The Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) extends its congratulations to researcher Ms. Lincy Lee Marino, who recently obtained her Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Sustainable Management from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. Ms. Marino was able to complete her studies through the university’s online college while she continued to reside in Palau and work at the Center.
In September 2018, Ms. Marino began her graduate education full-time with the support of PICRC and was financially supported by the Palau National Scholarship Board (PNSB). In September 2019, Ms. Marino was selected as one of the Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge Scholarship recipients.
Ms. Marino’s studies focused on sustainability, as she was interested in learning about how to approach environmental and economic issues in a manner that will benefit both aspects of society. While Palau is internationally known for her environmental management successes, the country is shifting from subsistence to a more commercialized economy. According to Ms. Marino, “We need to understand how to best protect and preserve our pristine environment, while simultaneously achieving economic prosperity in a sustainable manner so that we ensure the future generations also inherit the same pristine environment and resources we inherited from our ancestors and continue to enjoy today.”
While pursuing her master’s degree, she was also a full time researcher at the Center. While she partook in many of the research projects at the Center, Ms. Marino was the lead researcher on various projects – grouper aggregation studies, MPA assessments, and socio-economic studies. For the grouper aggregation studies, she conducted fieldwork and data analysis, looking at grouper populations at aggregation sites in Palau throughout the timespan of a year. She also led various marine protected areas assessments comparing ecological indicators within MPA and reference sites over time to assess the status and trends within the MPA. Additionally, Lincy conducted socio-economic studies in Palau to understand people’s perceptions and understanding of marine protected areas and its benefits to people’s livelihoods.
“One of Center’s core values is investing in people and learning, and we always support PICRC staff who are interested in pursuing a degree,” stated PICRC CEO Dr. Yimnang Golbuu. “We congratulate Lincy for her amazing achievement. She was a full time PICRC researcher, a mother of a young child and a masters’ student, all at the same time, and she was still able to complete her studies successfully. Her success demonstrates to all of us that in spite of the different challenges we face, with hard work, we can be successful.”