Science Sunday: Coral genetics on Guam?

It’s time for another great Science Sunday! Check it out this weekend on Nov. 18 at 2pm at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center.  Dr. Sarah Lemer is this month’s guest speaker. Get a preview of this Science Sunday here.  How does coral genetics research help with reef conservation? Watch this video to find out.

Guam has experienced mass coral bleaching over the past five years from high water temperatures. Though many corals died from these bleaching events, some corals survived. Dr. Sarah Lemer, an evolutionary biologist, seeks to find out which genes in these surviving corals make them resilient to bleaching. Dr. Lemer is a member of Guam’s EPSCoR research team at the University of Guam. 

Science Sunday is free and open to the public. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. No pre-registration required.

Science Sunday_Nov. 18, 2018


Oct. 21: Science Sunday at 2pm

Science Sunday
October 21,2018 –  2pm
at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center

 Cruz and CIS team celebrate the passing Plastic Bag Ban bill by distributing reusable bags at Payless Supermarkets. Courtesy of P. Cruz.

Have you heard about the Center for Island Sustainability (CIS)? Phillip Cruz, University of Guam’s (UOG) Sustainability Coordinator, will share their mission and how they work with our community to live more sustainably. From recycling to composting, Cruz and the CIS team work with students, local businesses, and many others to be better stewards of Guam’s natural environment.

This event is free and open to the public. No pre-registration needed. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis.  For more info, email gureefmonitoring@gmail.com or call 333-4050.

Science Sunday_October 17, 2018v2


Sept. 16: Join us for Science Sunday

We hope you all made it through Typhoon Mangkhut safely and wish you a smooth recovery as we return back to normal. We are happy to announce that this month’s Science Sunday will go on as scheduled on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 2pm at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center.

Vince (center, throwing the shaka) and crew working in Pagan, one of the northern Marianas islands. Photo courtesy of Pangelinan. 

This month’s guest speaker is Vince Pangelinan. Vince is a young fisherman from the village of Yigo. Currently, he works with the NOAA Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center’s Biosampling Program to study life history of Guam reef and bottom fish. This Sunday, Vince will share his exciting experience from a recent scientific cruise to the Northern Marianas Islands while aboard the NOAA Oscar Sette Research Vessel. In addition, Vince represented Guam at two fishing competitions earlier this year in Hawaii and another in Yap for the 2018 Micro Games.  Hear some stories from his fishing adventures this Sunday. We are excited to feature a variety of perspectives, knowledge, and relationships people have with our reefs, our ocean, and our environment. Science Sunday is free and open to the public. No pre-registration is required. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis.

For more information, email gureefmonitoring@gmail.com or call 333-4050.

Science Sunday_September 16, 2018




Adios, FOR Guam interns!

FOR Guam summer interns ended their internship with a final presentation on August 14, 2018 to local partners that participate in conservation on Guam. Click here to view their presentation.

Last Blog entry by Brittany Tominez from their final week of field work:

We started off this week in the office to go over our project. Marilyn, Alysha, and I had a short meeting with Val to discuss our presentation. In addition, Val helped each one of us with the topic we chose to conduct background research for our literature review.

Two days later, Val, Alysha, and I made our way down to Merizo. It was a nice sunny morning with a slight breeze, but as soon as we climbed down to the shore, we were met by the high tide. Rock surfaces that are normally exposed were totally submerged and the water looked like chocolate milk! We thought we would have to reschedule. Val made her way toward our transect sites and to our surprise the water was clear once we got closer! Alysha and I quickly put on our gear and made our way to Val.

Because it has been a few weeks since our last day out in the field, it took some time for us to lay out all six transects. Some of the zip ties were camouflaged as algae grew on them. On one transect, one zip tie had completely come off! Not only was it a little difficult to find the zip ties, but the current was a little stronger than what Alysha and I were used to. This presented an additional challenge to locate our transects.

Once all six transects were laid out, we started the surveys. Val conducted fish surveys,

while Alysha and I did macroinvertebrate surveys. When surveying the transects, Alysha and I noticed that there was already algal growth on the corals that we had removed algae on top a few weeks ago. The two recent storms that passed over and near us over the past few weeks came to mind for this observation. The excess nutrients in the water could have helped with the algae to regrow in these transects. However, it did look like there were more fish in the area after algal removal. The fairly choppy conditions made the hunt for macroinvertebrates a little difficult, but Alysha and I were glad that the water was crystal clear.


Science Sunday on August 19

Join us for Science Sunday on August 19 at 2pm at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center in Sumay.

This month we get a special update on Guam’s coral reefs from David Burdick, a coral biologist at the University of Guam’s Marine Laboratory. He leads the Guam Long-term Monitoring Program and is part of Guam’s Reef Response Team. Chances are you’re familiar with his work if you’ve seen presentations or photos of Guam’s coral reefs. David is the host of guamreeflife.com. Check it out! With recent coral bleaching events among other reef stressors, a harsh reality for coral reefs is already in motion. Despite grim outlooks, all around the world resource managers and communities are working together to take action so our reefs can thrive, instead of just survive. The first step is to understand current issues facing our reefs, so we can decide how to collectively protect our coral reefs. We look forward to the great questions and interesting discussion. We hope you can make it!

Science Sunday is free and open to the public. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. No pre-registration is required. Email gureefmonitoring@gmail.com or call 646-1905 or 333-4050 for more information.

Science Sunday_August 19, 2018


FOR Guam Summer Interns Update

Blog by Brittany Tominez, 2018 FOR Guam summer intern

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since our last update. So let’s catch up: In early July, we met to go over all the data we have collected this far. We analyzed and graphed our data, which included benthic cover, macroinvertebrates, and algae removal.  This gave us a “big picture” view of all the data we collected. Val showed and explained to us  averages of our data adds to accuracy of analysis and results. 

Conducting benthic cover survey

Preliminary analysis of our survey data helped us formulate different perspectives to determine which direction we wanted to continue with for the rest of our research project. From that point, we brainstormed possible hypotheses and research questions. We  split the background research into three sections: the effect algae has on coral, the relationship between algal removal and fish, and the relationship between algal removal and macroinvertebrates in the area. The literature review will helped us learn more about the ecological relationships for our three topics. We gained more background on the ecological dynamic between algae and corals, the role of fish on coral ecosystems, and the effect of restoration techniques through algal removal. After our meeting, we also decided to add fish surveys to the project. Next, we have to do our follow up monitoring surveys to see any changes over time from algal removal.


2018 Summer Internship Update

Blog by Alysha Meno, 2018 FOR Guam summer intern

Hey guys, hope you all stayed safe during the tropical storm! Before it arrived we were able to meet up twice this week at the Merizo site and a meeting to discuss our data.

Day 1 of this week we continued algal removal on/around coral colonies in Merizo. Here’s an update on the catch bags: We did put them in buckets with small holes in the bottom and attached a pool noodle around the top part of the bucket, so it stayed above water (Thank you for your help, Farron and Val!). This helped prevent the bags from dragging/stirring up sediment and kept afloat, making the algal removal process a lot smoother. We just had to remember to hold onto them since they can float away!

We used the GPS unit to find our sites and laid out our transect tape. From there, on both sides of the tape we used one-meter survey rods as boundaries. We removed algae on/around corals within 2x25m area at each transect. Most of what we collected was a brown algae called Padina species (sp.).

