Charleston, WV, United States

University of Charleston

www.ucwv.edu
Charleston, WV, United States

The University of Charleston , formerly Morris Harvey College, is a private accredited university based in Charleston, West Virginia, United States. The university also has locations in Beckley, West Virginia and Martinsburg, West Virginia, known as UC-Beckley and UC-Martinsburg, respectively. The school offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. Several of the university's programs are available online. Wikipedia.


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Plante C.J.,University of Charleston
Microbial Ecology | Year: 2017

Disturbance can profoundly modify the structure of natural communities. However, microbial ecologists’ concept of “disturbance” has often deviated from conventional practice. Definitions (or implicit usage) have frequently included climate change and other forms of chronic environmental stress, which contradict the macrobiologist’s notion of disturbance as a discrete event that removes biomass. Physical constraints and disparate biological characteristics were compared to ask whether disturbances fundamentally differ in microbial and macroorganismal communities. A definition of “disturbance” for microbial ecologists is proposed that distinguishes from “stress” and other competing terms, and that is in accord with definitions accepted by plant and animal ecologists. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media New York


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions makes opening remarks during a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) 360 Heroin and Opioid Response Summit at the University of Charleston, Thursday, May 11, 2017, in Charleston, W.Va. The event was held to provide solutions and strategies for combating the heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic. This was Sessions’ first public appearance since President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Sam Owens) WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigations related to the presidential campaign, yet he played a central role in the sudden firing of FBI Director James Comey, leaving many wondering if he violated that pledge. Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota called Sessions' involvement a "complete betrayal" of his commitment, and Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon called for his resignation. But the question of whether Sessions broke his promise to stay out of certain investigations is complicated and political. And the answer partly depends on what you see as the real motive behind the director's firing. Some questions and answers about Sessions' recusal: The shorthand version is that Sessions vowed to step aside from investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election after it was revealed he twice spoke with the Russian ambassador during the campaign and failed to say so when pressed by Congress during his confirmation hearing. But what he actually said was broader: "I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States." That could be interpreted to mean he pledged to stay out of affairs related to the Russia probe, but also to other campaign-related investigations, including into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. DID HE BREAK THAT PLEDGE? Sessions recommended Comey's firing, writing in a letter that "a fresh start is needed at the leadership of the FBI." And President Donald Trump said he based the firing on Comey's very public handling of the bureau's investigation into Clinton's emails. In that context, the move can be seen as purely a personnel decision based on Comey's conduct, and Sessions should have been involved given his job as attorney general, said Susan Hennessey, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and managing editor of the Lawfare blog. But if you believe the dismissal was an effort to stifle the FBI's investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russian meddling in the 2016 election, as some lawmakers have alleged, "that reasoning is much harder to defend," she said. It can also be argued that Sessions should have steered clear of Comey's firing because his recusal applied to investigations of "campaigns," which would include the Clinton email probe, said Jane Chong, Lawfare's deputy managing editor and national security and law associate at the Hoover Institution. SHOULDN'T HE HAVE JUST STAYED OUT OF IT? Staying out of it could have been seen as suspicious, giving critics ammunition to argue Sessions did so because there was a connection between the firing and the Russia probe, Chong said. "Choosing not to be involved would actually be its own kind of statement," she said. "That was clearly something he could have done, but I think optically speaking, there would still be a problem." "Sessions was in a hard place here," she said. IS THERE A PROBLEM WITH HIS DEPUTY BEING LINKED TO THE FIRING? Sessions' recusal means Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is overseeing the Justice Department's Russia investigation. Rosenstein also wrote a memo blasting Comey's handling of the email probe. Trump has said that scathing report factored into his decision to fire the director, though the president also said he would have done it regardless of the Justice Department's recommendation. Rosenstein "had a level of credibility regarding his political independence," Hennessey said. "His involvement in Comey's firing doesn't just undermine, it eviscerates the belief in his impartiality or credibility on this." Whether Rosenstein is impartial doesn't matter as much as whether the public believes the investigation is credible so that people have faith in the outcome, she said. Her suggestion: Appoint a special prosecutor. DOES ANY OF IT MATTER? Not really. There's no legal penalty for Sessions if he should have stayed out of the firing, though Congress could grill him over it or seek an inspector general investigation, Hennessey said. And it certainly won't change Comey's ouster. "It's still an important question to understanding how the decision was made," she said. ISN'T SOME OF THIS FAMILIAR? Kind of. The last high-profile special counsel to be named was in 2003 when the Bush Justice Department turned to Patrick Fitzgerald, then the top federal prosecutor in Chicago, to investigate who leaked the identity of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA officer. That appointment was made by Comey, who at the time was deputy attorney general. Comey took the extra step of giving Fitzgerald complete discretion to conduct the investigation, bolstering the special counsel's independence.