New Undergrad Semester at Coast

The Center for Marine Sciences and Technology is opening its doors this Spring to 25 undergraduate students for NC State University’s first-ever Semester at CMAST. Inspired by the success of summer sessions and fellowships, CMAST Director, Dr. David Eggleston and Dr. William Winner from the Department of Forestry & Environmental Resources have created a program that will let NCSU undergraduates take fuller advantage of the resources that CMAST has to offer.  EMC faculty will be heavily involved in the teaching of the new semester at CMAST.

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The main CMAST Building, home to NCSU’s Coastal initiatives.

Undergraduates of all majors who are drawn to marine and environmental science will be able to explore those interests in an immersive, experiential learning space in the heart of the “coastal research triangle,”  in Carteret County.  They will at the same time be completing a full 15 credit academic semester applied towards their NC State degree.  Interested undergraduates are encouraged to apply now, as the October 30th deadline is fast-approaching!   For more information about the Semester at CMAST, read the article in The Technician or visit the program’s page on the CMAST website.

Jim Wright Visiting Scholar to Speak

The week of October 12 thru 16th the NCSU CVM will be hosting the The Jim Wright Visiting Scholar.  Everyone in the EMC community is encouraged to attend the formal lectures, and visit or meet with Dr. William Murray, this year’s Jim Wright Visiting Scholar during the week of activities.

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Dr. Bill Murray, 2015 Jim Wright Visiting Scholar

Dr. Murray, a veterinarian, researcher and educator is a professor at San Jose State University, where he teaches subjects ranging from microbiology and virology to parasitology at both the graduate and undergraduate level.  His major interest in infectious disease processes was developed in his PhD studies at Purdue University.  He has a particular interest in wildlife disease at the human/wildlife interface, and he has published widely in this arena.  He is particularly well known for his work on and publications evaluating the zoonotic potential of Baylisascaris procyonis, the raccoon roundworm.  However, his published work has a broad base, including well received papers on such organisms of wildlife interest as Bartonella, E. Coli, and Moellerella.  Much of his work has been in the context of mesocarnivores living in proximity to human habitats and populations. His passion and his propensity for problem-solving make him a well-storied, engaging, and informative presenter, and we are honored to have him joining us next week.

Dr. Murray will be presenting on his work with a western lowland gorilla with antibiotic-resistant pneumonia on Tuesday, October 13th at 12:15 PM in the South Theater at the College of Veterinary Medicine, and will give a lecture on Wildlife and Brucella in CBS 817 at 4:15 PM on Thursday, October 15th, also in South Theater. He will be available for meetings and discussions during his visit; any interested faculty who would like to talk with Dr. Murray about his research, can contact Dr. Michael Stoskopf  to make arrangements.


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Dr. Jim Wright

The Jim Wright Visiting Scholar program is a tribute to Dr. James F. Wright, who was an esteemed member of the faculty at NCSU’s CVM.  Dr. Wright came to NCSU and joined the CVM faculty after a very productive and interesting career that included many  contributions to the discipline of zoological medicine.  Dr. Wright was was the first full-time veterinarian at the National Zoo in the 1950s and helped refine protocols for projectile tranquilization and immobilization of wildlife both in the USA and in Africa.   He conducted important investigations into the health effects of radiation, and worked with the Environmental Protection Agency to study the effects of environmental stress on animals before joining the faculty at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine in the early 1980s  in what was then the Department of Microbiology, Parasitology, and Pathology.  Over 10 years, from 1984 to 2004, working with his good friend, the former head of pathology at UNC Chapel Hill, Dr. Fred Dahldorf, Dr. Wright pioneered the in-house pathology services at the Zoological Park, and in so doing planted the earliest seeds for what has become a long and productive partnership between the NC Zoo and the College of Veterinary Medicine. He is remembered not only for his work, but for his warmth and his dedication, and is an honorary diplomate of the ACZM.

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Dr. Jim Wright, carefully collects tissue samples at the NC Zoo.



20 Years of Turtle Rescue Team

Treating injured turtles has a long history at the NCSU CVM, going back to the earliest days of the college.  Dr. John Cullen, professor of pathology was likely the earliest proponent of the practice, seeing injured turtles clinicially when members of the public would find them and bring them to the newly built veterinary college.  When Dr. Michael Stoskopf joined the faculty in 1989, bringing expertise in shell repair, he and Dr. Cullen began to work collaboratively on the cases, and developed the now widely accepted open management of shell wounds at Dr. Cullen’s suggestion. 

NCSU bulletin with Dr. Lewbart

When Dr. Greg Lewbart came to the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1993, and as the newest clinician at the college with an interest in poikiolotherms, he quickly joined in  treating the ten or so sick and injured wild turtles people would bring to the college each year.  By 1994 the turtle caseload had doubled, just by word of mouth letting people know there was a place where injured turtles could be treated.  In 1995 the caseload continued to increase and Dr. Lewbart became the “go to” person as administrative and research duties limited the availability of Dr. Cullen and Dr. Stoskopf.  It was also clear that with the rising caseload there was an opportunity for a more coordinated student involvement with the cases, to help develop not only their clinical and case management skills.  With the help of a donation from local wildlife rehabilitator Linda Henis, North Carolina State University’s Turtle Rescue Team was born in 1996.

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A few members of the Turtle Team pose with Dr. Lewbart and some patients.

Now, entering its 20th year, Turtle Rescue Team is a thriving and vital part of the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Supported by their faculty mentors and the technical staff of the college, the day to day operations of the Turtle Team, as it is more commonly referred to, are run entirely by students. DVM program students are the heart of the Turtle Team, and serve as the presidents, shift captains and other key positions, managing the medical and surgical cases from admission to discharge. 

The involved veterinary students build case management skills, and the officers gain experience in volunteer coordination and clinic management. A select few graduate, and undergraduate students also contribute to turtle team success, gaining valuable opportunities for hands-on reptile  experience.  Many staff and faculty also help by fostering turtles needing long term care before release.

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Box turtles lined up for daily treatments.

In 2015, the Turtle Rescue Team expects to see over 300 cases. The steady stream of patients has provided opportunities for publication of case studies, development of novel treatment protocols for challenging conditions, and other research into the best approaches for managing turtle trauma or understanding turtle physiology.

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Radiographs of a female turtle with many eggs.

The longevity of the program has generated a large volume of data that has and will continue to prove valuable to further understanding the health & ecology of North Carolina’s wild turtle populations. The Turtle Team’s community outreach and education efforts are equally valuable.  By including each turtle’s rescuer in the rehabilitation and release process, the Turtle Team has helped to educate the triangle public about the value and needs of our wild turtles.

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A snapping turtle returns to the wild after his stay with the Turtle Team.

The coordination, dedication, and enthusiasm of North Carolina State University’s veterinary students has kept Dr. Lewbart’s vision for a wildlife treatment and rehabilitation program running smoothly for 20 years, and here’s to many more!

the TRT skittles brood

Construction Pushes Forward for Design Build Project

Things are really starting to take shape over at the Wild Carnivore Facility. The team of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Veterinary students continues their push  towards a July 31st finish, with dramatic changes taking place every day.

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Students put their backs into ensuring a side post is plumb

The walls are up, giving everyone a sense of accomplishment and making it easier to visualize the what the functional husbandry building will look like and how it will benefit the Wild Carnivore Facility.  Attention to detail in the framing process is paying off in speed of progress working with very square lines.

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Roof beams are in place

Most of the walls are in place and the Architecture students working on the custom windows in the College of Design student shop are carefully crafting very special windows. Today’s schedule calls for the start of roofing and more advances in the landscaping arena as the dairy cows in J pasture look on in amusement.

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Design Build rocks!


The Landscape Architecture students’ talents shone particularly bright this week with the development of some lovely swales for erosion control, topped with river rocks. Other collections of stones and boulders are cropping up around the work site as benches, which will provide much-needed rest spots for the Design Build team and Carnivore team alike.

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Teamwork continues to be key in moving the build smoothly forward!