As we removed algae, we noticed more invertebrates and fish appeared around the corals. In one crevice, we discovered a snow eel that peeking out curiously after we removed a lot of Padina sp. We also noticed fish began eating the turf algae from the corals we cleared and came toward us and helped graze on the turf algae. It was a cool to see an immediate reaction from fish!

Catch bags filled with algae.

Once we completed algal removal, we returned to shore. We drained the water out of the catch bags for the same amount of time and weighed them to see how much we algae collected. The heaviest bag weighed about 6870 grams (or 15 lbs!). We repeated this method on our last transect and called it a day.


alysha data analysis
Inputting survey data

The next day was a short workshop on inputting data into Microsoft Excel. We took the information we collected out in the field and neatly inputted into a few spreadsheets. Our supervisor also taught us how to create graphs to illustrate data as visualizations that will help present our project to others. We ended with a discussion on how the field work went the previous day and to think about some hypothesis we have for our projects. Check in next time for our next update!


Meet our 2018 FOR Guam Summer Interns

Blog written by: Marilyn Connell, 2018 FOR Guam summer intern

Meet our 2018 Summer Interns! (left to right) Marilyn Connell, Brittany Tominez, and Alysha Meno.

Friends of Reefs (FOR) Guam’s summer internship has just begun and we’ve learned so much already! Our intern project entails piloting algal removal and monitoring potential sites for community coral gardening on Guam.

Our pre-internship training included an extensive CPR and first aid course, such as learning how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator). Our first in-water training session for coral reef monitoring was very overwhelming with snorkeling, surveying, and recalling information from training as well as dealing with water conditions (we experienced some current). Luckily, the first official day of the internship was a pool session that helped us enhance our surveying skills in the water and troubleshoot other issues before field work began. We worked on submerging and clearing our snorkels and using the surveying equipment in the water without the added worry of dealing with a current.

Interns got to focus on snorkeling skills and working with monitoring equipment in the water.

Week one was all about baseline surveys for our Merizo sites. Our work included using the GPS unit to find our sites, laying transects, and then conducting benthic and macroinvertebrate surveys at our control and experiment sites. You can read up on survey methods here. The most common things we found on benthic surveys were sand, Porites genus corals, and turf algae. Many types of sea cucumbers, sea stars and even sea urchins were found in our macroinvertebrate surveys.

We ended the week with algal removal on/around coral colonies. Hopefully, this will help corals grow as more space is cleared from fast-growing algae. This was a trial-and-error process since removing brown and red algae took much more time than anticipated. We all thought it would take about 15 minutes and in reality, it took about 45 minutes to clear 25×2 meters. Our catch bags used collect removed algae stirred up sediment, adding time to the algal removal process. Our solution was to use floating buckets instead of dragging our catch bags to make algal removal easier. Stay tuned to see if it worked!


6/23: Coral Reef Monitoring Training

Here’s your chance to join FOR Guam’s Coral Reef Monitoring Team! Join us this Saturday, June 23rd from 9am-12pm at the Tepungan Beach Park (next to Fish Eye Marine Observatory) in Piti. We provide snorkel gear, life jackets, and a limited number of tabbies. This a fun way to get to know Guam’s waters even more and contribute to tracking its health.

Please note that participants under 14 must be accompanied by parent or other trusted adult. 14 do not need a parent with them, but must have liability release form signed by their parent/guardian to participate. Liability release forms will be available on site. Click here to sign up.June 23 training


June 17: FISSH at Science Sunday

“Louis Agassiz is one of the marine biology laboratory systems founders in the United States. He was a firm believer in a “hands-on” approach to science, and is infamous for his adage, “study nature, not books.”

This Science Sunday we feature team members of the Fish Spawning Survey Habitat, or FISSH, led by the Micronesia Conservation Coalition. Members include local university students and science enthusiasts who learned basic fish survey techniques that expanded into more advanced research methods to study fish spawning on Guam. Learn about their experience, methods, and conclusions from this hands-on project.

So join us for this Science Sunday on June 17 at 2pm at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center. This event is free and open to the public; no registration required. Seats are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Science Sunday_June 17, 2018


2018 Summer Internship

Summer is here – rainier than usual, but it’s here! It’s exciting to let out that sigh of relief when the end of semester chaos is over and the horizon of what summer 2018 will bring. On our horizon, you can be part of new efforts in coral reef conservation for our island.

Through this unpaid internship, interns will:

  • Gain valuable field and work experience in coral reef restoration
  • Receive training in water safety and field techniques for coral restoration
  • Increase their science communication skills and understanding of Guam’s coral reef issues

Review the 2018 Summer Internship overview here for more details.

Fill out the FOR Guam 2018 Summer Internship application and submit via email by Friday, June 8, 2018.

If you prefer to turn in hard copy of application, call 646-1905 to arrange a time to ensure someone may receive it.

At a glance:

2018 summer internship flyer


Science Sunday: It’s all about Mangroves

Join us for another fun Science Sunday! For the first time, we will feature mangrove ecosystems. Our guest speaker, Jessica Gross will share the importance of mangroves, some of the threats to mangroves, and her work in mangroves areas on Guam and abroad. Science Sunday is this Sunday, May 20 at 2pm at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center.

Mangrove areas on Guam can be seen in the Sasa Bay Marine Preserve Area and the Achang Marine Preserve Area. You’re likely to notice them with their large protruding roots along the coast as you’re driving in Sumay or along Merizo toward Inarajan. So what’s so important about mangroves?

kayak mangroves merizo
You can explore Guam’s mangroves on kayaks or paddle boards. Photo by Guam BSP.
  1. Coastal protection from storms – mangroves are a buffer that help keep our coasts from eroding away and flooding
  2. Sediment filters – mangroves help hold sediment that washes down our rivers from getting to our coral reefs
  3. Fish nursery – mangroves are juvenile reef fish habitat

This is just a preview of what’s to come for Science Sunday. Jessica will share other reasons why these mangroves are so important for our island and some of the threats they face today. We hope you can make it to this one-of-a-kind talk. Get a preview from Jessica from her interview with KUAM.

science sunday may 20


UnusuWHALE History at Science Sunday

Science Sunday speaker, Brent Tibbatts, returns to Science Sunday for some “unusuWHALE history” on April 15 at 2pm at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center. Brent will talk about different species we can find in Micronesia, especially those that frequent the Marianas. Did you know that the whaling industry in the 19th century included Micronesia? Get some insight on the history of whaling in Micronesia from Brent. And probably one of the coolest experiences Brent will share is what happens during a marine mammal stranding, such as saving a beached whale. Aren’t you overWHALEmed with excitement? Science Sunday is free and open to the public. No sign-up is required. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. For more info, email gureefmonitoring@gmail.com or call 646-1905. Science Sunday_April 15, 2018_final





April 7: Coral Reef Monitoring Training

We’re kicking off monitoring season with Coral Reef Monitoring Training this Saturday, April 7 from 9am-12pm at Tepungan Beach Park in Piti. Learn about basic coral ecology, threats to Guam’s coral reefs, and ways people are trying to help protect our reefs. Get hands-on experience with an introduction to reef monitoring survey methods that help us track the health of Guam’s reef flat areas. Once we get in the water, participants will get to know the area with marine species ID session and practice survey methods learned on land.  Click here to sign up for this free training.

