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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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September 9: Chasing Coral Film Screening

Coral reefs are cornerstone to Guam’s way of life.  How will climate change affect Guam?  Join us tomorrow for a free film screening of Chasing Coral, a Netflix documentary that captures coral bleaching images from around the world, at the Guam Museum Auditorium.  A panel discussion after the film will be a community conversation on the different ways climate change may affect Guam.  In addition,  a Mini Expo will feature different organizations that will have opportunities on how you can get involved in marine conservation.   The Mini Expo will start at 1:30 just before screening and again after the screening until 5:00pm.

Chasing Coral flyer_Sept 9 (2)

Can’t make tomorrow’s showing?  There are a couple of others showings this month hosted by other partners:

  • Sunday, September 17 – 2:00pm at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center in Sumay
  • Tuesday, September 27 – 6:00pm at the UOG Lecture Hall

Both showings will have a Q&A session with the audience after the screening.  Fliers will be posted next week.

Want to do something about coral bleaching?

Calling all GCCRMP Members: We need your help to conduct monitoring surveys in Merizo on Saturday, Sept. 2.  Specifically, we’ll be using our surveys to document coral bleaching.  Eligible to participate if you’ve completed Coral Reef Monitoring Training. Sign up here:  https://goo.gl/forms/20rTRpPP9qXHnHDx2

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Eyes of the Reef Marianas (EOR Marianas) is hosting its last Class Training next week Tuesday, August 29th at Axe Murderer Tours Dive Shop.  Learn how to identify coral bleaching and other reef impacts that you can report whether you’re diving, snorkeling, paddling or fishing.  Sign up at eormarianas.org.

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Upcoming Events: June 2017

JUNE 17:  Coral Reef Monitoring – Training & Data Collection

Summer is here – don’t you feel it?! Cool off and learn how to do coral reef monitoring.  Through this free training, you’ll learn how to conduct monitoring surveys that help track the health of Guam’s reefs.  Once participants complete training, they become GCCRMP Team Members that will be notified of Monitoring Events to help collect data based on methods they learn.

If you’re a trained member, you can help collect important data to track reef health at sites we monitor, like in the villages of Piti and Merizo.

Sign up for training and data collection here.

June 17 Training_final

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.

JUNE 18:  Science Sunday

How is science used in fisheries management?  This Science Sunday will give you one example.  Dalia Hernandez-Ortiz will talk about her project based in Pohnpei to study commercial fishing industry in Pohnpei.

ScienceSunday_June 18, 2017_final

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.

INTERNSHIP DESCRIPTION:

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

Tasks:

  • 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

REQUIRED:

  • 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 30: Science Sunday

In celebration of Earth Day, we are hosting another Science Sunday with our friends at the National Park Service.  How are coral reefs on Guam and around Mariana Islands doing?  Find out at Science Sunday on April 30th.  Get some insight from our guest speaker on what life is like on a NOAA scientific cruise.

ScienceSunday_April 30, 2017

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

science-sunday_jan2017_final

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.

    nov19_r2r-malesso-flyer

  • 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.

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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.

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Join EOR Marianas this weekend!

Don’t have time during the week to join our EOR sessions?  Join us for one (or both) of our training sessions.

Class Training:  Learn how to identify coral bleaching, how to report it online at EORMarianas.org, and practice your assessment skills.  Class Training at MDA has no in-water component.

Field Session:   See coral bleaching first-hand!  That way you’ll what to look out for when you’re in the water for future reports.   Snorkel tours are led by marine biologists to identify and talk about the coral bleaching and other reef impacts in the area.  Participants should bring their own snorkel gear (mask, snorkel, and fins).  No snorkel gear?  Contact us so you can reserve a set of a snorkel gear.  Life jackets are also available to borrow.  Class training is not required to participate.

Click here to sign up for class training or field sessions.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All participants must sign a liability release form.  Forms will also be available on site.  If under 18, participants form must be signed by parent or legal guardian.  If under 14, participant must be accompanied by trusted adult and have form signed by parent/legal guardian.

