Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Social, Behavioral & Global Studies


This is a study about the effects of human activities and tourist development on the Olive Ridley, an endangered sea turtle species that nests on the beaches of the Northern shores of the Bay of Banderas, Nayarit, Mexico. I traveled to the site and I used a mixed methods approach to do my research. First, I mapped the nesting sea turtle sites using GIS/GPS technology. I recorded the location of the nests on the beach using the GPS device for a period of three weeks. The data were imported into GIS and analyzed. Second, for the Ethnographic qualitative methods, I gathered information in the field by interviewing the conservationists in the Sea Turtle Preserve and other subjects. Additionally, I collected historical data from the Preserve, including the number of sea turtle nests, incubated eggs and released hatchlings that the Preserve has protected each year since 1995. The GIS analysis of the mapped areas shows "hotspots" in both light polluted and dark areas along the 14 km long beach. Through my data analysis, I observed that the Sea Turtle Conservation program is showing an increased number of protected nests and returning sea turtles. The analysis also reveals the extent of poaching, successfully gathered and protected nests and false nests. The study also shows the positive effects the Nuevo Vallarta Sea Turtle Preserve has had on the survival of the species.


Capstone Project (B.A.) Social and Behavioral Sciences Department