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Cyberspace and its underlying infrastructure are vulnerable to a wide range of risks stemming from both physical and cyber threats and hazards. The demand for an experienced and qualified workforce to protect networks and information systems has never been higher. To develop a more resilient and capable cyber nation, ETA® International (ETA) and the University of Charleston West Virginia (UCWV) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together to develop a highly-skilled cybersecurity workforce across industry and government. Effective cybersecurity workforce development with ETA’s Information Technology Security (ITS) can help organizations more efficiently and effectively recruit qualified cybersecurity professionals. Under the School of Business and Leadership, the University of Charleston West Virginia (UCWV) offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Cybersecurity with a mixture of academic and practitioner-level certifications. A combination of foundational courses (28 hours), Cyber prerequisite courses (nine hours), Cyber required courses (nine hours), Cyber elective courses (15-18 hours), minor selection (18 hours), and general electives worth 38 hours round out the total Bachelors of Science in Cybersecurity degree. ETA’s ITS could be taken as a junior-level cyber elective that would earn the student three college credits. "I'm excited to have a signed partnership between ETA and UCWV enabling us to help train today's and tomorrow's cyber warriors,” said Matthew D. Gonzalez, PhD, CEH, CHFI, PMP, Cyber Program Director, UCWV. He added, “Our program combines certification training while achieving college credit at the same time so that students can become marketable and knowledgeable to become a part of the cyber workforce!" UCWV graduates will be prepared to contribute to and lead others in quickly-evolving dimensions of Information Technology (IT) related to cybersecurity. In alliance with The National CyberSecurity Workforce Framework, UCWV graduates will be prepared for a variety of careers in the rapidly growing industry of cybersecurity. Potential job opportunities, according to The National CyberSecurity Workforce Framework and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), include but are not limited to: Information Security Analyst, Information Systems Security Engineer, Intrusion Detection System (IDS) Administrator, Engineer or Technician, Network Administrator, Computer Crime Investigator, Cyber Trainer and Chief Information Security Officer. The DOL’s O*NET Online rates Information Security Analysts as a Bright Outlook career with projected job growth predicted to grow much faster than other careers with an average of 14% or higher and the median wages last year for this occupation was $92,600. As cyber threats continue to evolve, the nation’s protection against them relies on a steady stream of qualified cybersecurity professionals entering the workforce. Training is essential to preparing the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow, and for keeping current cybersecurity workers up-to-date on skills and evolving threats. These professionals are critical in both private industry and the government for the security of individuals and the nation. “As our use of the internet increases, the threat to internet security by cybercrimes grow in frequency and intensity,” said ETA President Teresa Maher, CSS. She added, “Skilled workers able to identify, remediate and protect against this growing threat are of vital importance to virtually each and every business.” This Memorandum of Understanding is also intended to reflect the cooperative efforts between ETA and UCWV to expand, enhance and improve educational opportunities to ETA members with a reduced tuition rate for UCWV’s online and hybrid undergraduate or graduate degree programs in Business or Leadership. Programs include Bachelor’s of Science degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Organizational Leadership (with concentrations in Healthcare, Aviation, Non-Profits and Emergency Services) and Cybersecurity. Become an ETA member and take advantage of this savings program today! To join the professional trade association, call ETA at 800-288-3824 or sign up online at http://www.eta-i.org/membership.html. Then find out how to apply the discount by contacting UCWV at 1-800-995-4682 or http://www.ucwv.edu/. About ETA - Since 1978, ETA has delivered over 200,000 professional certifications plus nearly 40,000 FCC license exams. Widely recognized and frequently used in worker job selection, hiring processes, pay increases, and advancements, ETA certifications are often required as companies bid on contracts. ETA certifications measure and validate competencies of persons, not products or vendors. All ETA certifications are accredited through the International Certification Accreditation Council (ICAC) and align with the ISO-17024 standard. ETA is a professional trade association that connects members with other professionals from around the world to discuss issues, share experiences, and learn from one another. http://www.eta-i.org About University of Charleston West Virginia - The mission of the University of Charleston is to educate each student for a life of productive work, enlightened living and community involvement. The University's mission is an expression of shared values and goals, including: Offering selected quality programs affording professional preparation in a liberal arts environment; Preparing students to live in an increasingly complex and changing society by helping them develop the knowledge, abilities, and character needed to be lifelong learners; and Utilizing and enriching the strong relationship between the University and the greater Charleston community to prepare students for a life rich in community involvement. http://www.ucwv.edu/


