About Sam & Kayla

Hi we're Sam and Kayla! We are both veterinary students researching the Illinois State Endangered Blanding's turtles in Lake County. Sam is a rising 3rd year researching Blanding's BCI and RNA pathogen detection. Kayla is a rising 2nd year researching Blanding's erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

Blanding’s Bowl VII

Blanding's Bowl is a seven-year tradition in Lake County that involves Lake County (Gary, the turtle techs, and wildlife techs), Northern Illinois University researchers, and the Wildlife Epidemiology Lab. It is a week where we keep score while doing our normal work to see who has the best technique (and luck) at catching Blanding's. [...]

Blanding’s Bowl VII2020-08-04T07:30:56-05:00

A Day in the Life of a Blanding’s Turtle

Welcome back to the blog! With field season slowly slipping away, Sam and I wanted to return the focus to the stars of summer: Blanding's turtles! This week's vlog is from the perspective of some of our favorite turtles. You will know when the Blanding's have taken over the camera when you see a [...]

A Day in the Life of a Blanding’s Turtle2020-07-27T16:20:55-05:00

Trap Success

Welcome back to the blog! So far Sam and I have casually mentioned that we set traps for Blanding's, but this week we wanted to show you the process. It was a perfect week to share with you since we had such good trap success! Every week we have the same schedule in different [...]

Trap Success2020-07-19T22:44:02-05:00

Blanding’s Turtle Q & A

"Why do you do research on Blanding's?" "Can I have a Blanding's turtle as a pet?" "How can the everyday person be involved in wildlife epidemiology?" "Do you ever catch other animals in your traps?" "Why does the Blanding's have a yellow neck?" Thank you to everyone who submitted questions to us over the [...]

Blanding’s Turtle Q & A2020-07-12T22:08:40-05:00

The Other Half of Field Season: Lab Work

Welcome to our lab! This week Sam and I wanted to show you the other half of our day. Lab work is very different than field work, but it can be just as fun. In this vlog we walk you through the protocol and science behind erythrocyte sedimentation rate, plasma, packed cell volume, total [...]

The Other Half of Field Season: Lab Work2020-07-06T21:53:57-05:00

Field Season Week 3: All in a day’s work

We started this week by getting see the full cycle of Blanding’s conservation. Before headstarts are released as adorable baby turtles, they are first eggs that need to be carefully kept in temperature-controlled incubators. Sam and I had the opportunity to go to a local wildlife center that works with Lake County to incubate [...]

Field Season Week 3: All in a day’s work2020-06-29T07:39:40-05:00

What’s in our backpacks?

  Welcome to a special bonus blog! Now that you've seen a Blanding's work up, Sam and I wanted to show you how we carry all of our supplies. Check out the video below to look through Sam's backpack and see how we keep everything organized in the field.     [...]

What’s in our backpacks?2020-06-25T09:24:38-05:00

Full Turtle Work Up

  Welcome back to the blog! Sam and I spent this week checking traps, running our lab work, and releasing headstarts.       Releasing the headstarts was a really special experience. After we found the perfect release location, we first confirmed the radio telemetry signal for each turtle. Over the next few months, [...]

Full Turtle Work Up2020-06-22T10:31:48-05:00

Kayla’s First Week in the Field!

Welcome to the first week of our field season 2020! Sam was very excited to get back out into the field, and I was thrilled to go out for the first time ever.     Huge shoutout to Sam and Timmy for teaching me so much!     One thing you won’t get to [...]

Kayla’s First Week in the Field!2020-06-15T17:41:23-05:00

The Big Move

Blanding's Summer 2020 Blog 3 The day we have all been waiting for is here: moving day! We finally moved our huge pile of supplies from the field closet into our car. With the help of caffeine, we made the 3-hour drive up to Lake County to set up our lab at Turtle Town. We [...]

The Big Move2020-06-07T16:28:10-05:00
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