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Rosa Argelis Ruiz
Rosa Argelis Ruiz

Argelis Ruiz worked at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute for 40 years (1977-2017) on administrative-technical roles and responsibilities for the management and coordination of scientific research facilities and a public educational center that is currently the Punta Culebra Natural Center in Calzada de Amador. In 1978, she started working with sea turtles on Isla Cañas in the Pacific through the University of Panama and the Biological Research Society (SIBUP); and since 1979, with Dr. Anne Meylan in Bocas del Toro in the Caribbean. She has been dedicated to research, conservation, and education related to sea turtles in Panama ever since. The inhabitants of the coastal zone are and have been her teachers and main collaborators for her to carry out her work. She has been a member and participant of countless commissions, projects, workshops, courses, symposia, conferences, and workgroups, both nationally and internationally while collaborating with the government entities responsible for the resources. She was part of the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group. She carried out aerial tours to count turtle tracks and identify nesting beaches in the Panamanian Caribbean, from Sixaola to Puerto Obaldía (W.A.T.S I y II). Thanks to her dedication, she has more than 20 technical-scientific publications. In 2009-2010, she collaborated in the interinstitutional project (ARAP, STRI, CI) on La Marinera beach (L. olivacea), Tonosí, and Los Santos. In 2011, she studied the characterization of sea turtle nesting beaches in the Coiba National Park in Veraguas. She studied Biology at the University of Panama. She has been awarded and has been granted scholarships for training courses: Wet Science Program, Teacher Wet Institute of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, United States; for the management of an environmental organization of the Delaware Nature Society, University of Delaware, and Partners of the Americas; for field monitoring of sea turtles at the Tortuguero station (Casa Verde), Limón, Costa Rica, of the University of Florida / CCC and Training Program for Panama Heritage Tourism Guides organized by U.S. AID-Panama, among others. Before working with sea turtles, she worked at Bank of America (Latin America Currency Unit). She has been a volunteer member of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) since 1983. In 2007, she published the WIDECAST, PNUMA-UNEP Action Plan for the Recovery of Panama’s Caribbean Sea Turtles. She is currently the Coordinator of WIDECAST in Panama; and a freelance professional. She is working on a research and conservation project for sea turtles (D. coriacea and E. imbricata) in Playa Chiquita, Costa Arriba de Colón, and adjacent beaches; and hawksbill turtles in Masargandup Island, Guna Yala; along with inhabitants of the zone.

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The Eastern Pacific Leatherback Turtle Conservation Network started in 2012 when over thirty researchers, NGOs, and regional experts came together to develop an action plan to stabilize and restore the leatherback turtle population in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.