Friday July 14th marked the final day of the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) Summer Internship Program. The students selected for this summer’s program were Maikani Osisemereng Andres and Onglibl Diana-Rae Lakobong, Environmental and Marine Science majors from Palau Community College; Itungelbai 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. Throughout the program these interns worked on individual projects with mentors from PICRC. To complete the internship program each intern presented on their project and what they have learned over the past month and a half.
Throughout the past six weeks PICRC interns gained field and lab work experience, data handling skills, and a deeper knowledge of the research being conducted at PICRC. The interns also were given the opportunity to work with the Ebiil Society as part of their Cultural Immersion Program. For a week, interns worked as staff for Camp Ebiil with nearly 50 students from across Palau. During this week interns acquired local knowledge of marine and terrestrial ecosystems as well as traditional customs, to understand how Palau’s history plays a role in today’s conservation efforts.
These internships are key building blocks to future careers. Internships give students the opportunity to work hands on in a professional environment, gain connections and learn how to communicate in a professional environment. Students are also given a chance to explore career interest and narrow down their plans upon graduating. Through the PICRC Summer Internship Program, students gain a deeper understanding of current conservation efforts in Palau. Upon completing their degrees PICRC wishes to see these students return to work in Palau and continue conservation efforts at home. PICRC would like to recognize and give thanks to Blue Bay Petroleum Incorporated for making this Summer Internship possible. [/restrict]