A Palauan student attending University of Hawaii at Hilo, is participating in Palau International Coral Reef Center’s (PICRC) 2019 Summer Internship Program.
Masasinge T. Hideos is interning with PICRC for the time. During this internship, Masasinge will be studying ocean acidification (OA) in Palau. As carbon dioxide (CO2) levels continue to increase, many of the CO2 will dissolve in the ocean, changing its chemistry, lowering it pH and making the ocean more acidic. The lowering of ocean pH or the ocean getting more acidic, is referred to as ocean acidification.
OA will impact many marine animals, especially those that depend on calcium carbonate for their skeletons, such as corals. Therefore, it is critical to study OA and how it impact coral reefs in Palau.
Masasinge will be working under the guidance of PICRC Researcher, Ikelau Otto, who will serve as his mentor. Together, they will study OA in Palau by collecting water samples, analyzing their data, and providing insight towards the water conditions around Palau.
Masasinge graduated from Palau Community College in 2018. He is now a senior at the University of Hawaii majoring in Geography with a focus in Environmental Studies. After graduating, he hopes to return to Palau to pursue a career within the field of conservation. Masasinge chose to return to intern at PICRC to gain more hands-on research experience to prepare for the future. (PR)