PICRC researchers co-author publication of novel model able to predict coral bleaching

On April 2020, Dr. Peter Houk from the University of Guam Marine Laboratory, along with Dr. Yimnang Golbuu and Dr. Marine Gouezo, from Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), and with the collaboration of partners from Yap Community Action Program, Conservation Society of Pohnpei, and Florida Institute of Technology, released a publication of a model that is able to predict coral bleaching and crown-of-thorns starfish events with several months in advance.

The new model studies the interaction between events, like El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which had been previously studied independently. Results show that together, ENSO and PDO promote two things: 1) the increase of sea-surface temperatures (SST) which causes corals to bleach, and 2) the increase of chlorophyll-a concentrations, which is associated with an inflation of Acanthaster starfish, a coral predator. By studying varying climate scenarios, and looking into the patterns that have been present over the years, researchers were able to figure out how to forecast coral disturbances several months in advance. read more

PICRC welcomes its newest staff member

The Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) has gained another new employee in 2020. Ms. ChrisEve Inacio joined the Center earlier this year as a Sales Associate for the Giant Clam Gift Shop, PICRC’s official store and merchandise seller.

Ms. Inacio hails from Ngiwal State, and graduated from Palau High School. She had previously worked at the Bureau of Labor in the Ministry of Justice as an Administrative Clerk. When asked what she hopes to gain out of her work at PICRC, Ms. Inacio said she would like to learn more about the work that the researchers do, as well as hopefully become a certified diver in the future. read more

PICRC staff successfully completes CPR training

During the last week of June, all staff members of the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) successfully completed their First Aid and CPR certification.

Provided by the Red Cross of Palau, PICRC staff were able to learn from a variety of tools including videos, discussions, readings and hands on drills. The training lasted one full day and prepared PICRC’s staff members to assist in case of an emergency.

Investing in people and learning is one of the six core values that PICRC is guided by.  Since its opening in 2001, the Center continues to build the capacity of its employees. “As an organization that offers services to the public, and whose staff is recurrently in the field, it was important for our employees to acquire training that will enable them to assist in case of an emergency,” stated PICRC CEO, Yimnang Golbuu. read more

LeahMarie Bukurou joins PICRC as its newest research staff member

Ms. LeahMarie Bukurou, who graduated from Palau Community College with an associates degree in Environmental/Marine Science, and a former Blue Bay Summer Program Intern, is now a full-time research assistant at Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC).

Two years after completing her summer internship program at PICRC, Ms. Bukurou joined the Center as a full-time employee in 2020. Starting as an aquarist, Ms. Bukurou later moved to the research department, where she now serves as a research assistant. “It has been my goal to work at PICRC ever since I realized I had a passion for Environmental/Marine Science. It is such a blessing to be given this opportunity,” stated Ms. Bukurou. read more

PICRC staff successfully complete SCUBA diving training

LR Back- Morton Sawaichi, Maria Moreno, Randa Jonathan, Trinity Misech. Front- Andrea Uchel, Harrison Umang, Alik Ulechong, Benson Adelbai

During the second and third week of June, eight staff members from the Administration, Aquarium, and Research Departments at Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), successfully completed their PADI Open Water 18-meter Diving Certification.

The SCUBA diving course took three days and involved an online component and the practical field training in the water.  All eight staff from the Center were able to successfully complete the course and they are now SCUBA diving certified. read more