Craig Harms has spent decades working with marine animals, especially sea turtles, but a recent field project was an entirely different type of experience for the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine professor of aquatics, wildlife and zoo medicine.

In May, Harms was part of a large research team that recently tagged leatherback turtles off the North Carolina coast for the first time.

Harms and numerous collaborators in Beaufort worked from small inflatable boats to capture massive leatherback turtles. While the turtles were on board, researchers collected blood samples, took ultrasounds and studied heart activity before affixing satellite tags on each turtle to track their migration habits, especially in wind development and fishing areas off the Northeast U.S.

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Originally published July 10, 2018. Written by Jordan Bartel. Photo by: NOAA Fisheries/Heather Haas, NEFSC