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has released its list of West Virginia’s best colleges for 2017. 17 four-year schools were highlighted, with West Virginia Wesleyan College, Bethany College, Wheeling Jesuit University, West Virginia University Institute of Technology and West Virginia University scoring in the top five. Of the 10 two-year schools included in the ranking, Cabell County Career Technology Center, West Virginia Northern Community College, Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, Mountwest Community and Technical College and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College were the top five. A full list of winning schools is included below. “These West Virginia schools have created a culture of both academic and career success,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.org. “When we look at measures of alumni success next to each school’s quality of education, these are the clear leaders in the state.” To be included on West Virginia’s “Best Colleges” list, schools must be regionally accredited, not-for-profit institutions. Each college is also scored on more than a dozen additional data points including diversity of program offerings, career services, educational counseling, financial aid availability, graduation rates and student/teacher ratios. Complete details on each college, their individual scores and the data and methodology used to determine the LearnHowToBecome.org “Best Colleges in West Virginia” list, visit: The Best Four-Year Colleges in West Virginia for 2017 include: Alderson Broaddus University Bethany College Bluefield State College Concord University Davis & Elkins College Fairmont State University Glenville State College Marshall University Ohio Valley University Shepherd University University of Charleston West Liberty University West Virginia State University West Virginia University West Virginia University Institute of Technology West Virginia Wesleyan College Wheeling Jesuit University The Best Two-Year Colleges in West Virginia for 2017 include: Ben Franklin Career Center Blue Ridge Community and Technical College BridgeValley Community & Technical College Cabell County Career Technology Center Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College Mountwest Community and Technical College New River Community and Technical College Pierpont Community and Technical College Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College West Virginia Northern Community College ### About Us: LearnHowtoBecome.org was founded in 2013 to provide data and expert driven information about employment opportunities and the education needed to land the perfect career. Our materials cover a wide range of professions, industries and degree programs, and are designed for people who want to choose, change or advance their careers. We also provide helpful resources and guides that address social issues, financial aid and other special interest in higher education. Information from LearnHowtoBecome.org has proudly been featured by more than 700 educational institutions.


