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A footlocker workshop on climate change was hosted at the Kedarm Conference Room of the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) from June 25, 2014 to June 27, 2014. Participating in the workshop was the science faculty from the College of the Marshall Islands (CMI), Northern Marianas Community College (NMC), the College of Micronesia-FSM (COM-FSM), American Samoa Community College (ASCC), and Palau Community College (PCC).
Training was provided by Dr. Robert Richmond (Director of the Kewalo Marine Lab of the University of Hawaii and President of the International Society off Reef Studies) and Dr. Ron Dunbar (Professor of Earth Science at Stanford University and Senior Fellow for the Center of Ocean Solutions).
During the training at PICRC, participants were exposed to ocean acidification issues faced by the Pacific region due to a warming climate. This “ocean acidification” process occurs from dissolving atmospheric CO2 into the seawater, decreasing the ocean’s pH (becoming less alkaline and more acidic). As a result, these calcium carbonate building organisms, such as clams and coral reefs, will have less energy to grow, feed, and reproduce. Ocean acidification is changing the marine ecosystems so rapidly that the next generation will not know coral reefs the same way as seen today.
The workshop provided training and a footlocker of necessary tools for the conduct of studies related to these ocean acidification climate change issues. Tools included five Hobo Temperature & Light Sensors, one Hobo Waterproof Shuttle, five Calcium Carbonate Unites (CAU), hardware for the CAUs, a pilot climate change curriculum, and a memory card full of information related to ocean acidification. The CAUs and related hardware were provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED).
The Climate Change Science Footlocker Workshop was sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Partnership for Advance Marine & Environmental Science Training (NSF-ATE) and Palau Community College. The NSF-ATE is a program that aims to produce culturally-connected Pacific islanders specifically trained to serve their home islands in natural resource assessment, protection, and restoration.
The program is also designed to improve the technical education at the undergraduate and secondary school levels through community colleges of the Pacific islands by supporting regionally relevant curriculum development, professional development of faculty, internship/field experience (of instructors and students), and strengthening the scientific infrastructure of participating institutions.
You can access the PDF files of PCC's weekly newsletter archive here.Mesekiu News