Palau International Coral Reef Center-PICRC

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Palau International Coral Reef Center

25 August 2015



Fishes in Ngemai Conservation Area has more than doubled, according to PICRC researchers

During a community meeting on August 12, 2015 Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) researchers reported that fishes inside Ngemai Conservation Area has more than doubled since 2011. PICRC research team, including Geraldine Rengiil, Marine Gouezo, Evelyn Otto, Shirley Koshiba and Arius Merep visited Ngiwal State Labk Center for a community meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to present the results on their initial assessment of Ngemai in Ngiwal State to its community members. Nearly 30 people attended the meeting, including Ngiwal State Governor Ellender Ngirameketii, Legislators, the Protected Areas Network (PAN) Coordinator, conservation officers, students, and other community members. The community meeting was held in response to a request by Ngiwal State to present PICRC’s report on their study of Ngemai.

The purpose of the survey conducted by PICRC was to assess the different habitats of Ngemai to help determine the effectiveness of the area overtime. Types of fishes, sizes, and abundance were surveyed along with sea cucumbers, sea grass, and corals. The results presented during the community meeting by PICRC researchers Shirley Koshiba and Marine Gouezo showed that the fore reef habitat had 2.5 times more fishes observed than in a previous survey done in 2011 within the same habitat of Ngemai. The channel, which was not previously surveyed, also harbored similar fish densities than the fore reef habitat. During the meeting, fishermen representatives told PICRC researchers that they observed an increase in fishes around Ngemai. The results shared by the researchers tell us that Ngemai is thriving and that the conservation area works.

“The surveys that were conducted in Ngemai and the community presentations are part of PICRC’s efforts to conduct research and share them with stakeholders to support management”, according to the Head of the Research and Aquarium Department, Ms. Geraldine Rengiil. She further states, “One of the main focuses in PICRC is to study marine protected areas and share the results that can be used to guide conservation efforts in Palau.”

More information on this report can be accessed through the PICRC website (picrc.org) under Research Publications and Technical Reports. Please contact Ines Kintoki at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for further questions or comments.



25 August 2015



New SDA and PMA Teachers Visit PICRC

Over 30 teachers and staff from Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Elementary School and Palau Mission Academy (PMA) along with their school principals, vice principals, and sponsors attended a presentation at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) Kedarm conference room during their visit to the Palau Aquarium on August 9, 2015. The presentation was about PICRC’s Research projects and Education programs available at the Center that can be utilized by educators in the field of marine science.

One of PICRC’s goals is to consistently expand knowledge of Palau’s marine environment to the public. This was an excellent opportunity for PICRC to demonstrate its expertise and knowledge to school teachers. The schools were interested in learning about the different research carried out by the Center and other programs, information, and materials available that could assist them in their classroom curriculum. The Annual Arts and Tides Calendar contest was one of the programs highlighted during their meeting.

An important objective of the Center is to be a “major interactive environmental awareness tool” to be “utilized by educators, students, community members, as well as visitors to Palau”. PICRC would like to encourage more schools and teachers to utilize the Center’s facilities and expertise in teaching marine science to their students.

Please contact Ines Kintoki at 488-6950 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.



21 August 2015



PICRC Awarded $110,000 from the Coral Reef Initiative Program

The Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) was awarded $ 110,000 from the Office of Insular Affairs’ Coral Reef Initiative Program under the United States Department of the Interior. On August 18, Esther Kia’aina, Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas, announced grants totaling nearly one million dollars that were awarded to nine coral reef project and initiatives from Palau, America Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Pohnpei, Marshall Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI). PICRC was among the nine and the only project from Palau selected.

The grant awarded to PICRC will focus on characterizing and managing the recovery of Palau’s coral reefs following the catastrophic damage from super-typhoons Bopha and Haiyan. Palau, especially the east coast was severely damaged by the typhoon, losing on average eighty five percent of its corals. While the typhoons had devastating effects on Palau’s coral reefs, the damaged areas provides an opportunity to study the important factors that lead to successful recovery of coral reefs. This grant will allow PICRC researchers to examine the different physical and biological characteristics on the reefs that are necessary for successful recovery. Once these factors are understood, Palau can manage damaged reefs to ensure the conditions are right for recovery.

In response to the awarding of this grant, PICRC’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Yimnang Golbuu states, “We are delighted to receive this grant from the office of Insular Affair’s Coral Reef Initiative Program. The awarding of this grant demonstrates the recognition of PICRC’s research capacity and the importance of their work in supporting coral reef management. This grant will go a long way in helping PICRC and Palau improve the health and management of its coral reefs.”





12 August 2015


PICRC Researcher begins Ph.D. Program at Drexel University in Pennsylvania

Lincoln Rehm, a researcher from Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) has been accepted into an Environmental Science Ph.D. program at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His classes will begin late September this year and will take four to five years to complete the program. With the help of PICRC and collaborators from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), he was able to receive financial assistance to help him further his education.

Lincoln’s research will focus on giant clams and their amazing ability to effectively turn sunlight into energy. His research will allow him to travel to Palau and conduct his research at the Center. PICRC is in full support of Lincoln and his research as one of its core values is “Investing in People and Learning”. His past contribution to the research at PICRC was vital and with a Ph.D. degree, he will contribute greatly to the research team at the Center.

During his Ph.D. program, Lincoln will have the opportunity to work with scientists from PICRC, UPenn, and even the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). His research will explore how giant clams are able to produce energy from the sunlight much more effectively than other organisms like plants and corals. The research on giant clams will help in developing very efficient biofuels for the future.  With the continued help from PICRC, Lincoln’s research will contribute new knowledge to this exciting field of science. In an interview, Lincoln says “I am so excited to start this journey and I hope I can provide information that is not only helpful for Palauans but also the world as they look towards alternative methods of energy”.

Lincoln graduated from the University of Texas and received his B.A. in Biology and a double minor in Chemistry and Chinese. He came to work at PICRC in August 2013 and continued to work for two years as a researcher. His dedicated efforts and contribution to the research and education of the Center did not go unnoticed. PICRC encourages and creates opportunities such as these to help build the capacities of its staff. In addition to the opportunities Lincoln has received, PICRC staff Victor Nestor and Adelle Lukes Isechal are currently working on their Masters in Japan and Europe and are expected to return to PICRC later this year.