Fact: when a cold snap occurs, and the water temperature in the Atlantic Ocean suddenly drops, sea turtles can become trapped—too cold to migrate to warmer waters.

It’s similar to hypothermia, and Department of Biology Chairperson Andrew Wier, PhD, has been working with the New York Marine Rescue Center (NYMRC) in Riverhead, New York, to assist in the rescue and rehabilitation of these “cold-stunned” sea turtles. “These are turtles who run into freezing water, float to the surface, and basically are recovered on the shore,” Wier said. “They’re warmed up and retained at the [rescue center].”

The NYMRC’s rescue program is directed by Maxine Montello ’14, MA Environmental Science, and the data collected through the association with Wier may ultimately help to increase our understanding of various species, including their growth rates and migration patterns. Wier’s collaboration with the NYMRC also creates new opportunities for Pace students to participate in various initiatives at the center.

“It’s a win-win situation on both ends,” Montello said.