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

The Community for Accredited Online Schools (AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org) has published it’s 2016-2017 Best Radiology Technician Programs ranking for 2016-2017. An online leader for higher education resources and information, AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org compared data from both online and on-campus programs, highlighting the following schools as those receiving top scores: Clarkson College, Valencia College, Weber State University, Idaho State University and Southern Illinois University Carbondale for four-year schools; Pitt Community College, Owensboro Community & Technical College, Somerset Community College, Washtenaw Community College and Chattanooga State Community College for two-year schools. “With higher median pay and job growth projections than many occupations in the U.S., radiology tech programs are a positive choice for college-bound students,” said Doug Jones, CEO and Founder of the Community for Accredited Online Schools. “Hundreds of radiology tech programs are available around the nation, but this list pinpoints the schools who offer the best combination of affordability, quality and flexibility for aspiring radiology technologists.” In order to qualify for the list, AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org requires all schools with a Radiology Technician program to meet several base criteria points. All colleges and universities must be accredited, two- or four-year public or private not-for-profit institutions. Each schools must also offer career placement services to its grads. Each school was ranked and scored by comparing more than a dozen data points, including cost and financial aid reports, student-teacher ratios and more. A full list of the 2016-2017 Best Radiology Technician Programs in the U.S. is included below. More details on the specific data and methodology used can be found at the link below, along with specific information on where each school placed in the ranking: Two-year schools recognized for providing the Best Radiology Technician Programs: Ashland Community and Technical College Bluegrass Community and Technical College Bunker Hill Community College Cape Fear Community College Chattanooga State Community College Chippewa Valley Technical College Columbus State Community College Community College of Denver Cuyahoga Community College East Central College Eastern Maine Community College Galveston College Georgia Northwestern Technical College Guilford Technical Community College Hagerstown Community College Hillsborough Community College Jefferson Community and Technical College Lakeland Community College Lakeshore Technical College Lone Star College Lorain County Community College Middlesex Community College Mountwest Community and Technical College North Arkansas College Northeast Community College Northwest Mississippi Community College Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Owens Community College Owensboro Community and Technical College Pitt Community College Rend Lake College Rhodes State College Roane State Community College Sinclair College Somerset Community College South Arkansas Community College Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College Southeast Arkansas College Southeast Community College Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College Southern Union State Community College SUNY Broome Community College Tallahassee Community College Technical College of the Lowcountry Truckee Meadows Community College Tulsa Community College Washtenaw Community College West Virginia Northern Community College Western Nebraska Community College Western Wyoming Community College Four-year schools recognized for providing the Best Radiology Technician Programs: Arkansas State University - Main Campus Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences Bellevue College Bluefield State College Boise State University Briar Cliff University Broward College Clarkson College College of Southern Nevada Concordia University - Wisconsin Daytona State College Eastern Florida State College Florida SouthWestern State College Florida State College at Jacksonville Gulf Coast State College Idaho State University Keiser University - Fort Lauderdale La Roche College LIU Post Miami Dade College Minot State University Missouri Southern State University Morehead State University Mount Aloysius College Newman University Notre Dame of Maryland University Palm Beach State College Pensacola State College Saint Catharine College Santa Fe College Shawnee State University Siena Heights University South Florida State College Southern Illinois University - Carbondale Southwestern Oklahoma State University St. Catherine University St. Luke's College St. Petersburg College State College of Florida - Manatee-Sarasota Suffolk University University of Charleston University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College University of Hartford University of Jamestown University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Sioux Falls University of St Francis Valencia College Vincennes University Weber State University About Us: The Community for Accredited Online Schools (AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org) was founded in 2011 to provide students and parents with quality data and information about pursuing an affordable education that has been certified by an accrediting agency. Our community resource materials and tools span topics such as college accreditation, financial aid, opportunities available to veterans, people with disabilities, as well as online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning programs that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational success. environments that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational and career success.


News Article | October 29, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Online higher education and student resource leader Community for Accredited Online Schools (AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org) has published it’s 2016-2017 Best Ultrasounds Technician Programs lists. Ranking the top 50 two- and four-year programs respectively, the following schools received top marks: Tulsa Community College, Hinds Community College, Pitt Community College, Cincinnati State Technical & Community College, Jones County Junior College; Midland College, Allen College, Palm Beach State College, Bellevue College and Misericordia University. Both on-campus and online programs were evaluated. “The job outlook for ultrasound technicians and sonographers is growing much faster than the national average,” said Doug Jones, CEO and Founder of the Community for Accredited Online Schools. “Our rankings list the programs that are going the extra mile for students, providing top-quality training that is preparing students to enter the workforce quickly and efficiently.” Ultrasound and Sonography programs were compared nationwide, based on more than a dozen qualitative and quantitative data points. Schools were required to meet specific base criteria to qualify; each must be regionally accredited and hold either two- or four-year public or private not-for-profit standing. Each must also offer career placement services for students after graduation. A complete list of the Community for Accredited Online Schools’ 2016-2017 Best Ultrasound Technician Programs is included below. To learn more details on the data comparison, methodology and each school’s placement visit the following page: Two-year schools recognized for the Best Ultrasound Technician Programs 2016-2017: Alvin Community College Angelina College Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Blackhawk Technical College Bunker Hill Community College Cape Fear Community College Central New Mexico Community College Chattanooga State Community College Chippewa Valley Technical College Cincinnati State Technical and Community College College of DuPage Cosumnes River College Del Mar College Delaware Technical Community College - Owens Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington Delgado Community College Delta College El Centro College El Paso Community College Gateway Community College H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg Hillsborough Community College Hinds Community College Johnston Community College Jones County Junior College Lansing Community College Lone Star College Lorain County Community College Lurleen B. Wallace Community College Marion Technical College Middlesex Community College Montgomery College New Mexico State University - Dona Ana Owens Community College Pitt Community College Pueblo Community College Red Rocks Community College Santa Barbara City College Southwestern Community College Spokane Community College St. Philip's College State Fair Community College Temple College Triton College Tulsa Community College Tyler Junior College Volunteer State Community College Wallace State Community College - Hanceville Weatherford College Four-year schools recognized for the Best Ultrasound Technician Programs 2016-2017: Allen College Arkansas State University - Main Campus Baker College of Auburn Hills Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences Bellevue College Benedictine University Broward College College of Southern Nevada Columbia Basin College Concordia University - Ann Arbor Concordia University - Wisconsin Ferris State University Fort Hays State University Grand Valley State University Gulf Coast State College Jackson College Keiser University - Fort Lauderdale Kettering College Lewis University Lewis-Clark State College Lincoln University Miami Dade College Midland College Misericordia University Mount Aloysius College Newman University Oklahoma State University - Oklahoma City Oregon Institute of Technology Palm Beach State College Pensacola State College Polk State College Rochester Institute of Technology Rutgers University - New Brunswick Saint Catharine College Santa Fe College Seattle University St Catherine University St. Luke's College Thomas Jefferson University Trocaire College University of Alaska Anchorage University of Charleston University of Kansas University of Missouri - Columbia University of Oklahoma - Health Sciences Center University of Rio Grande Upstate Medical University Valencia College Washburn University Weber State University About Us: The Community for Accredited Online Schools (AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org) was founded in 2011 to provide students and parents with quality data and information about pursuing an affordable education that has been certified by an accrediting agency. Our community resource materials and tools span topics such as college accreditation, financial aid, opportunities available to veterans, people with disabilities, as well as online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning programs that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational success. environments that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational and career success.