Need service learning hours? This event will earn you 3 service learning hours with an opportunity to earn additional hours when you participate in future Monitoring Events. Participants under 18 must have parent/ guardian sign a liability release form. Participants under 14 must be accompanied by parent or other trusted adult. Forms will be available on site on the day of event. Share this link with your teacher for approval: http://guamservicelearning.com/coral-reef-monitoring

Don’t forget it’s Guam Year of the Reef! Become a member of our team and show your love for Guam’s reefs. April 7 training flyer_v2



March 18: Science Sunday with Luis Cabral

In March, Guam celebrates Mes CHamoru (CHamoru Month) to honor the CHamoru culture and history. Storytelling is one way our local community continue our cultural values and CHamoru heritage. This Science Sunday we honor CHamoru culture through storytelling about changes to Guam’s reefs and coasts experienced by Luis Cabral II, this month’s guest speaker. Cabral’s outlook on life is influenced by the ocean and our island’s reefs. As a fisherman and Master SCUBA Diver Trainer, Cabral will share his personal reflections growing up near the water and how those changes shaped who he is today.

Photo courtesy of L. Cabral.

“As I get older and reflect on life, I think about the growing up I did beyond school – in my own backyard which was my Mom’s before me. So  did I learn from experience or did I realize what could be lost to the next generation?”

Meet Luis and hear his story at Science Sunday on March 18, 2018 at 2pm at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center. This event is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first come, first serve basis. Get a sneak preview of Science Sunday here.

For more information, call 646-1905 or email gureefmonitoring@gmail.com.


Upcoming Events: Feb. 17 & 18

Saturday, February 17 – Snorkel Intro for Adults

Coral reef monitoring is our main snorkeling-based activity. This Saturday, we’re taking a step back to offer an opportunity to those who have always been interested in snorkeling, but are still a bit nervous about snorkeling at the beach. Sometimes it just takes some practice and review of basic water safety to boost your confidence (and comfort) in the water!

Join this free snorkel introduction from 2-4pm at the Agana Pool. We’ll go over water safety basics and review snorkeling gear, such as fitting your mask and swimming with fins. A Dive Master and lifeguard will lead and assist participants to build up those skills that just need a bit of practice before heading to the beach.  Ages 14 and up may participate. Participants under 18 must have their parent/guardian fill out our liability release form. Forms will be available on site at class. Click here to sign up for this class.

Snorkel_Feb2018 (1)


Sunday, February 18  – Science Sunday

Join us for Science Sunday – 2pm at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center in Sumay.  Bob Bevacqua, professor of agriculture at UOG, will talk about the significance of breadfruit, or lemai in the Chamorro language. Learn more about its origins of lemai, its nutrional value, varied preparations, and more.  Though this Science Sunday’s focus will be on  Asan Ridge and our watersheds,  our island is connected from ridge to reef. Culturally significant trees in our watersheds benefits both our communities and our reefs.  This event is hosted by GCCRMP and the National Park Service. The event is free and open to the public. No registration required; seats available on a first come, first served basis. Hope to see you there!

Science Sunday_February 18


Feb. 10: You’re invited to our 2nd R.E.E.F. Celebration

Do you plant trees in our watersheds? Discourage stepping on corals and fish feeding? Participate in coral reef monitoring or report coral bleaching? Consider fish size for sustainable fishing? Use reusable shopping bags? These activities along with many others show your commitment to conserve Guam’s natural environment, from ridge at the top of the watershed to the coral reefs in our receiving waters. We want to celebrate YOU! Let’s get together for some fun to share the big and small ways our community has contributed to the conservation of our coral reefs.

We’re kicking off Guam’s Year of the Reef with a celebration! The Guam Community Coral Reef Monitoring Program invites all of you to our 2nd Reef Exploration, Experiences, & Fun (R.E.E.F.) Celebration next Saturday, February 10 from 1:00 to 3:30pm at the Hall of Governors in Adelup. This event is free and open to the public; no pre-registration is required.

Find new ways to get involved with reef conservation in 2018 at our Tasi yan Tano Mini Fair. Learn about current coral reef conservation efforts led by natural resource agencies and other organizations. Are you concerned about our island’s coral reefs? Listen to an update on the status of Guam’s reefs and community monitoring sites. We especially welcome anyone who has always been interested in coral reefs, conservation, or just reconnecting with our island environment – there will be something for everyone here! We hope to see you there!

On Friday, February 2nd at 10:30am, there will be a Proclamation Signing in Adelup to proclaim 2018 as Guam Year of the Reef. Click here to learn more. Guam Year of the Reef is led by Guam’s Bureau of Statistics and Plans.

2nd REEF Celebration flyer_final




December 17: Green Roofs on Guam?

Take a break from Christmas shopping and enjoy some quality family/friend time this Science Sunday on December 17, 2pm at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center. From our ocean’s coral reefs to the top of our watersheds, we cover everything in between.  This Science Sunday’s guest speaker is Lieve Dierckx, a passionate student who hails from Switzerland, to talk about green roofs.

What is a “green roof?” Green roofs are essentially plants and vegetation grown on rooftops that can help with stormwater management and to promote “green areas” in urban spaces that absorb carbon dioxide.  There are many benefits of green roofs, but also challenges that need to be considered when designing green roofs for Guam’s environment.

Join us this Sunday, December 17th to learn about Lieve’s current green roof pilot project with the University of Guam’s Center for Island Sustainability as well as the passion and creativity that’s involved.


Science Sunday_December 17, 2017


Nov. 19 Science Sunday: Traditional Fishing on Guam

As in all Pacific Islands, Guam’s marine resources are strongly tied to our cultural heritage.  At Science Sunday, Judy Amesbury will present her short video documentary entitled Traditional Fishing on Guam: Chamoru Chenchulu’ Fishermen.  Judy Amesbury is an archaeologist at Marianas Archaeological Research Services who has helped document Guam’s ancient and present-day fishing traditions.  We hope you join us for this special presentation, which will be followed by a Q&A session with Judy after the showing.  We invite you to share your stories and fishing tradition with us during this discussion.   After all, these are the stories that motivate us to manage our marine resources.  So that Guam’s fishing tradition will continue for generations to come.

This event is free and open to the public. No registration is required. ScienceSunday_November 19, 2017


Science Sunday: An Update on Coral Bleaching Impacts on Guam’s Coral Reefs

Guam’s coral reefs are bleaching…again in 2017.  According to NOAA Coral Watch, Guam will endure high ocean temperatures and endure another mass coral bleaching event for nearly two more months.

Guam’s Heat Stress Gauge is one tool marine scientists/reef managers use Coral Bleaching  outlooks for Guam and around the Marianas.  Graphic by NOAA Coral Watch.
monitoring soft coral
Members conducting surveys in Piti’s soft coral habitat.  Photo by NOAA

On Guam, our local community has  taken the initiative to learn about or get involved with coral reef conservation in response to coral bleaching:

  • GCCRMP’s trained members have participated in coral reef monitoring surveys in Piti’s coral reefs to document bleaching.
  • Over 100 residents have attended Eyes of the Reef Marianas class and field training sessions over the summer of 2017.
  • Nearly 200 residents watched Chasing Corals at community screenings and participated in discussions about coral bleaching and Guam’s coral reefs.
  • Guam’s Coral Reef Response Team is currently conducting monitoring surveys around the island to track coral bleaching.

