Anna Parker, a native of the Northeastern United States, has been hired by the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) as the Communications and Outreach Officer. As the Communications and Outreach Officer, Anna will ensure that the Palauan people continue to stay informed on the work done at PICRC through working with the PICRC staff to communicate relevant information to the public. Anna will also continue updating the PICRC website and Facebook sites with accurate reflections of the center’s ongoing work. Other aspects of her position will include developing informative materials for the Aquarium and designing educational programs for visiting schools.
Growing up on a small farm, Anna cultivated a love for nature and wildlife at a young age. Her admiration for the ocean first began during her frequent visits to her Grandparent’s in Florida. In 2013, Anna graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. As an anthropology major she engaged in studying relationships between humans and their environment. After graduating, Anna worked for Mass Audubon’s Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary where she monitored costal water birds and participated in citizen outreach programs. Since then, Anna has continued to stay involved in both environmental research and outreach.
Before coming to Palau, Anna worked for the Trustees of Reservations located on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off of Massachusetts in the U.S.A., as an Assistant to the Engagement Manager. In this role, Anna coordinated different engagement events, created interpretational materials for outreach, and developed public education programs. Prior to this, Anna spent a year in Australia volunteering for Flinders University; where she monitored the Australian Humpback Dolphin and worked as a Dive Master on the Great Barrier Reef. Before living in Australia, Anna interned at PICRC under the guidance of Dr. Alyssa Marshell. During this time, Anna assisted Dr. Marshell by maintaining 15 cages set up in the Ngederrak Conservation Area. These cages were used to study three species of common surgeonfish. Dr. Marshell specifically looked at their grazing impact on algae and coral growth to highlight and quantify the important role these species play in reducing algal growth and promoting coral development. In between working with Dr. Marshell, Anna assisted with other on-going research projects at PICRC and was able to participate with the outreach programs during environmental week. Anna is excited to be back at PICRC and eager to dedicate her time to conservation efforts here in Palau! [/restrict]