News Article | December 8, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

A list of the nation’s Best Online Accounting Degree programs for 2016-2017 has been released by leading higher education information and resource provider AffordableCollegesOnline.org. The list ranks two- and four-year schools respectively, highlighting 100 colleges that offer the best overall combination of value and quality for online accounting students. Top scoring schools include Davenport University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Northern State University, Dickinson State University and Cleary University (four-year) and Holmes Community College, Hutchinson Community College, Lone Star College, Western Nebraska Community College and Southwest Virginia Community College (two-year). "The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants showed a record number of accounting graduates were hired by public accounting firms in 2012,” said Dan Schuessler, CEO and Founder of AffordableCollegesOnline.org. “With that in mind, we were compelled to highlight and rank the schools making an effort to maximize affordability and provide flexible, high-quality learning options for accounting students.” To be eligible for placement on the AffordableCollegesOnline.org rankings, a school must meet several minimum requirements. Colleges must be accredited, public or private not-for-profit institutions to qualify. Affordability standards are also set to include only schools who offer in-state tuition below $5,000 per year at two-year schools or $25,000 per year at four-year schools. More than a dozen additional statistics are compared to determine final scores and rankings for each qualifying school, such as aid offerings, graduation rates and more. For complete details on the data and methodology used to determine school scores, as well as the full ranking for the nation’s Best Online Accounting Degree programs visit: Auburn University Aurora University Baker College Belhaven University Bellevue University Brenau University Brescia University Cleary University Colorado Christian University Columbia College Concordia University - Saint Paul Dakota State University Dallas Baptist University Davenport University Dickinson State University East Carolina University Florida Atlantic University Franklin University Hawaii Pacific University Huntington University Indiana State University Indiana Wesleyan University Keiser University - Fort Lauderdale Kent State University at Kent Keystone College Lakeland College Liberty University Madonna University Missouri State University - Springfield Morehead State University National University Northern Arizona University Northern State University Northwestern Oklahoma State University Northwood University - Michigan Old Dominion University Saint Leo University Thomas Edison State College Tiffin University University of Alabama at Birmingham University of Charleston University of Houston - Downtown University of Houston - Victoria University of Louisiana at Monroe University of Maryland - University College University of Massachusetts - Amherst University of Michigan - Flint University of Minnesota - Crookston University of the Southwest Western Governors University AffordableCollegesOnline.org began in 2011 to provide quality data and information about pursuing an affordable higher education. Our free community resource materials and tools span topics such as financial aid and college savings, opportunities for veterans and people with disabilities, and online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning environments that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational and career success. We have been featured by nearly 1,100 postsecondary institutions and nearly 120 government organizations.