Let’s keep the momentum going!  Join us for Science Sunday, October 15th to meet members from Guam’s Coral Reef Response Team.  They will provide an update on how Guam’s coral reefs have been impacted by recent and past coral bleaching events.

science sunday oct 15.jpg






2017 Summer Internship Announcement

We are happy to announce GCCRMP’s Summer Internship Program for 2017.  If you’re a motivated college student or adult interested in marine sciences and coral reef conservation, then we encourage you to apply.

This internship is a great opportunity to build your professional and communication skills within the natural resource management and marine science field.  Two college students or motivated adults will be selected as interns.  All work completed by interns will contribute to GCCRMP’s mission to share data collected from monitoring sites with our local community, so that more island residents will be informed about the health of our island’s coral reefs.

Download application package to learn more and apply:  2017 Summer Internship Application Package

Duration: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 – Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 (Four weeks)

Background:   The Guam Community Coral Reef Monitoring Program (GCCRMP) creates opportunities for Guam’s community members to get involved in coral reef conservation.  Coral Reef Monitoring training and data collection as well as Science Sunday programs are available for community members to learn, experience, and exchange knowledge about Guam’s coral reefs.  GCCRMP also seeks to build interest and local capacity in marine science and resource management through internships.


This unpaid internship will focus on coral reef monitoring and human-use monitoring, data collection, and data analysis with a communication component.  Two interns will work together to conduct field work, data analysis, and communicate study results.  Interns will share results from extensive field work and analysis with various stakeholder groups, such as local natural resource management agency partners and/or at public community events.  Interns will receive an estimated

Interns will: 

  • Gain valuable marine monitoring technique, skills, and working experience
  • Receive training to enhance skills in marine resource conservation/ management fields
  • Increase communication skills about marine resource issues and scientific data among different audiences
  • Understand and illustrate connection between marine resource conditions and human-use/impacts


  • Participate in coral reef monitoring training and other training to learn methodology and techniques
  • Conduct coral reef monitoring and human-use monitoring surveys at selected sites
  • Do manual data entry and basic analysis of coral reef monitoring using MS Excel (or other available software).
  • Compile analyzed results that shared with various audiences.
  • Bi-weekly blog/video log about internship experience (field work, reflection, challenges, etc.)
  • Attend weekly meeting w/ supervisor


  • Must be 18 years or over
  • Reliable mode of personal transportation to field sites and NOAA Fisheries Office.
  • Work flexible hours; may include weekends or evenings
  • Complete Coral Reef Monitoring Training & other training as assigned by supervisor
  • Willing to complete Pre-Internship Training (necessary training prior to Internship start date).
    • Coral Reef Monitoring Class Training (2 hours) – background on coral reef ecology, threats to Guam’s reefs, introduction to survey methods
    • In-water Training sessions (2 hours) – water safety briefing, practice in-water survey methods, and how to use other data collecting tools
    • First Aid/ CPR/ AED Skills course (4 hours)
  • Applicant should be very comfortable in the water (demonstrate ability to swim 200 yards without life jacket in mask and snorkel)
  • Complete necessary NOAA personnel clearance forms*

Click here to learn about experiences from our past GCCRMP intern

2017 INTERNSHIP flier_2


April 23: Science Sunday

Although coral reefs are declining worldwide, scientists around the world are working together to come up with ways to restore our coral reefs.  Get a chance to meet a few of those scientists that are working with our local marine scientists to learn coral restoration techniques this Science Sunday!  Bring a friend or the whole family for a positive outlook on protecting Guam’s coral reefs.

ScienceSunday_April 23, 2017_final2.png



Upcoming Events in April

April is Earth Month!  We have a few upcoming events that you can participate to show your love for our island home:

  • Coral Reef Monitoring Training – Saturday, April 8 -2:30-5:30pm,  Merizo
    • Learn how to do coral reef monitoring surveys in this single session to learn about basic coral ecology, threats to Guam’s reefs, and how we can make a difference.  Learn and practice 2 survey methods that help track reef health.
    • Meet near Merizo basketball court and parking lot next to white building (Merizo Recreational Center)
  • Kayak Tours in Merizo – Tuesday, April 11 – 9am-11am
    • Go on a kayak tour to explore and learn about mangrove forests in Merizo.  See flyer for details.

kayak tour activity flyer.png

  • Science Sunday – Sunday, April 23rd and April 30th, 2:00pm, T. Stell Newman Visitor Center
    • That’s right!  Two Science Sundays in one month.  Visit our site for updates on featured topics and guest speakers.

Coral reef monitoring to start in March 2017

As Guam’s waters begin to calm, we will begin class and in-water training sessions for the community in March 2017.  See the schedule below for the best times for you to learn how to do coral reef monitoring.


TRAINING:  All training sessions are FREE.  We provide masks and snorkels and life jackets for participants to borrow during training and data collection events.During class training, participants will discuss basic coral ecology, threats to Guam’s reefs, how people are trying to manage these threats, and two survey methods used to track the health of our in-water site.  All participants must sign a Liability Release form.  Media release form is optional.  Participants under 18 must bring liability release form signed by parent/legal guardian to participate in any in-water activities.  If participants are 13 or under, they must be accompanied by parent or other trusted adult to training sessions.

DATA COLLECTION:  Once you’ve completed training, you will be a member of the Guam Community Coral Reef Monitoring (GCCRMP) team.  We will have more data collection events as we move into April and May. IMG_0059.JPG

The more data you and others collect, the more we can share with our larger island community.  You can help spread awareness of how Guam’s coral reefs are doing.  If you live near a beach or have beach site that’s important to you, connect with us to find out if the GCCRMP team can help you start monitoring the health of your important site.

When you participate in training and help collect data, your love of Guam’s waters will grow even more.   We always find interesting sea creatures, share stories of different experiences in Guam’s oceans, and collect data together.  We hope you join the team in 2017!  For those that are already members, you’re welcome to refresh your skills at training and even share your experiences and tips with new members.


Click here to sign up for one class, one in-water, or our Combo Training.


Jan. 15: Don’t miss the first Science Sunday of 2017

Our first Science Sunday of 2017 delves into the world of eels!  Although we are all familiar with what eels look like, Sean Moran, a UOG graduate student,  will share his project on studying the life histories of Guam’s eels. Come and learn more about a rarely-studied (Anguilla marmorata)  eel populations of Guam.  This event is free and open to the public.  No pre-registration required.



R2R Adventure and Science Sunday this weekend

Another exciting weekend of free family activities coming up!  Both events are open to the public with no pre-registration required.  Service learning available at both events.

  • Saturday, Nov. 19:  R2R Adventure – Malesso’

    The Guam Nature Alliance will host another R2R Adventure in Malesso’!  Malesso’s Annual Fiestan Tasi (Water Festival) is all about celebrating our ocean that provides and sustains us physically and culturally.  GNA’s Team Tasi will take you on a snorkel tour to experience Malesso’s marine environment.  Shuttle vans will transport participants to join a river tour of Geus River and kayak tour of Malesso’s mangrove habitat.  Biologists and other GNA members will share their knowledge of these important natural resources on these interactive tours.  An experience you’ll never forget!   Event is free, snorkel and other safety gear, will be provided.

