On June 30, the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) receives yet another recently graduated Palau Mission Academy (PMA) student, Ms. Samantha Omtilou Iyar, as a recipient of PICRC’s 2016 Summer Internship Program, Building Science and Environmental Capacity in Palau’s Youth. The internship program was made possible by the Government of Palau’s 2016 Year of the Youth Small Grant Scheme, which is supported by a Grant from the Government of India.


As a recent high school graduate, Ms. Iyar is still thinking about her educational path; either the field of Business or Environmental Science. In efforts to figure out what she wants to study, Ms. Iyar had worked at the Palau Red Cross Society in the summer of 2015 for six weeks. In 2014 she had also worked at the Bureau of Arts and Culture for six weeks. She further explains that both summer jobs she had two summers in a row were great experiences because she had the opportunity to meet new people and learn new things.

In her spare time, Ms. Iyar likes to play volleyball and basketball. She also has done numerous volunteer work and likes to spend time with friends and family. She also enjoys learning new things and applying it to her daily life.

Ms. Iyar has had a connection with PICRC for quite some time now. A few years ago, her father, Mr. Fabian Iyar, was the Chief Executive Officer for PICRC at the time. During his time as CEO, Ms. Iyar would sometimes tag along with him to the office where she would explore the Palau Aquarium and the rest of the Center’s facilities.

Ms. Iyar found out about the internship program through her high school Principal, Mr. Abner Sanchez. Principal Sanchez had informed the students about the program and was nominated for the internship. Ms. Iyar expresses her excitement in having been accepted for the internship program.

During her time at the Center, she will be under the Research and Aquarium Department, working on a special project that will focus on the Palau Aquarium Survey form. In her project, she will collect the surveys that are filled by the visitors to the aquarium and input all data and help analyze and then report the conclusion of the result of the surveys. The survey form is a way for PICRC to see how they can continue to improve its Palau Aquarium services and facilities. She will work with her supervisors, Ms. Ines Kintoki and Ms. Sahar Hanser to complete her project that she will later present at the end of the internship program to the researchers and staff of the Center.

The Palau International Coral Reef Center is happy to have Ms. Iyar join the PICRC team. The Center is a supporter of volunteer and internship programs because it provides opportunities for young people to experience real world experience outside of the regular school setting and open up their minds to other fields of education and work. [/restrict]