Armstrong Alumni Association
Sally Ray Murphy
Coordinator, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Marine Turtle Conservation Program, Retired
Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies, 1963
Bachelor of Science in Biology, 1968
Master of Science in Biology, 1973
Sally Ray Murphy was born in Savannah and grew up at Rose Dhu on the Vernon River. She graduated from Jenkins High School before completing three degrees at Armstrong. She was then hired by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in 1973 as their first Environmental Education Specialist. She then worked for the department for 30 years as a wildlife biologist. Her main responsibilities were to create a comprehensive sea turtle program, including research, monitoring, management, and public outreach. This resulted in numerous peer-reviewed publications, reports, and symposium presentations here and abroad.
Ms. Murphy coordinated both the sea turtle (1980–2006) and the marine mammal (1991-2003) stranding networks in South Carolina. She was Co-Leader of the U.S. Sea Turtle Recovery Team from 1979-1989, and a member of the U.S. Loggerhead/Green Turtle Recovery Team from 1989 to 1991, WIDECAST (Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Recovery Team and Network) from 1984 to 1986, Turtle Expert Working Group from 1996 to 2000, and International Union for Conservation of Nature Marine Turtle Specialist Group. She has served on the Advisory Committee for the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation, Pew Charitable Trusts, from 1996 to 1998, and as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Charleston.
Ms. Murphy retired from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in July 2006. She was a member of the Beaufort County Rural and Critical Land Preservation Board from 2004 to 2005, and is currently serving on the Beaufort County Historical Preservation Review Board and the South Carolina Aquarium Animal Care Committee. She was presented the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in Environmental Stewardship from the South Carolina Aquarium in 2007, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sea Turtle Society in 2011.