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Student Carly Shaw of Haddon Twp. Visited West Coast for Presentation of Research at Conference

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL (12/14/2023)-- Carly Shaw, of Haddon Township was among a talented group of Coastal Environmental Science students who recently joined professors from Flagler's Natural Sciences Department on a trip to Portland, Ore., where they presented research at the national Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF).

"These students contributed in a major way to each of our projects and had the opportunity to present at this national conference," Professor Brown, co-leader on the trip, said.

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This group consisted of students who had received academic credit for their efforts and collaboration on the research projects of Associate Professors of Natural Sciences: Matthew Brown and Ed McGinley.

"It's uncommon for undergraduate students to present at a national meeting such as this, and they simply rocked it," he said. "They were all super engaged, very professional, and provided a wonderful energy to the experience for Dr. McGinley and me."

The 2023 CERF Conference theme was 'Resilience & Recovery,' with the mission "to connect science and society with collective goals of preserving coastal and estuarine habitats, resources, and heritage."

At the conference, which was held from Nov. 12 through Nov. 16, each of the 16 students and recent graduates participated in research presentations.

Carly Shaw and Monica Maldonado presented a poster on a year-long study examining fecal indicator bacteria and Oyster Creek and West Augustine. Shannon Farrell and Olivia Husik presented a poster on a year-long study examining a site and method comparison of marine primary productivity in the Matanzas River Estuary.

Both studies were under the mentorship of Professor Matt Brown.

Leslie Palmer gave an award-winning oral presentation on a study of juvenile green sea turtles at local marinas using a photo ID database. And Kendra Trezona gave an oral presentation on her research as an intern at the Whitney Lab Sea Turtle Hospital examining spatial and temporal trends of sea turtle strandings in northeast Florida.

The remainder of the students presented two posters on (1) the tracking of green sea turtles before and after a hospital admittance and (2) the use of photo-ID and field observations to examine behaviors in juvenile green sea turtles.

Presentations centered around the photo-ID of green sea turtles were based on Professor Ed McGinley's ongoing research project.

"For many of these students, it was their first experience being on the West Coast, and for most of them, it was their first experience at an academic conference," Professor Brown said.

Flagler College, ranked #2 Best Regional College in the south by U.S. News & World Report, encourages students within its 42 majors and 47 minors to think boldly- embrace their futures with confidence, knowledge, and enlightened perspectives. Located in the heart of St. Augustine, Fla. Historic District, Flagler's around 2,400 students live in a small town with big adventures. Flagler College was founded in 1968 within the Hotel Ponce de Leon, a National Historic Landmark opened in 1888 by Standard Oil co-founder and visionary behind the Florida East Coast Railway, Henry Flagler. St. Augustine's history and culture, including the legacy Henry Flagler left for our campus, encourages lifelong inquiry, creativity, and expanded self-awareness. For more information about Flagler College, visit