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Sea turtle center has new director
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Special to the Courier

JEKYLL ISLAND — The Jekyll Island Authority announced Monday that it has hired William P. Irwin, Ph.D. as director of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. The Center, scheduled to open June 16, will offer medical treatment, rehabilitation and research facilities for sea turtles as well as offer a comprehensive, interactive museum component to educate the public.
 "We are excited to welcome Bill to Jekyll Island and the Sea Turtle Center,” said Eric Garvey, senior director of marketing for the Jekyll Island Authority. "His extensive background in research and teaching provides a balance of skills needed to forward our mission of conservation and protection for the sea turtles.”
 Irwin most recently served as a professor at Vance-Granville Community College in Henderson, N.C. He has a B.S. in biology from the University of Massachusetts and his Ph.D. in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Irwin has an extensive research background surrounding sea turtles including behavioral studies with hatchling loggerhead turtles. Published works have appeared in the Journal of Experimental Biology, Biological Conservation and Journal of Comparative Physiology. He was a presenter at the 2005 International Sea Turtle Symposium in Savannah.
 When not studying sea turtles, Irwin utilizes his free time to practice endurance athletics, including running, biking, and swimming. He is currently training for the April Iron Man.
 "I am looking forward to our annual fundraiser, the Turtle Crawl Triathlon May 5-6,” said Irwin. "Part of the attraction to being here is the island's continued dedication to science and nature. I love the way the entire community rallies behind our conservation efforts.”
 At the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Irwin will oversee the research as well as instructional aspects of the Center. Irwin assumed his new position this week.
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