EOR training _Aug 20 and 21

Coral Bleaching on Guam and Eyes of the Reef Marianas-Field Training Sessions

Guam is anticipating significant coral bleaching this year.  And we don’t mean pouring Clorox into our oceans.  The really warm water temperatures you’ve been feeling at the beach aren’t just “icky” for people – it affects corals too.  Extremely warm water temperatures make our corals stress and lose their zooxanthellae (symbiotic algae that provides majority of its food and beautiful color.)

crcpbleachinginfographic.jpg

We’ve been monitoring NOAA’s Coral Watch for their coral bleaching outlooks.  And what we found is cause for alarm.  Based on past weather patterns and current satellite data on sea surface temperatures, they expect the ocean around Guam to get hot!Aug.1 projections

The Coral Reef Watch tools show us when temperatures are expected to be high enough to cause coral bleaching (Bleaching Warning and Bleach Alert 1) or severe coral bleaching  and possibly coral death (Bleach Alert 2).  As you can see from the figure on the left.  We could experience Alert 2 conditions for months.  That would be worse than any previous bleaching events on Guam.  You can check out the information for Guam here:  http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/vs/gauges/guam.php

There is still hope, some corals are very strong and can withstand bleaching and some live in places that are naturally a little cooler than others.  Also, this week’s monsoon system has brought  rainy, stormy weather that may actually help cool the water temperatures and delay or slow down the bleaching – so let’s appreciate these rainy days.

What does this mean for Guam’s Reefs?

These pictures were taken by our awesome GCCRMP members at the National Park Service.  You can see what a difference these warm temperatures can make for our reefs.  Corals, anemones, and giant clams are already bleaching on the reef flats and some of the corals on the reef slope are already pale.

bleaching side by side1

YOU CAN HELP!!

Although we can’t stop coral bleaching, we can minimize the impacts and learn more about coral bleaching.  You can help by reporting coral bleaching  to Eyes of the Reef Marianas.  Scientists will use your information to document the event, find the corals that don’t bleach and which ones bleach but recover. All of that will help us learn how to better protect Guam’s reefs in the future.

Not sure how to spot coral bleaching?  Go snorkeling with  Eyes of the Reef Marianas (EOR Marianas) team as they lead field training sessions – free and open to the public.  Learn how to identify coral bleaching, so you’ll know what to look for and report to EOR Marianas.  No prior training is needed to participate.  All participants must sign a liability release form .  Participants under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign their form.  Sign up to attend at EORMarianas.org.EOR field training flyer

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

Objectives:
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

Tasks
• 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

Required
• 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

Coral Bleaching on Guam

The effects of climate change are a rising concern for Pacific Islanders who find themselves on the front lines. The livelihoods of our brothers and sisters on neighboring islands have been impacted through increased occurrences of droughts and king tides. What about here on Guam? Have felt the effects of climate change yet?

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Photo credit: Tammy Jo Anderson-Taft, Guam EPA

The answer is YES! Increased and early coral bleaching is only one of the effects brought on by climate change. What is coral bleaching? Coral bleaching occurs when sea water temperatures are too hot or too cold causing corals to stress and expel their zooxanthellae, a special algae that lives in corals, is their main food source, and gives corals their beautiful color. Corals begin to pale and turn stark white when they’re bleached. But there is hope! Corals can survive and recover, but that can take a long time.

Bleached soft corals in Merizo

Bleached soft corals in Merizo. Photo taken July 2014

Last year, Guam and CNMI had a significant coral bleaching event. Even more alarming is the fact that Guam and CNMI were seeing early reports of coral bleaching. Local marine biologist usually expect to see paling/ bleaching corals around October, but there were reports as early as August in 2013. GCCRMP members attended an information session on coral bleaching and helped document bleaching corals at our regular monitoring site at the Piti Bomb Holes Marine Preserve. Members learned how to identify coral bleaching and they can report sightings of coral bleaching. Additionally, Roxanna Miller kicked off our first Science Sunday program with a public talk on coral bleaching. She shared photos and tips on how to identify bleaching or paling corals.

