March 17: Science Sunday with Anthony Tornito

Biba Mes CHamoru! Celebrate CHamoru month. Usually, Science Sunday is focused on coral reefs and the marine environment. As Taotao Tano, or people of the land, we take this Science Sunday into Guam’s  watersheds, coastal areas, and limestone forests. The loss of native birds have impacted Guam’s culture and ecology. Birds provide seed dispersal services, which contributes to healthy forests. With healthier watersheds and forests, we can contribute to healthy coral reefs too! In the end, our land and sea are connected.

Guam’s native bird population went through a major decline due to the introduction of the Brown treesnake on Guam. However, snake suppression, or population control measures of Brown treesnakes, is one part of reviving Guam’s native bird population. Learn about Guam native birds and their CHamoru names here.

As Guam’s native birds start to make their comeback, we will soon hear the birds sing once more. Anthony Tornito, a biologist with Guam Department of Agriculture, will share native bird recovery efforts on Guam. He’ll talk about Brown treesnake control methods, the threat of invasive species, and native bird recovery success stories. We hope to see you for Science Sunday – 2pm at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center in Sumay.

Science Sunday_March 17, 2019


Jan. 20: Confessions of a Habitat Therapist

Coral bleaching, invasive species, wildfires, the list goes on…Globally, the challenges and problems facing our natural environment and ecosystems seem to increase with no end in sight. Conservation is all about resolving these threats to our environment, and ultimately for our communities. Join us this Science Sunday to learn about creative ways Guam is doing conservation in this Science Sunday’s “Confessions of a Habitat Therapist – Seed Hoarders Edition” featuring Adrienne Loerzel.

Science Sunday is this weekend on Jan. 20 from 2-3pm at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center in Sumay.  This event is free and open to the public. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. No pre-registration required.

Natural resource management is challenging. You watch the destruction of plants and animals you love, and you are fighting against a seemingly endless parade of new problems. Learn about some bright spots in Guam’s conservation efforts and find out more about how to help from Adrienne Loerzel.

Jan. 20 sci Sun.jpg

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!

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