Research team recaptures terrapin raised by Grasonville students

At left, Terri Pin has a head start in Lisa Herckner’s class at Grasonville Elementary School. The Ohio University research team recaptured Terri Pin on Poplar Island in June, as seen on the right.

GRASONVILLE — For the past six years, third grade students at Grasonville Elementary School have taken part in the Maryland Environmental Service program to raise hatchling terrapins and eventually release them at Poplar Island.

“Students provide all care to the terrapins. They collect growth data, observe behavior, learn care and husbandry protocol, and research the natural history of our state reptile,” according to the MES website. “Head starting allows the hatchlings to grow to the size of a 2- to 3-year-old wild juvenile terrapin in just nine months.

“After caring for the hatchlings, students bring the terrapins back to Poplar Island where they are released to the Bay. This hands-on learning experience engages students to take action and better understand the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.”

On June 20, the third grade teachers at GES were notified by Mary Chiarella of MES that one of the terrapins raised by Lisa Herckner’s class was recaptured on Poplar Island by the Ohio University research intern staff. This was exciting news!

GES teacher Susan Willis said, “Each year they capture many head starts but this is the first time they have recaptured any of GES head starts since we joined the program six years ago!”

This terrapin was cleverly named Terri Pin in 2019 by the third grade class.

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