Thursday, May 31, 2018

Eugene Eperiam: Forest Ecology course continues in Guam

The Forest ecology course brings together young brilliant minds from University of Guam (UOG), Northern Marianas College (NMC) and representatives from some Resource Management agencies throughout Micronesia. With all these geographic challenges we face being separated by vast body of waters; culturally we share the same knowledge and dialogue on ecological values within on our jurisdictions.  

These amazing individuals were group into four teams to tackle different areas in forest ecology (Vines, Snails, Acacia, and Flame trees). Each team came up with their own research question and hypothesis. Based on their question and hypothesis, they developed their own protocol to test their hypothesis, and collected their own data spanning urban forested areas all the way to the native undisturbed karst forest of Saipan and Guam.  With their compelling research questions, they are going to compare given areas across Saipan and Guam.

Island Ecology update from Roseo Marquez

May 29th is day one on Guam for the Island ecology class after an intense week on Saipan. In Guam, it was good to finally met Ann Marie Gawel, the PhD candidate who is also the mentor for the ecology class snail team. The class received a very warmth welcoming orientation by Dr. Miller, Dr. Rogers, Ann Marie Gawel and Marie Auyong at the University of Guam. After touring the UOG facility, course participants went into their research groups for group update and planning for the week on Guam. Each research group also worked on writing up their research methodology with the guidance of the mentors.

In the Guam heat, the afternoon of May 29th, participants went out to Anao forest reserve for a forest walk. Participants were welcomed by Joe Tuquero of University of Guam Extension who led the forest walk. Anao forest reserve is approximately 500 acres making it the largest intact forest in the Mariana Islands. The participants ended the day with a group transect survey exercise in the forest. The forest walk was very educational for all the participants as we shared information around tree species, seed dispersal; ungulates influence on forest structure and finally snails.