Watters tells me she has always had a fondness for biology, especially turtles, so it’s no surprise she’s made a career in a field that studies them. She’s not a native Oklahoman but Watters is definitely an OK scientist.
They just started the first year of a three year grant to study the diversity of those creatures in Oklahoma. They’re also looking to see if any of them show signs of certain diseases that could have a major impact on the populations.
Special thanks to Jessa Watters, the herpetology collections manager, for letting me tag along on one of their field trips. We went to the James Collins Wildlife Management Area in Latimer County. It’s not know if any of the animals you see in this video suffer from those diseases. The researchers take what they’ve collected back to their lab to perform the tests.
If you know of a group of scientists doing field work in Oklahoma please let me know. I’d love to go out there with them. Drop me a line at scienceisok (at) outlook (dot) com.