Alumni News and Profiles

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Profiles and Updates

Erin Tomaras

Protecting Sea Turtles in Guatemala
Erin Tomaras, Class of 2012

After graduating from UW and the Program on the Environment program in summer of 2012, Erin Tomaras travelled down to Guatemala to act as the 2012 volunteer/research coordinator for ARCAS, a sea turtle project on the Pacific Coast. In Guatemala, it is legal to take sea turtle eggs from the beach, but there is a donation system in place that specifies 20% of each nest must go to a local hatchery. Erin spent four months conducting nightly beach patrols in order to look for nesting Olive ridley sea turtles as well as receive on the beach donations from the locals. Once we received or found a nest of eggs, we buried them in our hatchery.  After about 45-50 days the eggs hatched and we released the hatchlings into the ocean. She also helped educate tourists and the local children about sea turtles and their status in Guatemala.

From her experience, Erin noticed that one of the hatcheries is almost unusable due age and weather events among other things. Without this second hatchery, less eggs can be saved from local poachers. So, she decided to take it upon myself to raise money for a new hatchery. Erin started a campaign on StartSomeGood (which is like a Kickstarter for charities), in which she needs to raise at least $2500 in order to receive any funds.

To read her blog from her time in Guatemala, go to:

To donate and/or spread the word, go to: