Chesapeake Quarterly
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Poplar Island

Boom Times for the Terrapins of Poplar Island [5:28]
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Terrapin populations seem to be booming out on a new, largely rebuilt island on the eastern side of Chesapeake Bay. When biologist Willem Roosenburg began monitoring terrapin nests on Poplar Island, he found hatchling survival rates as high as 70 to 80 percent. The Army Corps of Engineers has been diking and filling this site to create a large manmade island out of several small, separate islets that were dwindling away, the victims of erosion and subsidence. The new island is now the disposal site for dredge material dug out of the shipping channels of Chesapeake Bay, but it also holds several wetland cells where female terrapins can dig their nests, lay eggs and have high hopes their offspring will survive. The reasons: few predators, little boat traffic, no highway traffic, no commercial harvesting.
Video by Michael Fincham, Maryland Sea Grant.

Fear the Turtle [0:30]
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Diamondback terrapins became the unofficial mascot for the University of Maryland teams as early as 1924, though "Testudo" would not become the official mascot for the school until 1933. For decades Testudo was often a comic or a combative cartoon character. In 2003, University Marketing and Communications began its well-publicized "Fear the Turtle" campaign that created a handsome, charismatic, roaring terrapin.
Produced by Mac Nelson and University Video.
Space Terp

Terrapins Take Off [0:31]
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When the University of Maryland wanted to highlight its continuing rise to prominence as an academic and research institution, it turned again to its terrapin mascot and sent "Testudo" rocketing into space in this 2004 television spot.
Produced by Mac Nelson and University Video.
Marching Terp

Terrapins on the March [0:31]
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"Fear the Turtle" began as a T-shirt slogan, coined by a fan, to celebrate Maryland's sports teams, but it grew into a well-funded marketing campaign to publicize the University of Maryland's high rankings for academics and research. Marching terrapins were unleashed in a 2005 television spot.
Produced by Mac Nelson and University Video.
Curly Byrd in class

Before they were Terrapins, they were Aggies [2:58]
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The University of Maryland grew out of small agricultural college in College Park where cadets, many of them engineering students, began forming baseball and football teams in the 1890s, largely against the wishes of the faculty who saw sports as a distraction from study. The teams were often called "The Aggies" or "The Farmers," and they lost more than they won until 1905 when a student named H.C. "Curley" Byrd began to star as a pitcher for the baseball team, a quarterback for the football team and a sprinter for the track squad. In 1912, he returned as a football coach with big plans for his little alma mater.
From Keeping the Promise: The Rise of the University of Maryland.
Curly Byrd

Curley Byrd and the Big Campus [2:50]
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By 1920 the aggie college had become the home campus of a new University of Maryland. By 1924, the football coach began calling his football teams "The Maryland Terrapins," and by 1935, the coach was president of the university. During his 19-year tenure, H.C. Curley Byrd raised funds for expanding the campus and redesigned it with Georgian-style architecture that reflected the colonial era in American history.
From Keeping the Promise: The Rise of the University of Maryland.
Closeup of Byrd and football player

Terrapins go for the Big Time [5:03]
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After World War II, President Curley Byrd opened the University of Maryland to all returning veterans with a high school degree and used funds from the G.I. bill to fund the building of Byrd Stadium and Cole Fieldhouse. He also hired a coach who would take his Maryland Terrapins to the top of college football.
From Keeping the Promise: The Rise of the University of Maryland.
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December 2008
vol. 7, no. 4
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