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DIVE INTO CNAS
August 2021 - Issue No. 9
Hafa adai CNAS, 

On behalf of the entire CNAS administration, we want to welcome you to the Fanuchånan 2021 semester.  I encourage each of you to make sure you are fully vaccinated, follow the safety guidelines that UOG has in place for all F2F classes.  As you are well aware, we are living in interesting times and what is current today can change overnight.  Be flexible and be ready to pivot at any time.  I personally wish you a very productive semester and stay safe on and off-campus.


Si Yu'os ma'åse', 
Dr. Lee S. Yudin
Dean/Director

SUMMER CAMP WITH 4-H FISHERIES 

4-H participants go fishing in Ipan. July 2021. 

The 4-H Junior Fisheries Summer Camp under the College of Natural and Applied Sciences (CNAS) has been offering the youth in Guam a unique summer camp experience for over 28 years. First founded by Ted Iyechad and Barry Smith, the program now operates under the supervision of camp advisor Clifford Kyota who has since then made modifications and improvements.
 
The camp provided participants with hands-on learning to revolve around oceanography and fish science. They were taught how to make their own lures, how to tie hooks and were given the opportunity to explore the waters around Yona and Urunao.
 
Clifford was also sure to tie in the importance of cultural immersion, life skills and conservation into every activity presented to participants.
 
“Our goal was to teach kids to become better citizens and leaders, while also teaching them as many life skills that we could,” said Clifford. “Junior fisheries are built on many facets of skills. We teach them how to provide sustenance for their families in the future, how to take care of the environment, as well as how to be an entrepreneur in the fish economy.”
 
In collaboration with longtime volunteer Dan Narcis, participants were also taught traditional fishing practices, such as talaya throwing, octopus hunting and spearfishing. Participants were also taught other conservation practices like catch and release and habitat preservation.
 
Clifford added, “This camp is unique in regard to conservation because kids need to understand that resources are meant to be sustained for future generations, not just for them.”
 
17-year-old Francemina Inoke, who served as the Secretary of the Pohnpeian Senyavin 4-H Youth Club, volunteered this summer as a youth leader to help participants gain new experiences, while also learning a few things herself.
 
“I am greatly involved in the Pohnapeian 4-H club and I was hoping to experience and learn more about being a good youth leader,” said Francemina. “I want to lead by example in the Senyavin Youth 4-H club and share all the experiences with my club members.”
Clancy Kyota prepares fishing lures for 4-H participants. July 2021. 

Palauan 4-H club member, Clancy Kyota, 16, recalls the most memorable experience during his time with the Junior Fisheries camp — Observing participants having fun and applying what they learned by catching fish for their families.
 
When asked whether or not he would recommend this camp to others, he replied: “Yes, the 4-H program teaches youth lifelong learning skills, which are important for us to learn not only to benefit us individually but to become better citizens and leaders in the community.”
 
The 4-H Junior Fisheries ran from July 5, 2021, to July 23, 2021, and is offered every summer.

FROM THE CLASSROOM TO THE BOARD ROOM -
CNAS STUDENT INDUCTED INTO SGA

Loreto F. Paulino, ALS building. August 2021. 

Recently inducted as a senator for the University’s Student Government Association (SGA), Loreto A. F. Paulino Jr. is a student of the College on Natural and Applied Sciences (CNAS) majoring in chemistry and minoring in mathematics.
 
With the guidance of his high school chemistry teacher, paired with his school’s nursing program, Paulino sparked an interest in the field of chemistry. While Paulino studied other careers in the field of science in his nursing program, one assignment led him to explore the career of a forensic science technician.
 
“My interest in the forensic area grew and I understood that the minimum requirement was a bachelor’s in any natural science,” said Paulino. “I chose to pursue a chemistry degree, noting what my chemistry teacher emphasized: chemistry is a central science.”
 
However, Paulino says that should his interest in forensic science fade, a chemistry degree would be flexible when considering all other options. Regardless, he believes that a chemistry degree will be of great use in the future.
 
“My degree in chemistry will not only give me the confidence to work among the STEM community, but it will also give me a whole new perspective of the world around me.”
 
As an SGA senator, Paulino is currently working on an event that showcases the student talent at UOG. While the event primarily focuses on the fine arts community, he hopes that in the future he will get the chance to highlight his degree program, as well as other STEM programs that CNAS has to offer.
 
