Coral Reef Research Foundation (CRRF) continues their “Back to Nature: Jellyfish Lake” program for a second year with support from Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. For the 1st semester of the Academic School Year 2021–2022, CRRF took 6th grade students in 12 elementary schools and the junior/senior class of Belau Modekngei High School to Jellyfish Lake as part of the Back to Nature program. Because of the rock island closures during the taor and school closures during Tropical Storm Rai, CRRF had to reschedule a few schools. The program will continue in January 2022 when CRRF will take 6th grade students from Meyuns, Angaur and Koror Elementary School to Jellyfish Lake.

The “Back to Nature: Jellyfish Lake” is an outdoor class program designed to increase knowledge and promote a sense of ownership of the iconic Jellyfish Lake among Palauan youth. Students learn about the lake through in class lectures and a field day at Jellyfish Lake. During the field day, students measure and collect data on sea water conditions (temperature, salinity, oxygen) and the pink bacteria layer to learn about stratification in the lake and how these variables change with depth. Students learn about the jellyfish food web through collecting and observing plankton using field microscopes. Students also learn about the marine community found in the lake through a scavenger hunt where students find, identify and photograph invertebrates. The program started in 2019, and support from Canada Fund has allowed CRRF to continue it for a second year.

The program and students are featured at https://coralreefpalau.org/education/ and in a short, descriptive video showing students in action learning at Jellyfish Lake:  https://youtu.be/4fcSBz0zhWM

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from CRRF!

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