This summer only added to concerns from marine biologists and new concerns brought up by community members. This year, there were reports of coral bleaching as early as June. If you’ve been snorkeling at Ypao Beach this summer, you probably saw large colonies of staghorn corals that were very white or pale-looking. Other areas where coral bleaching has been sighted around Guam is Tumon, Piti, Umatac, and also in Merizo. Last Saturday, GCCRMP members started conducted monitoring surveys in soft coral habitat to help quantify soft coral bleaching in Piti. In addition, members have participated in another reconnaissance survey to look for diseased/sick echinoderms, such as sea cucumbers and sea stars. We’ll continue to work with GCCRMP members to do surveys that can help quantify coral bleaching and track recovery of bleached corals.

GCCRMP Member laying quadrat on paling soft coral

GCCRMP Member laying quadrat on paling soft coral

Ultimately, more Guam residents are aware of the effects of coral bleaching to our reefs and understanding its connection to climate change. GCCRMP members have shared stories of relatives or neighbors asking “why are the corals white?,” which has given them an opportunity to share what they know about coral bleaching. GCCRMP members will be doing more monitoring surveys in soft coral habitat to help track soft coral bleaching this Saturday, September 6 from 3-5pm in Piti.  Want to become a member and help our team collect data?  Email gureefmonitoring@gmail.com or message us on Facebook.

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!

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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.

Fresh off the press, GCCRMP’s first issue of “Word on the Reef”

Hafa Adai Guam!

Guam Community Coral Reef Monitoring Program’s first newsletter issue is out!  See what GCCRMP has been up to lately and how Guam residents have been learning about and/or getting involved with protecting Guam’s coral reefs!  Look out for our Member Feature and save the date for our Upcoming Events!  Check it out!  Click on the link below.

“Word On The Reef”

We welcome your comments and suggestions to make our newsletter even better!  Share topics of interest to you on Guam’s coral reefs or other sections you would like to see.

Guam on Coral Bleaching Watch

In August, Guam’s local scientists received reports of coral bleaching in Saipan due to the very warm water temperatures.  What exactly is coral bleaching?  It’s a process in which corals spit out their zooxanthellae (their main nutrional source) due to warmer water temperatures.  Just imagine when you’re sick and your body feels overheated making you suddenly want to throw up.  Without that nutrition, corals continue to get weaker and less resilient to other impacts such as sedimentation or disease.   On the up side, we took this as opportunity to share more information about coral bleaching with Guam residents so they can be “extra eyes” on the reefs for monitoring coral bleaching around the island.

WANTED poster shared with Guam's community to help document coral bleaching

WANTED poster shared with Guam’s community to help document coral bleaching

During our Coral Bleaching Info. Session,  volunteers learned more about what causes coral bleaching, potential impacts, and how they can help our scientists respond to a potential massive bleaching event.  We also spent a couple of hours with volunteers over on Saturdays snorkeling in the Piti Bomb Holes Marine Preserve to monitor and document bleaching and paling by taking photos with the assistance from some of our local scientists.

Volunteers team up with scientists to do some monitoring

Volunteers team up with scientists to do some monitoring

Photo taken by volunteer of bleaching Acropora sp.

Photo taken by volunteer of bleaching Acropora sp.

Photo taken by volunteer of bleaching soft corals

Photo taken by volunteer of bleaching soft corals

As warm water temperatures continued, Guam’s corals continue to bleach and local scientists have initiated data collection in various parts of the island, based on coral bleaching reports.   Another development that added to the situation, was the tropical depression that brought extremely heavy rains and strong gusts of wind to Guam.  The good news is that water temperature has cooled contributing to Guam’s Coral Bleaching Alert 1 status down to Coral Bleaching Watch, but the bad news is that heavy sediment and nutrient output may impact those already bleached corals.  Hopefully, with the help of the community and initial response plan of local scientists in place, Guam will be able to respond in the best way to the potential impacts of a bleaching event without anymore curveballs.

Learn more about coral bleaching and other community conservation efforts on Guam from the most recent locally-published newsletter – Man Land & Sea

Already A Member?

Already a volunteer for the Guam Community Coral Reef Monitoring Team? Check the site for announcements of new monitoring events in Upcoming Events, keep your marine ID skills sharp by doing Practice Exercises, and suggest improvements for the program through Feedback. We’re a team, so let’s stick together by staying connected! Visit
MEMBERS to keep up with anything new!