    IMPORTANT NOTE:  All participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and provide a GNA waiver form signed by a parent/ legal guardian.  Click here to print/access GNA waiver form.  Click here for PADI Liability Release Form – fill out and sign if you plan to participate in snorkeling tour.  Both forms will be available on site at event.


  • Sunday, Nov. 20:  Science Sunday

    We’re bringing you a topic that has never been featured at Science Sunday before:  native tree snails.  Dr. Curt Fiedler, researcher and professor at the University of Guam, will give us insight into the world of local snail populations through his research and conservation efforts.  Read more details below.  Hope you can make it.  Get a glimpse of Dr. Curt Fielder’s recent work here. science-sunday_nov2016


How can you help with climate change?

Climate change continues to be a growing challenge for people all around the world.  In the Pacific, climate change is already a reality that communities, natural resource managers, and others that are impacted by.  From consecutive years of coral bleaching that compromise our coral reef ecosystems to flooding that puts human safety at risk, it is a growing reality.  The Guam Community Coral Reef Monitoring Program with our partners provide programs for us to explore and talk about these issues and find ways to contribute to solutions.  So here are two ways to be part of that:

  • Eyes of the Reef Marianas:  Class Training – Tuesday, October 11, 6-8pm at the NOAA Fisheries Office

  Through Eyes of the Reef Marianas (EOR Marianas), Guam’s community members can be part a large network that can help track coral bleaching, coral disease, and other reef impacts around the island through online reporting.  These reports are shared with Guam’s Local Rapid Response Team, who monitors widespread events that affect our coral reefs.  Community-based reports can help the Team prioritize and plan their responses efficiently and effectively or take necessary management actions to reduce local impacts on Guam’s reefs.  So far, we’ve trained 112 people!  When we come together, it’s reassuring to know how concerned and engaged our community is about the impacts of climate change and other threats to our coral reefs.

Register for training here.  There’s no in-water component to this training.  Service learning hours available for this event.


Chandra Legdesog, this month’s guest speaker, attended Climate Science Bootcamps where participants focused on communications for climate science to promote better adaptation planning at the community level and different management sectors.  An important aspect that Chandra will discuss is Traditional Ecological Knowledge, which is increasingly acknowledged as important source and consideration for climate change adaptation at the local level.  Get a chance to meet and discuss more about her experience and vision for communicating climate science.

Science Sunday_Oct16.jpg


July 17: Science Sunday

It’s amazing to think what a hot spot the Marianas have become for exploration, since it’s home to the Marianas Trench – the deepest point of the world’s oceans.  People from around the world are astounded by the life found in some of the deepest parts of our oceans.

As we’ve seen with the NOAA Okeanos Explorer, the technology that enables scientists and other people from around the world to follow along on the cruises makes this exploration so exciting too!

Sticking to our deep sea exploration theme we’ve had all summer, Carlie Wiener and David Wotherspoon of the Schmidt Ocean Institute will talk about the Research Vessel Falkor and it’s deep-sea cruises.  Learn about what’s in store for their upcoming cruise in Marianas later this year.  The audience will have a chance to ask questions and talk with the scientists at Science Sunday.

This event is free and open to the public.  No pre-registration for this event.  Bring family and friends, learn, and enjo

Science Sunday_July17 2016




June 19: Science Sunday at 2pm

Join us for an exclusive presentation by Brent Tibbatts! He’ll talk about recent fish sightings around the Marianas… fish that haven’t been sighted there before.  He’ll start the conversation to figure out “why”  by discussing biology, ecology, and taxonomy of those fish species.

Get a glimpse of what to expect this Science Sunday in this KUAM video feature

Science Sunday_June 2016


Guam World Oceans Day event tomorrow!

Outrigger Guam and Underwater World will host World Oceans Day event tomorrow, June 11.  Activities for the whole family will run from 8am to 3pm.  Take a look at the list of activities for you, your friends, and family to celebrate ocean life on Guam!

Start the day off with the Outrigger Beach Clean up at 8am!  Catch our Guam Nature Alliance’s Team Tasi at the Tasi Mini Fair between 9-11am in the Outrigger Lobby.  Participants of the Clean up and Mini Fair can participate in raffle drawings with some cool prizes!  Participants that do the Clean Up AND Mini Fair will be eligible for the grand prizes of the raffle drawing- so come early!  Mini Fair ONLY participants will still be eligible for other prizes – just don’t miss it!

Our friends at Underwater World will host other exciting activities in the afternoon.  Learn about recent NOAA Okeanos expedition around Guam and Marianas Trench, ocean conservation crafts, and more!

This event is free and open to the public.  No pre-registration required – just show up.  We’ll see you there!

World Oceans Day_  June 11


April 17: Don’t miss special guest from NOAA Okeanos Explorer

Join us for this Science Sunday as we welcome a visiting guest speaker – Kelley Elliott,  part of the NOAA Okeanos Explorer crew.  The Okeanos Explorer will spend some time docking in Guam and Saipan this summer on their upcoming missions to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.  An awesome way to celebrate Earth Month and learn about unique underwater features of the Marianas!

There will be time to ask questions, share experiences, and connect with Kelley Elliott.  Share with your family, friends, co-workers, everybody! No need to sign up – just show up.

Service learning credit is available.  Students can attend Science Sunday talk, write-up a summary of talk, and share reflection/summary with program coordinator to be posted on this website.

Science Sunday_April 2016v2


March 20: Science Sunday to feature Guam’s young conservationists

Science Sunday on March 20th featuring Guam’s young conservationists that make up the Preservation Rangers!

Coral-reef research for conservation by both veteran and up-and-coming marine scientists is always exciting and interest, especially when it’s happening here in Guam.  However, this Sunday will shine the spotlight on community conservation efforts.  We’re excited to see what Preservation Rangers have accomplished and what motivates them to get involved with conservation.   Kina Lewis, Service Learning Coordinator for War in the Pacific Historical National Parks, and the Preservation Rangers will talk about their citizen science adventures and other experiences!

And as always at Science Sunday, audience members are encouraged to ask questions and converse about featured topics.  It’s a great event to connect and find new volunteer opportunities too!  We hope to see you there.  Science Sunday is free and open to the public, so bring the whole family.

Science Sunday_March2016


Join us March 19 for Human-Use Monitoring

Living on Guam, we’re surrounded by the Pacific Ocean.  So naturally,  island living also means recreational activities to explore, experience, and enjoy the water – like snorkeling, diving, and using water crafts.  With a thriving tourist industry, many of our island’s visitors come here to enjoy the ocean and experience these recreational activities too.  And all these activities impact our coral reef in positive ways – showcasing our island’s beautiful marine environment, but also in negative ways – like breaking coral.

On Saturday, March 19, GCCRMP will host a field activity to pilot its Human-Use Monitoring program activity.

March 19_Human-Use Monitoring

Currently, our efforts are focused on coral reef monitoring – collecting data through biological monitoring methods.  Human-use monitoring is another activity that’s easy for people to do, and still provides good information that can be used by local reef managers.  In time, we will be able to compare biological data and information from human-use monitoring.  Together, these data can help us make clear connections between human activities and how they impact our coral reefs and reef health.

We hope you’re able to join us!  Sign up here.  There’s no-water activity for this training.






