About Lauren and John

John and Lauren are rising second-year veterinary students spending the summer analyzing the health of the Blanding's turtle, a state endangered species.

Week 11: Final Thoughts and Thank Yous

Most of our data collecting is complete and we are on to analysis! It was slightly sad to move out of our Lake County “mansion” and away from our 8 other phenomenal roommates, but cleaning out our bedrooms and field lab reminded us of all that we have accomplished this summer. Here’s a summary of [...]

Week 11: Final Thoughts and Thank Yous2017-08-15T15:46:01-05:00

Week 10: Blanding’s Blunders and Bloopers

Throughout our summer blog we have mainly focused on our accomplishments and the fun we have had while working. However, this summer was not always sunshine and rainbows. This week we want to highlight some of the “challenges" we experienced and never discussed.   Oh the things we have learned... Don’t freeze your Complete Blood [...]

Week 10: Blanding’s Blunders and Bloopers2017-08-09T10:09:30-05:00

Week 9: The Turtle Tapes – Our Summer in 8 Minutes

Time is counting down until we are out of the field and into the lab. We have collected over 300 samples thus far and we have a lot of hematology work and DNA extractions to get going on. Over the past few short months, we have tried to capture the highlights of the amazing "work" [...]

Week 9: The Turtle Tapes – Our Summer in 8 Minutes2017-08-09T10:09:30-05:00

Week 8: Team work makes the dream work

This week, we are going to change things up! We wanted to showcase the incredible, amazing, wonderful, fantastic team we have been working and living with this summer so we asked everyone to write a little bio about themselves!! Working with this group has truly been an awesome experience and they help make work fun [...]

Week 8: Team work makes the dream work2017-08-09T10:09:30-05:00

Week 7: Blanding’s Bowl IV

Who got the most Blanding's in their traps? Who avoided all the snappers? Who got the most hand-caps? Who got those big bonus points? This week was all about the Bowl... the Blanding’s Bowl that is! The biggest competition in turtle history that lasts one week after the end of nesting season in celebration of [...]

Week 7: Blanding’s Bowl IV2017-08-09T10:09:30-05:00

Week 6: Digging Holes and Dropping Eggs

Nesting season is winding down and that means that we are no longer monitoring our turtles at night to see where they lay eggs! We were able to follow a total of 21 turtles as they naturally nested in the wild and those nests will be periodically checked for depredation (destruction of nest by animals [...]

Week 6: Digging Holes and Dropping Eggs2017-08-09T10:09:30-05:00

Week 5: Rollercoaster Rides with WEL

This week was one big roller coaster ride - it was exciting, it took crazy turns and it sadly went by too fast. First-off we have to give a huge shout-out to some of our favorite friends that came to visit and help us: Dr. Matt Allender, Dr. Laura Adamovicz, Marta, Sam, Megan, Kelsey, and Lucas. “Team [...]

Week 5: Rollercoaster Rides with WEL2017-08-09T10:09:30-05:00

Week 4: The Lab

Our week was a little slow in terms of sample accumulation. We only had 12 new turtles to sample for the whole week. To put this number in perspective, our second week we obtained 53 samples (the highest amount in one week thus far). Many of the turtles we encountered we had previously worked up [...]

Week 4: The Lab2017-08-09T10:09:30-05:00

Week 3: Meet the Turtles

We have been discussing our work with turtles for the last few weeks, but what actually makes Blanding’s turtles special, why are their populations struggling, and why is their conservation important? This week we want to shed some light on the natural history and importance of the stars of our summer research show: the Blanding’s [...]

Week 3: Meet the Turtles2017-08-09T10:09:31-05:00

Week 2: 98 turtles (so far)!

Our second week has been phenomenal! John went with Gary (Lake County Forest Preserve’s wildlife biologist) and Sam (wildlife life biologist tech) to Field Site 1, while Lauren went with Callie (wildlife biologist master’s student), Emma (wildlife biologist tech) and Veronica (wildlife biologist tech) to Field Site 2. We are alternating field sites each week [...]

Week 2: 98 turtles (so far)!2017-08-09T10:09:31-05:00