“I hope the Triton community can see from my experiences that UOG does have a college life. Yes, we are not the standard of staying in the dorms for each semester but being active in organizations such as SGA or attending events can make your college experience just as memorable,” said Paulino.
 
After graduating, Paulino plans to work with the forensic community on the island. However, he has also set his sights on helping with other research revolving around coral resiliency.
 
“I am interested in fully majoring in both chemistry and mathematics because I see that chemistry is a central science, but mathematics is a foundation. Furthering my studies in these two degrees will be a challenge, but a rewarding one.”
 
Paulino says also he plans to attend graduate school at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

CNAS SUMMER MATH RESEARCH PROGRAM

Participants of the Math Summer Research Program give presentations math symposium. July 2021. 

On July 23rd, six groups consisting of college and high school students under the CNAS summer math research program concluded their rigorous seven-week research experience with presentations on their findings at the CLASS lecture hall. 
 
Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, the first presenters were left standing on stage for 15-20 minutes nervously waiting for the issue to be resolved. However, no nerves were shown as the students from the first group presented their research with ease. 
 
The first two groups analyzed different control measures to combat the invasive Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle with one group concluding the best way to get rid of the beetles is to remove dead or moribund coconut trees. The other group determined increasing the number of Tekken nets was the better solution, rather than removing the trees. 
 
The next two groups focused their research project on the population dynamics between the Mariana eight-spot butterfly and parasitoid wasps. However, one group also looked at the population dynamics between the mentioned butterfly with two other related butterfly species in Guam. Nonetheless, both projects ended with similar conclusions with an increase of host plants of the eight-spot butterfly being the best way of ensuring the butterfly’s survival. 
 
The last two groups looked at the effects of overfishing on coral reef ecosystems and the resilience of coral. The first group found the most sustainable harvest proportion of parrotfish in Guam is around 13%. The second group determined that the death of bleached corals and the recovery of diseased corals are the biggest factors to facing coral reefs.

HEALTHY COMMUNITIES STARTS AT HOME

Participants of 5-2-1 AN and residents of Ironwood Homes Dededo participate in the ribbon-cutting for the new sidewalk playscape. July 2021. 

Ironwood Homes in Dededo and Ironwood Heights in Tumon are new community partners joining 28 schools, food stores, and other community programs in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program⁠ — Education’s (SNAP-Ed) social marketing campaign called, “5-2-1 Almost None (5-2-1-AN).” The 5-2-1 Almost None campaign encourages children, families, and communities to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, have 2 hours or less of screen-time, get 1-hour of physical activity or more and drink almost no sugary drinks every day.

After signing the 5-2-1 AN pledge for the communities in Ironwood, SNAP-Ed assisted with the transformation of plain sidewalks into playscapes to promote active living as part of the 5-2-1 AN campaign. The addition of life-size physical activity gameboards at the community centers complement the youth nutrition education lessons that were implemented throughout the summer by UOG’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). In an effort to reach all family members in Ironwood, SNAP-Ed delivered nutrition education to adults, who demonstrated using the gameboards with their children. “We are excited when families can benefit from both EFNEP and SNAP-Ed at the same time as each was designed to complement one another,” says Dr. Tanisha Aflague, Coordinator for EFNEP and SNAP-Ed.

Ironwood and SNAP-Ed will work together over the next 12 months to promote 5-2-1 Almost No behaviors by initiating family challenges like putting the screen down and moving, walking groups, encouraging “Smart Snacks” that are available in nearby stores, and nutrition education. The 5-2-1 AN campaign messages will reach the Ironwood community via newsletters, outdoor banners, and digital educational material.

Crystal Guevara, Ironwood Programs Coordinator, shares “Our new life-size gameboard will allow families to enjoy the outdoors and most importantly, to have fun together. Having our kids spend as much time outdoors is extremely crucial as they spent the last year and a half being cooped up indoors.” She is grateful for the UOG and SNAP-Ed partnership and adds that the gameboard was made with a “personal touch to Ironwood (referring to the Ironwood tree and local produce included in the gameboard)…bringing art to life.”


For more information about SNAP-Ed, visit the Community Nutrition Education Program’s (CNEP) Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UOGCNEP/

WESTERN REGION SARE
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Participants of the Western SARE Professional Development program stand outside of the Agriculture and Lide Sciences buidling. August 2021. 