Love Your Reef this weekend!

We know Valentine’s Day has just passed, but it’s never too late to show your love for our Islan Guahan and our coral reefs this weekend.  We have two events this weekend on Saturday and Sunday for you to Love Your Reef!

CORAL REEF MONITORING TRAINING & DATA COLLECTION:  Learn more about our coral reefs and why they’re important by attending training this Saturday, February 20th at 9am in Tumon.  We’ll also show you a couple of methods on coral reef monitoring that we do with our team, so that you can help collect data on Guam’s coral reefs at our Monitoring Events.  You can register for training hereWe’ll send you an email or call you to let you know our meeting point.  For high school students, this qualifies as a service learning project.

If you’ve already attended training, come and help collect data and build those monitoring skills!  Feb20_Training and Monitoring

SCIENCE SUNDAY:  Busy on Saturday?  Join us for Science Sunday on February 21st at 2pm.  Learn about interesting research on Guam’s coral reefs and how it can help us take better care of our coral reefs, especially in the face of climate change and other impacts. Grow your love for Guam’s coral reefs by learning what’s harming it and ways people are trying to take care of it, including research that can help us find those solutions for better management.  Service Learning credit is available at this event for high school students too!

Science Sunday_February2016




2015 Milestones

We are so lucky to have worked with the community for another year! We continued to expand our program beyond coral reef monitoring, so that you and everyone else on Guam have different opportunities to care for our coral reefs with meaningful experiences! Happy to say we’ve kept our coral reef monitoring activities and Science Sunday program going!

Instructor Training for Adopt-A-Reef group

Our partners (and friends) of the War in the Pacific National Historical Park participated in Coral Reef Monitoring Instructor Training in February 2015. As part of the Adopt-a-Reef initiative, we encourage leadership of reef stewardship activities at their “adopted site.” For three years, GCCRMP has worked with the Youth Conservation Corp (renamed Preservation Rangers) every summer to conduct coral reef monitoring training. With instructor training, leaders of the Preservation Rangers can conduct class training. Class training lays the foundation to understand the importance and purpose of coral reef monitoring before learning survey methods.

Ms. Tanya practicing her take on functional roles of reef fish aka Fish Jobs

When summer 2015 rolled around, Kina Lewis, one instructor trainee, took the lead in the “class training” portion for coral reef monitoring during Youth Conservation Corps Summer Camp. And she did a great job by reinforcing key points with her experiences! One tip that we encouraged during instructor training – share your own experience or story on the reef. It makes the topic more fun and conversational among the group!

 Monitoring Training with Fish Eye Marine Park staff

In March 2015, we partnered with Fish Eye Marine Park to do coral reef monitoring training. Fish Eye’s Marine Observatory is situated in the Piti Bomb Holes Marine Preserve Area – one of GCCRMP’s main monitoring sites.

FISH EYE_ photo from Renny Loren
Post-monitoring training with Fish Eye staff.  Photo courtesy of Renny Loren.

This was our first time working with a thriving business of Guam’s tourism industry. We hope to work with more businesses in Guam’s tourism industry, so their staff can gain a fun learning experience, knowledge on reef impacts, and awareness of good reef etiquette that can be shared with others. See Word on the Reef Issue 3 for more details. Visit our Media Gallery to see photos with Fish Eye group.
2015 Summer Internship
In July, Jocelyn Emia and Jessie Bautista, two college students with roots in Guam became GCCRMP’s first interns. Jocelyn is a biology major at University of Guam who is interested in pursuing marine science after she receives her bachelor’s degree. Jessie Bautista attends University of California Santa Cruz pursuing a Biology and Environmental Studies degree focused on Conservation Biology.

seagrass field
Field work in West Hagatna site

Together, they worked on a mini-case study that focused on seagrass habitat. During their internship, they completed coral reef monitoring training, collected data, and analyzed their data to compare seagrass habitat in Piti Bomb Holes Marine Preserve and West Hagatna Bay (a non-protected area). Jocelyn and Jessie concluded their internship with a presentation of their mini-case study and results to local resource agency staff as well as education and outreach partners.
Additionally, they both helped gather video footage for an ongoing video project. Jocelyn helped create the Eyes of the Reef Marianas online reporting form and assisted with development of Tasi (ocean) workbook page that was distributed to attendees of Guam Nature Alliance’s R2R Masso Adventure in September.  Read about their experience here.

2015 intern presentation
Jocelyn and Jesi presenting mini-case study results to local partners

R.E.E.F. Celebration
On November 7, we threw our Reef Exploration, Experiences, and Fun (R.E.E.F) Celebration to recognize the contribution by community members and partners that make GCCRMP such a success. During the celebration, attendees enjoyed a Mini-Fair where they learned about different volunteer opportunities and other programs that strive to protect Guam’s beautiful environment. Attendees also enjoyed photo sessions with Piti Pete and Frank the Flamefish and received their printed photos as a ‘party favor.’

Val Brown snaps a group photo with Fish Friends

Program science coordinator, Val Brown, presented some preliminary results from the community-collected monitoring data. More analysis will be done with data and posted on website once completed. Marybelle Quinata, program coordinator, highlighted recent program activities and upcoming launch of other initiatives to grow GCCRMP. A Live Showcase featured our partners and activities they do as stewards of the environment. Two of our Adopt-a-Reef groups, the Umatac Coral Reef Ambassadors and War in the Pacific National Historical Parks, featured their group’s ridge to reef stewardship efforts. We ended the celebration with a certificate ceremony awarded to our program partners from local resource agencies, school groups, and community groups.
Partners at the Mini-Fair include Guam Department of Agriculture – Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources, Piti Pride RARE Campaign, Guam Coastal Management Program, the Ayuda Foundation, George Washington High School’s Marine Mania Club, Guam Community College’s Ecowarriors, and UOG Sea Grant.
Eyes of the Reef Marianas

In the first week of December, we launched our Eyes of the Reef Marianas program with our local agency partners (shout out to Guam’s Bureau of Statistics and Plans!). Based on Hawaii’s Eyes of the Reef program, Guam and CNMI have partnered to use this community-based online reporting system for residents to take action and report reef impacts. About 20 people completed training where they learned about how to spot and assess coral bleaching, coral abnormalities (signs of coral disease), different nuisance species that should be reported, and how to report them using the online form.

eor fun
Eyes of the Reef Marianas rash guards!  These three are ready to report!

We’ll be refining the program over the next year. This effort will help Guam’s handful of dedicated marine scientists  part of Guam’s Rapid Response Team have extra “eyes on the reef” who can report reef impacts.  Who knows?  Community reports can  prevent  potentially devastating outbreaks on our island’s coral reefs in the future!


Human-use Monitoring
We piloted our Human-Use Monitoring training with George Washington High School’s marine biology students and Marine Mania members in December 2015. Program coordinator, Marybelle, conducted a briefing at the school to go over purpose of Human-use Monitoring, observation reporting form, and overview of field training. The Tumon Bay Marine Preserve was selected as field activity site, where participants recorded Tumon Bay users’ activities stretching from Ypao to Reef Hotel.

