SCA Alum Named Newsmaker of the Year

Biologist dedicates her life to raising Kemp's ridley turtles, saving a species
Jan 11, 2012 11:00 AM ET

For 31 years, one woman has been a savior, advocate, dogged researcher, champion and mother for a creature that once teetered on the brink of extinction. Now, after all those years, it looks like her babies are growing up.

In September, Donna Shaver's work with the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle culminated in a report that was unthinkable 17 years ago.

Within about three years, the ridleys could be downlisted from endangered to threatened, Shaver and other biologists believe. Wildlife officials in the United States and Mexico released the second revision of a Kemp's ridley recovery plan, last updated in 1992, that now predicts the species will be off the threatened list by 2024.

For her tireless work that has helped protect the Kemp's ridley from eradication and contributed to international, public and private cooperation as a model for how to manage an endangered species, Shaver was chosen as the Caller-Times 2011 Newsmaker of the Year.

Shaver knew she wanted to forge a career helping people or helping animals. She majored in wildlife biology at Cornell University... When she saw the brochure from the Student Conservation Association, describing a groundbreaking project to relocate the last delicate eggs of a dying sea turtle species, she volunteered.

Read the full story as reported by Mark Collette, Caller-Times