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NOAA partners with University of Guam for island-wide reef survey

by | Jan 19, 2023 | Federal Government, Guam, Science and Environment | 0 comments

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Coral Reef Monitoring Program is engaging students at the University of Guam (UOG) to conduct an island-wide survey to collect information on residents’ use of coral reefs and their knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of coral reef ecosystems and coral reef management. It is part of a larger effort to improve coral reef conservation programs at local, regional, and national levels.

Guided by Dr. Roseann Jones, interim dean of the School of Business and Public Administration; and Amanda Blas, associate director of the Global Learning and Engagement Department at UOG, the survey team will involve UOG students, including AmeriCorps members, UOG’s Center for Island Sustainability, and the Global Learning and Engagement Department.

Guam village mayors’ offices are also collaborating with the research team to support survey outreach and facilitation for residents who are unable to complete the survey in person at home.

Through this partnership, students will be trained in social science surveying techniques and gain real-world research experience in the field.

Household residents across the island will be randomly selected and invited to participate in the survey, which will be offered in English, Korean, Chuukese, and CHamoru. The survey should take no longer than 20 minutes. Residents invited to take the survey will have the opportunity to take it in person or online. The goal is to survey 740 Guam residents by the end of the semester.

The results from this survey are instrumental to help NOAA and the Government of Guam improve coral reef conservation and the services coral reef ecosystems provide for communities. Also, the survey results will inform future communication products and research projects on coral reefs.

“Residents’ participation in this survey is important so that the diverse voices of Guam are represented. This is critical for equitable and effective conservation, as coral reef management depends on understanding how people interact with and depend upon these special ecosystems,” said Dr. Mary Allen, National Coral Reef Monitoring Program socioeconomic lead.

This is the second resident survey conducted in Guam by NOAA’s National Coral Reef Monitoring Program and results will provide critical insights into how social conditions have changed since the first survey was conducted in 2016. Participation in the survey is voluntary and confidential, but residents are encouraged to participate if invited. A more inclusive survey results in better quality information for use by managers of Guam’s coral reefs and coastal communities.

The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) is a partnership between the NOAA Line Offices that work on coral reef issues: the National Ocean Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, and the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

William-Jose Velez Gonzalez

William-Jose Velez Gonzalez

William-José Vélez González is a native from Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and a graduate from Florida International University in biomedical engineering, engineering management, with a minor in international relations. He served as the national executive vice president of the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association for 5 years. He lives in Washington, DC, where he works at the Children’s National Research Institute and runs Opsin, a nonprofit design studio dedicated to making design more accessible. He is the founder and Editor in Chief of Pasquines.

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