Seven students have completed their summer internship at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC).

Throughout their time at PICRC, the students were able to work with their mentors on individual projects to gain hands on experience in the field of science.

With guidance from their mentors, the interns carried out various projects, which involved collecting and analyzing data, writing a report, and presenting the result of their work.

PICRC held a symposium for the Summer Internship Program on Thursday, July 12, 2018.

Each intern presented their projects to the internship sponsor – Blue Bay Petroleum Incorporated. The presentation was a chance for the interns to show what they had done and learned over the past six weeks.

Meangeldil Azuma-Malsol (Simpson University-CA) presented about “Ngardmau residents’ perceptions of protected areas management”, while Theresa Kimnoy Bultedaob Aten (UH- Hilo) talked about the “Effectiveness of regulations enforcement and management of PAN sites in Ngarchelong State”. Mira Mariur (PCC) also discussed the “Benefits and effectiveness of PAN sites on the Ngerbeched community.” These three students were under the mentorship of PICRC Researcher Lincy Marino.

LeahMarie Bukurou (PCC) was mentored by Researcher Evelyn Otto, and her presentation was about “Comparing photosynthesis rates of the coral species, Porites cylindrica, taken from two similar bays with different pH levels.”

Masasinge Hideos (PCC) had also worked with Researcher Victor Nestor, and his presentation was focused on “Examining heat tolerant coral, Porites cylindrica.”

Jaquelyn Hanley, a non-Palauan PCC student, who was sponsored by PICRC and PCC, also conducted her project with her mentor, Researcher Marine Gouezo, and she presented her work on “Monitoring small but chronic coral bleaching events on the shallow coral reefs in the inner bays of Palau.”

Jenelle Blesam (UH-Hilo), whose mentor was Outreach Officer Anna Parker, focused her summer project on “Communicating the 2018 summer internship to the general public.” Rather than writing a paper, Jenelle’s project involved producing a short film documenting the six-week program, the interns and their respective projects.

Overall, this year’s summer internship was a success. Starting with a week-long cultural immersion program and career site visits, the interns were able to learn about Palau’s culture, in addition to being exposed to other conservation agencies in Palau.

The PICRC summer internship has been going on for a few years and is gaining popularity.

For the past two years, Blue Bay Petroleum Incorporated has sponsored the PICRC Summer Internship Program along with the Palau National Scholarship Board (PNSB), Palau Community College (PCC), and Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES- Hawaii).

In light of the internship’s success, Dr. Yimnang Golbuu expressed, “the interns did a wonderful job presenting their projects and their hard work over the past six weeks definitely showed as a result. These projects are meaningful and applicable in the world and have an impact on environmental conservation like climate change impacts, socioeconomic studies, and communications and outreach.” (PR)