The Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge (BRMC) Scholarship was made possible by an initial contribution from the estate of one of Micronesia’s conservation pioneers, William (Bill) Charles Raynor (Feb. 22nd, 1957-Sept. 1st, 2015). For over 30 years, he engaged in significant and meaningful conservation work across Micronesia. Among his many pioneering efforts, he helped launch The Nature Conservancy’s program in Micronesia, focusing on innovative, community-led conservation and building partnerships. He also helped to establish and strengthen several non- governmental organizations in Micronesia, that are now leading conservation and sustainable development work in their jurisdictions. His inspiring leadership, deep commitment, and passion for innovation were critical to the success of groundbreaking initiatives at every scale—ranging from sustainable agriculture practices for local villages to international agreements to protect biodiversity.Over the course of his three decades in the region, Bill supported and mentored emerging environmental leaders who have the passion and the potential to continue the conservation initiatives and maintain the Micronesia Challenge commitment that he and the other conservation pioneers helped establish in the region.
The Scholarship Fund aims to contribute to the development of effective conservation of Micronesia’s biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods across the region. It provides an opportunity for individuals from Micronesia to undertake either a Master or Doctorate degree in any resource management/conservation field. The selected scholars focus on leadership and technical skills and/or majors that enhance their ability to carry out work in conservation, climate adaptation and sustainable development in Micronesia. Awardees of this prestigious scholarship will receive financial support to earn graduate degrees while receiving close guidance and mentorship from key individuals within the Micronesia Challenge partnership. The mentors/advisors are technical experts who have extensive experience in the field of conservation, climate change adaptation and sustainable development in Micronesia/Pacific.
In addition to the BRMC, the Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation/ Japan (APIC), Sophia University and MCT have partnered to select current conservation professionals from Micronesia to pursue graduate level degrees in conservation. Sophia University has committed to providing full tuition scholarships, APIC is covering travel and room and board expenses and MCT, through the BRMC funds, is covering the cost of internships for the students.
The Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) and partners of the Micronesia Challenge are proud to announce the selection of the 2019 cohort of talented young professionals to receive Graduate level scholarships under two regional scholarship opportunities available through MCT. The 5 new recipients brings the total number of Graduate students supported to 13 from across the region.
The 2019 Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge program scholars are:
From Saipan, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Ms. Demapancurrently works for the Department of Lands and Natural Resources (DLNR) as the Public Outreach Specialist for the Sea Turtle Program. She will complete her Master’sof Science in Environmental Managementatthe University of Maryland.
Jovalyn Ilong Koshiba
From the Republic of Palau, Ms. Kosbiba is currently the Grants Program Officer for the Palau Protected Areas Network Fund (PAN Fund). She will pursue her Master’s of Business Administration from Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii.
From the Republic of Palau, Ms. Marino currently works at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) as a researcher. She will complete her Master’s in Science in Sustainable Management from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.
The Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation/ Japan (APIC), Sophia University scholars:
From the Republic of Palau, Ms. Hideyos currently works at the Ebiil Society as the Youth/Community Education Program Coordinator. She will complete her Master’s in Global Environmental Studies at Sophia Unviersity.
Annette Rose Ludwig
Ms Ludwig, a Pohnpeian who was raised in Fiji and currently resides in Guam, is a research assistant at the herbarium of the University of Guam. She will pursue her Master’s in Global Environmental Studies at Sophia University. (PR)