Years ago, Barb was the first female photographer to work for the Chicago Tribune. Now in her retirement, her photography experience and love of marine animals has enabled her to capture the stories of the Sea Turtle Hospital’s patients in a uniquely powerful way.

Barb began her volunteer work with the Sea Turtle Rescue Program by helping with the daily care of patients. Before long, she went to the program manager, Kelly Thorvalson, and told her, “I’m happy to clean out the tanks – but photography is what I should do for you.”

Not long afterward, Barb photographed her first admission, a turtle with a missing flipper named Shark Bite. Since then, she has documented over 150 admissions, almost every release, and hundreds of procedures in between.

Barb’s commitment to sea turtle conservation extends beyond the Aquarium. She also monitors turtle nests with the Island Turtle Team and speaks at churches and civic organizations. Her turtle photography has even been featured in children’s books.

The expansion of the Sea Turtle Hospital has special meaning to Barb. She recalls when the Hospital was just a makeshift room without heating or air conditioning. In 2017, the Hospital will have a dedicated space on the Aquarium’s first floor, complete with cutting-edge medical technology and interpretive exhibits.

“The Sea Turtle Hospital expansion shows a commitment to education and conservation,” Barb says. “All of the research and the good that comes out of this place – I’m proud to be a part of it.”

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Lynne and Dennis Gettelfinger

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Marzio Gillis

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Beth Demas

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Maris Ferro

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Hilton Smith III

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Sue Elliot

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Jennifer and Shane Woolf

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Briged and Callan Potter

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Kate Byrd

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Clif Green

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Carmelina Livingston

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Barb Bergwerf

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Bob Harris, Jr.

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Carl Ward

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Laura Duncan

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Del Schutte

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Josie McLean

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Peter Stonefield

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Scott and Jordana Snider

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Bruce Hecker

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Michele Jacques

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What’s Your Story?

Over 15 years we’ve heard stories about the lives the Aquarium has influenced and now we are asking for your help to capture these amazing stories and share them with the world.

Share your story with us by submitting below through e-mail. If you’d prefer to tell us your story call us, (843) 579-8508.

Thanks for making us a part of your life.

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