20151222_102817After collecting observation data, the group shared their counts on various beach activities (e.g. swimming, wading, snorkeling, and more). During the discussion, participants discussed ways to improve human-use monitoring. For example, participants agreed a guidelines section would ensure observers understand differences between various activities. Another suggestion was to include marine preserve regulations, so that observers are aware of rules and can accurately record any violations. Information collected can help lessen human impacts on our reefs from ocean recreational activities.

Mission Complete: GW students and Marine Mania pose ending 2015 

Whew!  That’s what we’ve been up to in 2015.  We look forward to 2016 and our continued efforts working our community to grow environmental stewardship of Guam’s coral reefs. Can’t wait to get back in the water and start coral reef monitoring with our members!  Check back to our website or follow us on Facebook. Email gureefmonitoring@gmail.com if you want to join our email list.


Be Guam’s “Eyes of the Reef”

We’re launching the Eyes of the Reef Marianas program this week with public training opportunities!  Based of Hawaii’s Eyes of the Reef program, Eyes of the Reef Marianas gives residents a way to report reef  impacts – such as coral bleaching, coral disease, Crown-of-Thorns Starfish outbreaks, and more.  Participants will learn how to identify and assess these impacts to report them online.

The best part: Do it on your own time!

After you attend this one-time training, you can report your sightings of important reef impacts online when it’s convenient for you.  Whether you’re out fishing, diving, snorkeling, paddling – report reef impacts on your own.   Also – there’s no in-water training required.

Sign up at EORMarianas.org.  For more information, call 646-1905 or email us at gureefmonitoring@gmail.com.

EOR Training Sessions



It’s a R.E.E.F Celebration!

We’re excited to invite you to our Reef Exploration, Experiences, and Fun (R.E.E.F.) Celebration next Saturday, November 7th from 11am-2pm.  This event is all about celebrating and recognizing GCCRMP members and partners and their efforts to be stewards of our ocean.

See some Coral Reef Monitoring Data…

Get a chance to see some basic results from data collected by our trained GCCRMP members and what it all means!  But it’ll be much more than just sharing data.

Check out our Mini Fair…

for interesting and education displays.  Meet passionate people who can share how they’re working together to take care of our coral reefs and our environment.  Who knows?  You might find a new service learning opportunity or even the link to a new volunteer activity that you’ll really love.

Stay for our Live Showcase…

We’ll mix it up with our Live Showcase where we’ll shine the light on other programs and projects that gives the community an opportunity to learn more about and participate in natural resource management and stewardship.  We need to recognize all these collective efforts and get involved anyway we can.

Bring the kids to meet and take photos with Piti Pete, our surgeon fish friend, and other friends from the reef.  We hope you can join us for this fun event and celebrate all of our efforts to be stewards of Guam’s environment! 


Join us for Science Sunday on Aug. 23

Catch guest speaker Jane Dia at this weekend’s Science Sunday!  Jane will share her RARE Pride Campaign – “Piti Pride Tepungan Wide” and the progress she’s made to engage users of the Piti Bomb Holes Marine Preserve.  Learn more about the importance of community involvement in natural resource management, especially marine resource management, in order to sustain our community now and well into the future.  After all, these natural resources are part of the island’s cultural identity and heritage.  Whether its spreading awareness by sharing what you learned about coral reefs, participating in tree planting or monitoring – any involvement can help encourage the rest of your family and our community to “pay it forward” and be better stewards of our island home.  See the flyer below for more details.

Watch this video  to learn more about “Piti Pride, Tepungan Wide” campaign in a coconut shell!  Video produced by University of Guam’s Sea Grant Program.

Science Sunday_Aug23


National Coral Reef Management Fellowship Program – JOB OPENINGS!

Unique opportunities to get involved with coral reef conservation… in your own backyard? Read on Guam! You can be a role model to younger Guam students interested in marine biology while you’re at it.

All Islands Coral Reef Blog

by Carey Morishige Martinez, Executive director, AIC Secretariat

Interested in learning more about coral reef ecosystem management in your own backyard?

Looking for a job that will provide solid hands-on resource management experience? 

Working towards building your career in natural resource management related to coral reefs?

Want to be part of the next generation of coral reef conservation leaders?

If you answered YES to any of the above, READ ON…!

Anne Rosinski, previous Hawai'i Coral Reef Management Fellow. Anne Rosinski, previous Hawai’i Coral Reef Management Fellow.

The renewed National Coral Reef Management Fellowship Program provides participants an opportunity to experience and learn about coral reef management within the seven U.S. coral reef jurisdictions that make up the AIC: American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Hawai’i, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This Fellowship Program is a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Conservation Program

View original post 111 more words


We’re looking for 2 interns this summer!

Summer’s is practically here! We’re excited to announce the launch of our summer internship program this year.  The Guam Community Coral Reef Monitoring Program is looking for incoming seniors or college level students interested in marine science & education to be our summer interns!  This is a great way to explore the marine science careers, but with the added experience of  working with community to share the importance of Guam’s coral reefs.  A fun opportunity to gain some work experience and meet other people that care for coral reefs!  See below for more details.

Apply now!  GCCRMP 2015 Summer Internship Application

GCCRMP Summer Internship

When: July 13 – August 22, 2015

1) Gain hands-on experience in environmental education, outreach, and stewardship
2) Learn the importance of collaboration and partnerships for community-based initiatives
3) Develop communications skills among various Guam residents, visitors, and local resource managers
4) Expand networking opportunities and explore career paths in marine science and conservation

• Prepare training and monitoring survey materials for events
• Assist participants during Classroom and In-Water Training sessions
• Participate/assist at Data Collection events
• Enter data collected from monitoring events
• Update member roster from program events
• Organize program liability release forms and sign-in sheets
• Organize/ maintain community monitoring equipment
• Attend public outreach events and engage with community to promote marine education
• Support program partners’ activities as needed
• Attend community and partner meetings with program staff
• Other duties as assigned

• Willing to work flexible hours and weekends
• Reliable mode of transportation
• Complete Classroom and In-Water Training
• Complete Basic Water Safety training
• Comfortable in the water (preferred)
• Complete Intern Project (see application*)

GCCRMP Summer Internship 2015_Page_1


Did you hear the Word on the Reef?

Check out the latest Word on the Reef issue!  See how different community groups are getting involved in coral reef management and conservation.  We’ve welcome a couple of new partners who are committed to protecting Guam’s marine environment by learning, exploring through different activities.  Summer is almost upon us!  In this issue, we’ve shared a few opportunities for Guam students to connect with Guam’s environment in very meaningful ways.  So there it is!  Read it for yourself and remember to Spread the Word on the Reef.  Enjoy WordontheReef_May2015! Click on link for full newsletter.  Photo below is only front page.

newsletter_april 2015_Page_1


Reconnecting People & Nature this Science Sunday!

How do you feel after you go for a hike or snorkeling at the beach?  Don’t you just feel calm, relaxed, stress-free.  It’s that positive, serene energy that we feel when we’re experiencing (and appreciating) nature.  Now, expand on that thought..

What motivates us to volunteer to plant trees?  Or to join the Guam Community Coral Reef Monitoring Program to collect data on reef flat health?  Or just to do anything knowing that it will help our natural environment? That drive to “do something” seems natural.  Of course, the world is more beautiful with lush vegetation and amazing coral reefs, but ultimately our life depends on these natural resources.

