This past week, Professor Robert van Woesik from the Florida Institute of Technology, with the help from post-doctoral researcher Dr. Chris Cacciapaglia, taught a data analysis and statistics workshop for coral reef monitoring at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC).  Professor van Woesik has been a visiting researcher at PICRC since the Center was established back in 2001. Upon his initial arrival in Palau, Dr. van Woesik worked with PICRC’s first researchers, David Idip, Jr. and Lolita Penland, to launch the national coral reef monitoring program for the Center.


Dr. van Woesik continues to collaborate with PICRC researchers in conducting research and teaching courses at the Center. These courses include but aren’t limited to taxonomy, underwater sampling surveys, and statistics.

Statistics is an incredibly valuable component of science that provides researchers with the ability to determine the significance of their data. Dr. Van Woesik believes that “data analysis is a critical technique that should be a part of every researcher’s toolbox.”  As such, PICRC researchers and staff from the Palau Conservation Society (PCS) were enthusiastic to participate in Dr. van Woesik’s workshop focusing on data analysis as it relates to coral reef research. The workshop covered techniques on sampling, the statistical software R, advanced statistics, and much more.  The workshop provided participants with the appropriate skills for properly interpreting important information collected from coral reef monitoring.

PICRC is committed to providing growth opportunities to its employees, and it is the support of collaborators and partners like Dr. van Woesik that make it possible. Dr. van Woesik is one of the many world-renowned coral reef researchers that partner PICRC for research and capacity building. [/restrict]