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Palau International Coral Reef Center-PICRC

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Palau International Coral Reef Center

17 October, 2014

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Ngarchelong Elementary School Students at the Sustainable Fishing Practices display

 

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Ngaremlengui Elementary School Students at the Touch Tank

 

Palau Aquarium Offers Free Admissions for all the Students in Palau

For this coming year, Palau Aquarium will put special emphasis on students and the use of the aquarium facility to support student learning.  Therefore, effective immediately, Palau Aquarium will offer free admissions to all the students in Palau.   Any individual student or school groups, will be able to visit the Palau Aquarium for free.  Students from all primary, secondary as well as Palau Community College (PCC) are eligible for the free admission.

Palau Aquarium is also updating and making new displays to allow better learning for the students who will visit the aquarium.  One of the new displays in the Aquarium is the display on traditional fishing practices of Palau.  This display highlights Palau dependence on its reef resources, its traditional management and the importance of managing it for future generations.

Updated research information is also displayed on the new touch panels that allow students and visitors to learn about the different displays at the aquarium and the research project conducted at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC). The touch panel enhances students and all visitors experience as they provide a variety of video clips, quizzes and slide shows related to PICRC’s research and marine conservation efforts.

For school tours to fully benefit from the resources at the Palau Aquarium, schools are asked to call for an appointment so Aquarium staff can provide special tours and educational programs for the school group when they visit the aquarium.

Palau Aquarium hosts numerous students and visitors every year for education awareness tours and is proud of its role in the community as an educational facility for locals and visitors to Palau. For school groups reservations, please contact Ines Kintoki at 488-6950 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

11 October, 2014

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08 October, 2014

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PCC students learn about DNA analysis and its applications for marine conservation

On September 28th, fifteen Palau Community College (PCC) students learned about DNA and its applications for marine conservations.  During four hours of lecture, Dr. Julien Lorion, a postdoctoral fellow based at Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and Dr. Christopher Kitalong from PCC, gave lectures and carried out experiments with the PCC students.

Dr. Lorion, who works for the University of the Ryukyus (UoR), is stationed at PICRC as part of the Palau Coral Reef Island Ecosystem Project (P-CoRIE), a joint project among PICRC, PCC and UoR.  The P-CoRIE project is funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The course began with Dr. Lorion’s lecture on basic cell biology and DNA analysis.  Following the lecture, the students carried out an experiment which consisted of extracting DNA from onion and blood with only salt water, soap and ethanol.  This simple experiment aimed at “demystifying” DNA analysis, demonstrated to the students that DNA analysis is actually nothing more than basic chemistry, just like cooking.

“It is very easy for the students to understand what is going on in a tube when you mix onion, soap and salt. They are better teaching material for this introductory course than the complex machines and chemical reagents with difficult names we use on a daily basis for actual research”, stated Dr. Lorion. The complex equipment and chemicals are used to enhance the quality of DNA obtained and automatizing the process, but the chemistry itself remains the same, therefore it is easier to understand using kitchen goods.”

The second lecture showed the students about how DNA analysis can be used for marine conservation.  While most people usually associate DNA analyses with forensics, DNA analysis actually offers a wide range of applications, including molecular species identification and delimitation (e.g. biodiversity assessments), spatial connectivity of natural populations (e.g. fish, clam) and temporal tracking of the genetic diversity of harvested species.

The lecture and lab activities conducted by P-CoRIE demonstrate the commitment among the three project partners to support science education at PCC and in Palau. PICRC envisions people empowered with science and knowledge for effective marine conservation and management. For more information about PICRC, visit www.picrc.org or “Like” PICRC on Facebook.

 

04 October, 2014

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PICRC conducts training on water quality measurement

From September 29-30, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) research staff including Geraldine Rengiil, Marine Gouezo, Shirley Koshiba, Lincoln Rehm, Geory Mereb, Dawnette Olsudong, Asap Bukurrou, as well as Anthony Adelbai Jr from the Environmental Quality Protection Board (EQPB) attended 2-days training on water quality measurement. The training was conducted at the PICRC Laboratories and in the field at one of PICRC monitoring sites. Dr. Takashi Kawai, a Postdoctoral fellow from Palau Coral Reef Island Ecosystems (P-CoRIE) project dispatched by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) from the University of the Ryukyus (UoR), led the training with the assistance of Izumi Mimura and Asami Tsugi from UoR and PICRC short term volunteer from JICA Yoshihisa Goto.

On the first day, the training covered important parameters of water quality for coral reef assessment, and then the staff practiced water quality measurement using a high-performance equipment (AAQ176, JFE Advantech Co., Ltd., Japan) in the field. On the second day at the PICRC Laboratory, they learned how to measure two very important water quality parameters “Alkalinity” and "density of Chlorophyll a” that are key parameters for assessment of “Ocean acidification” and “Eutrophication”, respectively. Now, PICRC has powerful techniques and tools for deciphering signs of environmental changes in our very precious coral reef ecosystem.

This training highlights PICRC’s efforts to continually improve its staff capacity and to utilize new tools and technology to improve its coral reef research and monitoring work. One of PICRC’s core values is investment in people and learning and by investing in capacity building for its staff, PICRC can better achieve its mission “to guide efforts supporting coral reef stewardship through research and its applications for the people of Palau, Micronesia, and the world”.