This month, Stanford University have transformed Palau’s extraordinary ecosystems into a classroom for college students. From June 26th until July 15th, PICRC is hosting a Stanford University course titled, “Coral Reefs of Palau: Ecology, Environment, Management”. During the course, fifteen students from Stanford University and three students from Palau Community College (PCC), will learn about Palau’s coral reef ecosystems, threats to the reefs and resource management strategies in Palau.

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The course is being led by Professor Dr. Robert Dunbar with support from Professor Dr. Stephen Monismith and Dr. Stephen Palumbi from Stanford University; and Dr. Bob Richmond from The University of Hawaii at Manoa. Stanford PhD students, Heidi Hirsh and Gaylan Eagen will be assisting the course. Additionally, Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, CEO of PICRC and PICRC Board of Directors Chairman, Noah Idechong, will present lectures during the course.

“I’ve been teaching college students in the field for nearly 40 years. Palau is at the top of the list in terms of what can be taught and what can be learned. The diversity of accessible coral reef environments is unmatched. The Palauan people and the Palau International Coral Reef Center are cornerstones of any research or teaching we do here. They are the knowledge banks without which we could not hope to understand the reefs and the threats they face. I will run classes and conduct research here as much as I can over the next decade.” Shared, Professor Dunbar, who has been returning to Palau almost every year for the past twelve years.

The facilities at PICRC provide a unique opportunity for students to gain hands-on research experience while learning about Palau’s remarkable biodiversity and progressive conservation management. PICRC values it’s collaboration between researchers and universities from overseas. It is through these partnerships that the work done by PICRC extends far beyond just Palau and the region. [/restrict]