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Drexel Students to Launch Great Turtle Race with Mock Race in Great Court

June 2, 2008

Drexel Students to Launch Great Turtle Race with Mock Race in Great Court
What/Who: Drexel will mark the launch of the world-wide Great Turtle Race II with a mock race that will feature students dressed in leatherback turtle costumes racing from a beach side on one end of Drexel’s Great Court to the finish line on the other side. Obstacles along the way will represent the real-life challenges that leatherback turtles will face on their journey across the pacific, such as plastic bags, fishnets and sharks.

The actual race will monitor 11 satellite-tagged leatherback sea turtles as they make their way from their nesting areas along the California and Indonesia coasts to the center of the Pacific Ocean. The first turtle to reach the center of the Pacific Ocean will win the race. The race is being launched to raise awareness of the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle. Eleven institutions and sponsors from America, China, and Indonesia have each sponsored a turtle. Drexel will be represented by Drexelina II.

Race fans will have a chance to choose a favorite turtle to cheer during the race at www.greatturtlerace.com. Throughout the race, viewers can follow each turtle’s journey across the Pacific and learn about the obstacles it will face along the way and many other human-related hazards.

Visuals: A large screen with animations of the satellite-tagged turtles… a replica of a leatherback sea turtle reaching a length of five feet… the students dressed in leatherback turtle costumes… four graduate students picking the winning leatherback costume… Dr. James Spotila, Drexel professor and president of the Leatherback Trust, narrating the turtles’ journey…

When: Monday, June 2, from 1 to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Drexel’s Main Court, first floor of the Main Building, 32nd and Chestnut Streets.

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News Media Contact: Niki Gianakaris, Assistant Director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or ngianakaris@drexel.edu

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