South Carolina’s sea turtle community recognized Sally Murphy April 21 at the annual Sea Turtle Workshop held at Fort Johnson in Charleston. She was presented with a plaque honoring her 30 years of sea turtle conservation in South Carolina. The plaque will be hung in the new informative and interactive sea turtle exhibit called “Sea Turtles: The Human Connection,” opening soon at the South Carolina Aquarium.
Sally Murphy received a bachelor of science degree in biology from Armstrong State College in Savannah, Ga., and a master of science degree in biology from the University of South Carolina. She was hired by the S.C. Wildlife and Marine Resources Department (now S.C. Department of Natural Resources or DNR) in 1973 as its first environmental education specialist. Since 1976 she has worked as a biologist in the DNR’s Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division conducting research and management on sea turtles. She has also coordinated both the sea turtle (1980 to present) and marine mammal (1991 to 2003) stranding networks in South Carolina.
In the international community, Sally has been a co-leader of the U.S. Sea Turtle Recovery Team from 1979 to 1989, a member of the U.S. Loggerhead/Green Turtle Recovery Team from 1989 to 1991, a member of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Recovery Team and Network from 1984 to 1986, a member of the Turtle Expert Wording Group from 1996 to 2000 and served on the Advisory Committee for the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation, Pew Charitable Trusts from 1996 to 1998. She currently is a member of The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Marine Turtle Specialist Group, serves on the Protected Species Committee for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Protected Resources Advisory Panel of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.