Palau’s coral reefs are resilient, according to a 15-year study by PICRC

Worldwide, coral reefs are being impacted by disturbances. As global temperatures rise, bleaching events and extreme weather events are likely to increase. Through ecological monitoring researchers are able to track changes to better understand how coral reefs are impacted and how they recover from these large disturbances.

Until 2001, there had been no comprehensive coral reef monitoring on disturbance impacts, coral mortality, or recovery time for Palau’s coral reefs at an island scale. This lack of data left many questions unanswered following the 1998 bleaching event. In response to this gap in knowledge, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) established their long-term coral reef monitoring program.  Information from the coral reef monitoring programs can be used to tell us the status of Palau’s reefs and track and document changes resulting from large disturbances. read more

New SDA and PMA teachers learn about PICRC’s education programs

This past Sunday, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) hosted new teachers from Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Elementary School and Palau Mission Academy (PMA). For the third consecutive year, the new teachers from these schools were able to learn about the educational activities PICRC offers and tour the Palau Aquarium. The principal and vice principal of the two schools, Palau host families and sponsors were also present to hear about PICRC’s education programs.

Aside from conducting research, PICRC strives to raise awareness on Palau’s marine environment to students and the community. Every year, PICRC staff work with schools to involve their students in the Center’s work.  One of the main, educational activities at PICRC is the Arts and Tides Calendar contest. This contest has taken place annually since the Center opened in 2001 and every year it continues to recognize new conservation themes. Additionally, PICRC continues to hosts interns and volunteers to gain career guidance from the Centers professionals. Aquarium tours, tours of the research facilities and school visits also provide students with the opportunity to learn about marine ecosystems and marine conservation. PICRC wants to ensure schools and teachers are aware of these programs so PICRC’s facilities and aquarium are fully utilized by the community. read more

Restoration of PICRC’s facilities begins this month

In 2016, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) agreed to assist Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) with the restoration of seawater and electrical systems. This August, JICA will begin the Follow-up Corporation Project to upgrade the facilities and equipment at PICRC.

The construction of PICRC began in 1999 and the Center opened its doors to the public on 2001.   The facilities and many of the equipment have been used for over 17 years.   In 2016, PICRC applied for a Follow up Cooperation through JICA. Facilities are selected for these grants based on how well the facilities have been maintained after their initial establishment. read more

PICRC Hosts PNMS Socio-Economic Workshop

This week, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) is hosting a socio-economic workshop led by Dr. Kirsten Oleson and PhD Student Ms. Rachel Dacks from University of Hawaii at Manoa, PhD Student Ms. Staci Lewis from Stanford University and PICRC researcher Ms. Lincy Marino. Participating in the workshop are students from Palau Community College, Koror State Rangers and Conservation Officers, and community members.

This week-long workshop will cover basics of social science and survey techniques, excel data analysis, survey design, and survey etiquette for human subjects. During the last two days, participants will conduct surveys, applying the skills they have gained over the week. Once completed, participants will be qualified as surveyors for the Palau National Marine Sanctuary’s (PNMS) socio-economic study. read more

PICRC establishes relationship with Japan’s International Coral Reef Research and Monitoring Center

On July 25th, 2017 Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and International Coral Reef Research and Monitoring Center (ICRRMC) of Japan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two Centers. The Signing Ceremony was held at PICRC ground.

PICRC’s CEO, Dr. Yimnang Golbuu and Dr. Natsumi Higa, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Environment, participated in the signing ceremony.  Accompanying Vice-Minister Higa in the signing ceremony were Mr. Naohisa Okuda, Director, Biodiversity and Policy Division of the Ministry of Environment, Ms. Mari Yamazaki, Technical Official, Ministry of Environment, Mr. Koji Matsuo, Secretary to the Parliamentary Vice-Minister, Ms. Mari Sekiguchi, Interpreter, and Mr. Takao Mochida, from the Embassy of Japan here in Palau. read more