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Today Show Features ESF in the Galapagos

Graduate student discusses 10-week stay on island
6/2/2010

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    From the blog: "This story is many years in the making, and I (Elizabeth Hunter) am but a minor player in the saga, fresh on the scene. I am a graduate student at SUNY-ESF, and I have been given an incredible opportunity to study the reintroduction of giant tortoises to Pinta. This is thanks to generous funding from the Galapagos Conservancy, the experience and wisdom of my advisor Dr. James Gibbs, and a bit of luck on my part!"
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A SUNY-ESF graduate student was interviewed on NBC's Today Show June 2 about her role in an effort to use giant tortoises to restore the damaged ecosystem of a remote island in the Galapagos.

Elizabeth Hunter was one of the people featured in the show's coverage of the work on Pinta Island, where 39 tortoises were introduced this spring. It is the first time in nearly 40 years that tortoises have lived on the island.

Hunter and three field assistants will spend 10 weeks monitoring the behavior and movements of the tortoises. The field crew is using an array of high-tech instrumentation and some old-fashioned techniques, like sitting and watching, to determine what effect the tortoises have on Pinta Island.

Hunter is a master's student in conservation biology. She studies with Dr. James Gibbs, a conservation biologist. ESF's partners in the project are veterinarians from the University of Georgia, Zoo Atlanta and the Houston Zoo; and the Galapagos Conservancy. Funding sources include the Galapagos National Park, Panaphil Foundation, Continental Airlines, the Houston Zoo and members of the Galapagos Conservancy.

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