NOAA Launches Online Game to Encourage Loggerhead Turtle Conservation

July 8, 2010

Welcome screen to WaterLife: Sea Turtles and the Quest to Nest.

Welcome screen to WaterLife: Sea Turtles and the Quest to Nest.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA's National Ocean Service and Fisheries Service launched the second online educational game in the WaterLife series, “Sea Turtles and the Quest to Nest,” earlier today. The web-based game encourages and explains loggerhead sea turtle conservation through a series of games and animations aimed at fourth through seventh grade students.
           
“This new game is part of NOAA’s educational strategy to engage students in challenges that maintain an interest in science and technology. It joins other games and educational efforts that promote the knowledge and behaviors of future environmental stewards,” said Holly Bamford, acting deputy assistant administrator of NOAA’s National Ocean Service.

The game takes place in a seaside town in the southeastern United States and involves six stakeholders critical to the protection and recovery of the loggerhead sea turtle, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Players navigate a series of mini-games from the beach cleanup to clear the way for nesting turtles to a food chain version of Sudoku to improve the likelihood of survival of the loggerhead turtle. To succeed, players must understand human actions affecting loggerheads and what people can do to improve the chance for survival of the species, both on land and in the ocean. The game is available online.

Screenshot from WaterLife: Sea Turtles and the Quest to Nest.

Screenshot from WaterLife: Sea Turtles and the Quest to Nest.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

“The mini-games in ‘Quest to Nest’ help students understand the most important issues facing loggerhead sea turtles on land and in the ocean and give them practice making difficult decisions involving multiple stakeholders,” said John Oliver, deputy assistant administrator of NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “Helping our future leaders grasp the importance of conserving our marine resources is crucial to developing an informed citizenry prepared to take action to protect our nation’s living marine resources.” 

“Quest to Nest” was developed through a partnership with Montgomery College’s Computer Gaming and Simulation Program based in Rockville, Md.

“Developing this game was a wonderful opportunity for our college students to learn new skills while helping the environment,” said Professor Deborah Solomon, coordinator of the gaming program at Montgomery College. “The project gave them the experience of working on a professional, year-long project and gave them the satisfaction of knowing that their work will educate others about the simple things they can do to protect sea turtles.”

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us on Facebook.