Scientists have for the first time determined the ratio of males to females in a wild foraging group of green turtles in the Eastern Pacific, which suggests that sea turtles may be vulnerable to feminization from the temperature rises expected with climate change. The sex of sea turtles is determined by incubation temperatures on the nesting beaches, with warmer sand temperatures producing more females. Research published recently in the journal PLOS ONE focused on the San Diego Bay aggregation of green turtles (Chelonia mydas), a threatened species that has been studied for more than 25 years, and scientists found that the sex ratio leans heavily toward females. Six species of sea turtles that inhabit U.S. waters are listed as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), and are thus the focus of extensive protection by NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Data on sex ratios and survival rates of both males and females at foraging sites are important keys to conserving sea turtles because they can help explain trends seen on nesting beaches and determine population abundance. Because sea turtles are wide-ranging, with a relatively long maturation period, most sea turtle population assessments rely only on data from nesting beaches (e.g. counts of females or nests), limiting our knowledge of population abundance and nesting trends to this female portion of the population. Foraging populations represent a cross-section of life stages (i.e. new immature recruits, juveniles and adults) therefore, characterizing sex ratios at foraging locations can offer greater insight into the overall population sex ratio. The researchers' study also yielded a safe and effective method of determining the sex of immature turtles, which can provide more complete data on numbers of males and females in wild populations. Determining the sex of an immature turtle at foraging grounds is, otherwise, challenging because sex is not genetically determined and external sexual characteristics (e.g. males have longer tails) are not visible until a turtle reaches maturity. Until now, the two main techniques applied to determine the sex of immature sea turtles are visualization of the gonads via laparoscopy and analysis of blood plasma testosterone concentration. Laparoscopic sex determination is unequivocal, but is an invasive surgery and requires specialized expertise. So analysis of blood plasma testosterone is more common. Circulating testosterone concentrations are typically measured with radioimmunoassay (RIA), but RIA uses radioactivity, which is essentially a non-starter for many research labs in the U.S. and globally. A collaborative partnership between NOAA Fisheries, University of Charleston South Carolina, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Eckerd College, and SeaWorld San Diego provided a great opportunity to try a different approach. Researchers used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) - a test that does not require radioactivity. Scientists determined that the ELISA technique is a much more practical approach to determine the sex of juvenile turtles, since (a) it only requires a blood sample rather than invasive laparoscopic procedures, (b) it does not require radioactivity, and (c) it produced immature sea turtle sex determination results that were the same as those from RIA and laparoscopic approaches. This method may now provide a faster, more efficient method of determining the sex ratio of sea turtle populations because the ELISA can be completed in a single day, the start-up costs are cheaper, and the analysis equipment is small enough that it could be used in the field. The results of the study of the San Diego Bay aggregation of sea turtles indicated a female bias of 2.83 females to each male among the 69 green turtles sampled. "What really surprised us was that the immature turtles in the San Diego Bay aggregation were even more biased toward females, with 78 percent of them being female," said Camryn Allen, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow at NOAA Fisheries and the lead investigator of the study. So far, the available sex ratio data for green turtles worldwide indicate a female-bias at most foraging ground study sites. Several factors may explain female biases in sea turtle foraging populations, but the most likely is female-biased hatchling sex ratios. Through better understanding of hatchling sex ratios at nesting beaches, researchers may be able to tell if those ratios are driving similar female biases at foraging grounds. Indeed, many more data are needed to substantiate this trend on a broader scale, but this female bias suggests that climate change may be driving potential feminization considering that sea turtle sex is determined by incubation temperatures (i.e. temperature-dependent sex determination). The turtles which forage in San Diego Bay are part of the Mexican nesting stock. Once the turtles are sexually mature, they migrate down to Michoacán on the mainland or the Revillagigedo Archipelago for mating and nesting. Although research will be necessary to confirm this possibility, the nesting beaches may be producing a flux of female hatchlings which eventually arrive at distant foraging grounds (e.g. San Diego Bay). Female-biases in breeding populations may be beneficial for species recovery due to an increase in the number of breeding females, and therefore, population growth potential. However, if the scale tips too far towards females, there may not be enough males to maintain genetic diversity. Unless sea turtles change their behavior (e.g. nest earlier in the season to avoid warmer temperatures), climate change scenarios indicate that certain sea turtle rookeries could tilt to almost all females within the next 10 to 15 years or longer. More complete information on sex ratios will be informative for predicting climate warming conservation concerns for sea turtles, and sex ratio information for each sea turtle species is vital for inferring population status and the survivorship of males and females. More information: Camryn D. Allen et al. First Assessment of the Sex Ratio for an East Pacific Green Sea Turtle Foraging Aggregation: Validation and Application of a Testosterone ELISA, PLOS ONE (2015). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138861

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