measure the turtles, check them for any injuries and mark the nests. I was able to see and work with a Leatherback and a Hawksbill turtle! It was amazing to be able to work with the turtles up close!

How has this experience impacted your future?

This experience has impacted my future by solidifying the fact that sea turtle conservation is what I want to do in my life. I was able to learn even more about turtles and gained a unique experience that will hopefully set me apart from other people in my field when I start applying for internships and eventually a job.