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Corpus Christi Turtle Expert Up for Award

Over the past four decades, Dr. Donna Shaver has committed her life and career to bringing Kemp’s ridley sea turtles back from the brink of extinction. Courtesy photo

The Coastal Bend’s leading expert on sea turtles, especially Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, has been nominated for a national public service award. Dr. Donna Shaver, chief of the Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery at Padre Island National Seashore, also has been nominated for the Service to America Medals People’s Choice Award, which means YOU have a say in picking the winner.

Shaver is one of 27 finalists for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal for 2020. Known as the Sammies, the Heyman award is one of the most prestigious and respected awards in the country. It comes with a rigorous selection process.

“I believe the work that Donna Shaver has done over her career has helped save this species from extinction,” said Cynthia Rubio, a supervisory biologist who works with Shaver, in a news release. “Without her dedication, this species would be much worse off.”

Shaver received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 for her work rescuing sea turtle eggs, hatching them, and releasing them at the National Seashore near Corpus Christi.

All 27 finalists are contenders for six Service to America awards:

• Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement medal

• Emerging Leaders

• Science and Environment

• Safety, Security, and International Affairs

• Management Excellence

• Federal Employee of the Year

All are also finalists in the People’s Choice Awards.

To vote for Shaver in the People’s Choice Awards, visit Winners will be announced in the fall.

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