Dr. Donna Shaver is known for her efforts to save the endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtles, and now the National Parks Service has recognized her with a national award.

Shaver has been working at the National Seashore for 33 years to try and help the Kemp's Ridleys get off of the endangered species list.

Last year, a record total of 209 nests were found along the Texas Coastline. That's a far cry from the number of turtle nests found in 1986 when the effort began. That number was zero.

Shaver showed a Kiii News crew around her newly expanded turtle research headquarters at the National Seashore on Thursday. The facility has basically doubled in size since last year, because her efforts to save the Kemp's Ridley have been so successful.

Now, some 400 nests could be stored in the incubation facility. Her bosses at the National Parks Service know about her great work and decided that she deserved the National Parks Service Director's 2012 award for Natural Resource Research.

"I'm really very pleased by the award. This is one of those types of awards you can only receive it once during the course of your career," Shaver said. "It's a very high achievement. It's an award from the director of the National Parks Service, so it's an exciting award to receive."

Shaver won the award after her peers had nominated her. Her certificate and bison sculpture will soon go into her trophy case, along with all of her other honors.

She was supposed to pick up her award in Denver last week, but because of government cutbacks, that trip was canceled.