On February 13, 2018, Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, CEO of Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), and Dr. Patrick Tellei, President of Palau Community College (PCC), signed a memorandum of collaboration to co-manage the DNA laboratory, which is located at the PCC campus. The agreement makes it possible to continue DNA-related research in Palau, in addition to enhancing education for PCC student in the field of Marine and Environmental Sciences.
In 2014, a state-of-the-art DNA laboratory was established at the PCC campus to increase relations between PICRC researchers and PCC students. Equipment for the lab, worth over $100,000, was provided through the Project for Sustainable Management of Coral Reef and Island Ecosystems: Responding to the Threat of Climate Change (P-CoRIE), funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).
Last month, an 850 pounds buoy was installed in Ngederrak Conservation Area by Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), in collaboration with Koror State Government and Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST). The buoy is a non-invasive system that takes eight measurements a day of carbon dioxide (CO2), pH, temperature, and salinity. This monitoring system will help increase our understanding of Ocean Acidification (OA), the factors affecting OA, and determine proactive and responsive actions to reduce and minimize its impacts.
One of the core values of Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) is investing in people and learning. Therefore, PICRC actively seeks and promotes opportunities for its staff to be able to pursue higher degrees. Currently, there are seven PICRC staff pursuing higher education degrees both within and outside Palau.
Two PICRC researchers are currently pursuing Ph.D. degrees. Lincoln Rehm is enrolled in a fully funded Environmental Science Ph.D. program at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Marine Gouezo is pursuing a Ph.D. degree at Southern Cross University, located in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia.
After a successful anniversary event that raised upwards of $166,000, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) is enthusiastically prepared to hit the ground running. The kickoff to 2018 has proven to be an active one. For the next few months, PICRC researchers will be fully engaged in significant and numerous projects and activities.
In January, the PICRC researcher team completed ecological surveys in Peleliu’s Protected Area Network (PAN) site known as the Teluleu Conservation Area. The data from these surveys will be used to improve design, evaluation, and implementation of PAN sites.