It’s all about reconnecting people and nature this Sunday.  Guest speaker Romina King will share her thesis that examined communities’ attitudes, knowledge, and perceptions of their watershed.  Conservation and natural resource management isn’t just about protecting animals in this or that ecosystem.  The bottom line is that it’s about PEOPLE and their well-being, long-term. Sometimes the connection between natural resource management and community needs are blurry or confusing.  But the more we “connect the dots” between human benefits and natural resource management efforts, coastal management can be more effective to ensure communities’ are prepared for long-term challenges, like climate change.  It will lead to more public awareness, understand, support, and even more active community participation that will help make Guam’s people mature and grow as the natural stewards of our environment.

Science Sunday_March2015


Help! We need a new name and logo!

Buenas Guam!

We are hosting a Logo Design Contest to adopt a new logo and new program name for the “Guam Community Coral Reef Monitoring Program.”  Go ahead, take a minute.  Catch your breath, that’s a mouthful to say out loud.  That’s why we’re kicking off 2015 with our Logo Design Contest!  We want you to get creative, submit your artwork for a new logo design and your unique idea for a new program name.  Your logo design and program name can be used on future program materials and featured on this website!  See the flyer below for more details.  The deadline is January 15, 2015!  Work with up to 5 friends and submit your design and program name together!  logo contest


Members attend Learning Exchange in Hawaii


In this video, GCCRMP members share what they hope to gain from the Learning Exchange that takes them to Hawaii.  Main goal of the Learning Exchange: to explore different ways of working with their communities to promote environmental stewardship through conservation and education. Check out these other videos of experiences from Hawaii here.


Coral Reefs: the Seawall That Nature Built

Hafa Adai!

Check out this from National Geographic News Watch (Coral Reefs: the Seawall That Nature Built) We’ve all heard it before:  “Protect our Coral Reefs” but sometimes we need to think deeper about what that really means.   This article provides a fresh (and practical) perspective of  protecting our coral reefs.  There’s also a link to an interactive Coastal Resilience Map  that can give you an idea of populations around the world that can be affected if their coral reefs degrade completely.  Enjoy!

The median cost for building artificial breakwaters in the tropics is USD $19,791 per meter, compared to $1,290 per meter for coral reef restoration projects — echoing similar findings by the reinsurance and planning industries. And, that’s not even considering the other co-benefits to fishing and tourism industries, for example (would your family rather snorkel near a coral reef or seawall?).” 

-from Coral Reefs: the Seawall That Nature Built



March Madness

Time flies when you’re having fun!  It’s almost the end of March!   Even though the early months of 2014 were met with rough marine conditions, we still hosted classroom training sessions and also Science Sunday talks.  And we’re really excited progress made with various school groups we’ve partnered with that want to monitor coral reefs around Guam.

Local scientist Anna Simeon  brought in live algae specimens for the audience to see in March
Local scientist Anna Simeon brought in live algae specimens for the audience to see in March

St. John’s marine biology students will begin monitoring Tumon Bay.  GCCRMP staff met with St. John’s students to help develop their hypotheses in order to figure where to set up their monitoring site.  Students collectively decided they wanted to investigate the difference in coral and macroinvertebrate communities near fresh water seeps.  At our next session, we met at a beach in Tumon to locate fresh water seeps and mark our location using a GPS unit.  Students also noted features near fresh water seeps.  Next step, we will help set up St. Johns monitoring site so that we can begin data collection.  With summer approaching, we can expect calmer marine conditions.  Hooray!

Val Brown, Science Coordinator, shows map of Tumon Bay during site selection process with St. Johns students

We’ve also been working with Guam’s college students from Guam Community College (GCC).  GCC marine biology students and environmental club Eco-Warriors (and some family members too!) selected coral reef monitoring for their service learning project.    GCC students did in-water training and recently collected data at Pago Bay.  They will be comparing two different sea grass habitats in Pago Bay and another area in southern Guam by analyzing data collected on benthic cover and macroinvertebrate surveys.

Looking for macroinvertebrates!
Looking for macroinvertebrates!

We will be doing data collection this Saturday, March 29, from 9 -11am at Tepungan Beach Park.  So if you have completed Classroom and In-Water Training, then you can participate!  If it’s been a while, don’t worry! We always do a recap on methods before heading out to the water.  If you want to become a member of the GCCRMP team, email gureefmonitoring@gmail.com or call Marybelle Quinata, the program coordinator, at 646-1905 for more information.


Goodbye 2013

It’s 2014!  And we’re proud to say we ended 2013 with a BANG!  In November and December alone, we welcomed seventy five new members.  Let’s do the “year in review” just to see our progress thus far to help set goals for 2014.

Beginning January 2013, we hosted our monthly Classroom and In-Water Training sessions that were (and still are) open to all Guam residents.  We have over 300 bright, enthusiastic members spanning from the age of 7 to over 60 with the shared interest of Guam’s coral reefs.  It’s been a great experience watching how our members have grown in their own way and share their experiences of Guam’s waters with one another.  My absolute favorite is to see “amazement” on the faces of our members when they see a new marine animal, a beautiful coral or understand a new aspect of marine ecology.

Meeting the residents of Fouha Bay
Meeting the residents of Fouha Bay

In 2013, we also started training student groups from University of Guam (UOG):  UOG Green Army of the Center for Island Sustainability and UOG Americorps.  Both of these groups have assisted with our data collection in primarily Fouha Bay as part of the Humatak Project.   They always bring tons of energy (and laughter) to monitoring events.  Additionally, we started training the Conservation Corp from War in the Pacific National Historic Parks summer program.   Next month, Conservation Corps will begin collecting data through monitoring surveys at their adopted site, Asan Beach Memorial Park.  We’ve also been working with the Umatac Coral Reef Ambassadors to set up their adopted sites of Umatac Bay and Cetti Bay, which they began monitoring in September 2013.  Other groups we’ve worked with are Americorps members of Pa’a Taotaotano cultural group, Guam Community College marine biology students, and George Washington High School’s proactive Marine Mania group.  If you have a group or organization that is interested in adopting a monitoring site, please contact us.

An awesome morning at Fouha Bay
An awesome morning at Fouha Bay

Toward the end of 2013, we partnered with National Park Service to host Science Sunday.  So far, we’ve had an awesome turn out since it started in October last year.  Every third Sunday of the month, different local scientists have an opportunity to share their work on Guam’s coral reefs or in Micronesia with the community.  Last year, the community heard talks on coral bleaching and disease, Marine Preserve Areas in Guam and Micronesia, and a new project on Guam looking at coral reproduction.  We kicked off 2014 with an awesome Science Sunday featuring the infamous Crown-of-Thorns Starfish.  Science Sunday has provided a place for the public to share their observations and experiences on Guam and ask some very important questions about threats to our coral reefs.  Shout out to all our guest speakers of Science Sunday:  Roxanna Miller, Dr. Pete Houk, Mike McCue, and Ciemon Caballes!

Ciemon Caballes shows methods on controlling COTS outbreaks
Ciemon Caballes shows methods on controlling COTS outbreaks

2013 was a great year!  We gained really enthusiastic and bright members, worked with groups who want to monitor a bay that’s important to their community, and opened communication lines with scientists and the public.  Needless to say, we have some high standards for 2014.  Thank you to our program members, partners, and all those that have supported (and continue to support) our efforts to engage Guam residents as stewards of the island’s precious coral reefs.