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HGTC Recognizes Professor of Biology Lauren Roberts as Nominee for Volunteer of the Year

(Conway, SC) 03/14/2024

Lauren Roberts

Lauren Roberts, HGTC Professor of Biology, releases a sea turtle hatchling after a nest inventory at Myrtle Beach State Park.

Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) proudly announces the nomination of Professor Lauren Roberts for Volunteer of the Year with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). Professor Roberts has been recognized for her outstanding dedication and contributions to the SCDNR sea turtle program at Myrtle Beach State Park.

"Professor Lauren Roberts' passion for volunteer work is truly inspiring. Her dedication to the Sea Turtle Patrol and Myrtle Beach State Park reflects her commitment to making a positive impact on our local environment," said Dr. Christina Fieber, Academic Chair & Professor, Natural & Physical Sciences, and Grand Strand Campus Director.  "Beyond her exemplary work in the biology classrooms at HGTC, Professor Roberts actively engages with the community, educating about sea turtle conservation and emphasizing the importance of protecting this native threatened species. We are immensely proud of her contributions and the difference she continues to make."

Professor Roberts' commitment to conservation and education shines through her work with the sea turtle program helping to find, relocate, and mark sea turtle nests for conducting nest inventories after hatching. She also assists the rangers with sea turtle educational programming for park visitors and training the volunteers both in person and virtually. Her hands-on involvement and initiative have greatly enhanced the effectiveness of the program, making it more educational, interactive, and enjoyable for both administrators and volunteers alike. 

Professor Roberts was a former wildlife and research biologist for several years, including sea turtle research, prior to joining the College as a full-time educator. 

“I am delighted to merge my passion for sea turtle conservation with my dedication to teaching. It is a privilege to be one of a team of over 60 dedicated volunteers instrumental in advancing the project's objectives. I extend my gratitude to Ann Wilson, the lead interpretive ranger at Myrtle Beach State Park, for her exceptional leadership and for nominating me for this esteemed recognition,” said Roberts.

“Professor Roberts' efforts epitomize HGTC's mission of community engagement and environmental stewardship. Her nomination for Volunteer of the Year is a testament to her tireless dedication and leadership in promoting conservation and education within our community,” said Dr. Marilyn Murphy Fore, HGTC President. 

All sea turtle monitoring by the Myrtle Beach State Park sea turtle patrol is permitted and authorized by the SCDNR Marine Turtle Conservation Program under Marine Turtle Permit #510. For more information about the SCDNR sea turtle program, please visit http://www.dnr.sc.gov/seaturtle/. For dead, injured or sick sea turtles, please contact the SCDNR Hotline at 1-800-922-5431.