June 5th marked the start of the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) Summer Internship Program. This week, six interns joined PICRC for a month and a half long internship. The interns will be mentored by PICRC researchers at the Center. During the internship, they will gain hands on experience in the field and in the lab. This is the second summer PICRC has offered this program.  This summer internship program is being supported by Blue Bay Petroleum Incorporated.



The students selected for this year’s internships include Maikani Osismereng Andres and Onglibl Diana-Rae Lakobong, Environmental and Marine Science majors from Palau Community College; Itu Bells and Kelutel Darrin Yoshiwo, Marine Biology majors from University of Guam; Kaylee Giramur, an Environmental Studies major from Chaminade University of Honolulu; and Yubee K. Isaac, an Environmental Studies major from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.


This six-week immersion program gives PICRC interns the chance to gain field and lab work experience, practice report writing skills and develop lasting professional contacts. The program also allows students to broaden their knowledge of marine ecosystems and conservation efforts in Palau. Additionally, as part of the Summer Internship program, the students are required to participate in a Cultural Immersion Program to acquire local knowledge to understand how Palau’s history plays a role in today’s marine conservation efforts and for the future of Palau. This year the cultural immersion program is run in collaboration with Camp Ebiil where the interns will work as councilors for 10 days alongside Palau Cultural Instructors.


The purpose of these internships is to help students fulfill school requirements and give them a chance to explore potential career paths. Through this internship, students gain a deeper understanding of current conservation efforts in Palau. It is the hope of the Center that upon completing their degrees these students will return to work in Palau and contribute to conservation efforts here at home. [/restrict]