(L-R) PAN Office Coordinator Obichang Skebong, Interns River Thomas, Daemi Ngirmidol, and Ksid Kloulechad, and PAN Fund Board Treasurer Brengyei Katosang

The Protected Areas Network (PAN) was able to support three college interns this summer under the Internship component of the PAN Capacity Building Scholarship Program. This opportunity was made possible through partnership with the Palau National Scholarship Office.

Through this partnership, PAN Fund was able to support bi-weekly stipend to the three interns over the course of eight weeks.

The first intern that began earlier this summer was Ksid Kloulechad, a senior majoring in Anthropology at the University of Victoria in Canada. Through the PAN scholarship program, Kloulechad chose to do her internship at Ebiil Society under the supervision of Ann Singeo, Executive Director, which combines her interests in learning about culture with environmental conservation.

During her time there, she was tasked as the summer youth program assistant whose main responsibility was to participate and document all Ebiil’s activities, including the Ebiil Camps.

Moreover, she was able to demonstrate to the campers, the basic so far chaeology that she learned from University. The internship helped her gain experience in environmental and cultural conservation which will enrich her studies further.

Another recipient of the internship program was River Thomas, are cent graduate from Cardinal Stritch University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, minoring in Chemistry and English.

She did her internship at the PAN Office under the mentorship of Lukes Isechal, the Applied Scientist of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET).Thomas assisted Isechal in the ongoing design and implementation of the Ministry’s National Forest Monitoring Program; a program aimed at determining the status of Palau’s forest resources as well as measure the effectiveness of the Protected Areas Network.

In her internship, Thomas learned to work with software that allowed her to edit and analyze geospatial data and create maps that marked plots in Babeldaob for data collection. This is her second-year interning with PAN on this ongoing program and because she is gaining more knowledge and experience, she is confident that she would like to work in the environmental sector.

The remaining recipient of PAN internship program is Daemi Ngirmidol, a senior at Eastern Oregon University majoring in Natural Resources focusing on data management of conservation and management.

Ngirmidol also interned at PAN Office under Lukes Isechal’s mentorship. Ngirmidol’s main project was analyzing data collected from PAN’s annual Site Assessment of PAN States. The assessment collected focused on information such as administration, finance, capacity development, education and outreach, assets and maintenance, etc.

The information collected and analyzed by Ngirmidol will bring to attention collective challenges and lessons to inform capacity development, resource, and technically needs at the system-wide level. This project has allowed Ngirmidol to put into practice skills that can only be refined through experience in data management.

Moreover, she was also able to join various activities such as workshops, presentations, and fieldtrips that helped her learn more about what PAN is all about.

Through this internship program, PAN was able to attract and engage new talent to the Network and ensure these young emerging leaders develop interest in PAN related concepts. The PAN Internship component is focused on supporting Palauan college level students applies knowledge gained through classrooms into a professional work setting.

PAN would like to encourage more Palauans to take advantage of this scholarship program. For more information on eligibility and specific requirements, please visit the PAN Fund office (located at the Tommy E. Remengesau Bldg. on M-Dock road) or visit the website at www.palaupanfund.org and access the Capacity Building Scholarship Program Application Packages. (PR)