From August 11 to August 14, The University of Guam’s College of Natural and Applied Sciences (CNAS) played host to 5 professors and instructors from the University of Georgia and the University of the Philippines. The professional development focused on training for agricultural professionals in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands on the identification of prevalent fungal leaf pathogens and their diseases.
 
Dr. Robert Bevacqua, an agriculture instructor here at UOG, believes the university has had a good, consistent history of collaborating with other institutions of higher education in the Western Pacific and Asia, especially Hawaii.
 
“The most important thing I’m learning are ideas for laboratory activities from experts that I can apply to classes that I will be teaching in the fall,” said Bevacqua.
 
Associate Professor Dr. Marin Brewer was one of the presenters from the University of Georgia who spoke about anthracnose, a disease that affects many different crops and ornamentals here on the island. Having a wide host range, it causes a lot of economic damage to both the Pacific and Western regions,  so Brewer found it crucial that she discuss it with her colleagues during the professional development.
 
“I learned specifics about how anthracnose is managed here on Guam and one of those recommendations is to burn infected plant material, but you’re not allowed to do that here on the island,” said Brewer. “It was interesting to hear different perspectives from other people on how anthracnose is managed here in comparison to other parts of the world.”
 
Brewer has also been collaborating with UOG’s Dr. Robert Schlub for 4 years, which has been beneficial for herself and her students. They have learned a great deal about different pathogens and how they are distributed around the world.
 
Another professional among the participants was University of Georgia’s Dr. Robert Kemerait, a professor and extension specialist in the department of plant pathology.
 
“My role as an extension specialist who works with plant diseases is to integrate the importance of diagnostics, understanding what the disease is and turning that into recommendations on how you would manage it.” Kemerait added, “Good diagnosis is related to good management, poor diagnosis can make management of that disease more difficult.”
 
From this professional development, Kemerait hopes that participants can accomplish three things: To be more comfortable in recognizing and diagnosing what the diseases are, to gain the skill sets to do their own diagnosis to some degree, and to have the confidence in their ability when making field visits to conduct a successful diagnosis.
 
“The most important thing about the collaborative effort of this is that the agricultural professionals on Guam have now seen and met people like myself in person, and we’ve established a friendly relationship that allows us to contact professionals here in this region and they can contact us without hesitation as well,” said Kemerait.

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN AGRICULTURE 

There are many challenges that agricultural producers in the Western Pacific Region face, such as climate change, prices for commodities, pests, and most recently, the COVID-19 outbreak. While these challenges may vary, the impact results in disruptions within the local food supply chains. On June 19, 2021, a focus group study was conducted by the University of Guam (UOG) Cooperative Extension and Outreach (CE&O) at the Hyatt Regency Guam. The participants were a culturally diverse group of local agricultural producers (commercial and subsistence) and NGOs (Farmers’ Co-op, Guåhan Sustainable Culture, Farmer to Table, Social Water Conservation Districts) who were tasked to discuss the challenges and needs in the agricultural industry. 
 
Study Coordinator Ms. Mary Catherine Wiley introduced the purpose of the event, followed by warm, welcoming remarks from Mr. Jesse Bamba. He briefly discussed the significance of the study, which was to provide insight, develop solutions, and offer resources that would help our local farmers and farm workers cultivate a sustainable food production system for the island. The design used in this study was a mixed-method approach comprised of three phases: first, individual surveys; second, small focus group discussions; and third, individual voting on the aggregated challenges and potential development programs identified to be of the top priority.  The small focus group sessions included three moderators (Mr. Jesse Bamba, Mrs. Glenda Hall, and Ms. Jasmine Bassett), three recorders (Ms. Mary Catherine Wiley, Ms. Celia Anderson, and Ms. Laarnie Vinca), and one timekeeper (Mr. Jomar Calumaya). Animal scientist Dr. Jeng-Hung Liu also attended to gain insight on the challenges related to animal agriculture and assisted with interpretation for our Chinese producers. 
 
The focus group activities engaged the local producers by effectively communicating the main challenges faced in locally produced foods and products in our community and collaborating on potential program solutions that could help further develop and strengthen the island’s food security and nutrition. Some of the general issues raised during the small group discussions included pest control, infrastructure (installations, irrigation, etc.), and marketing. Other issues included training for young and new farmers, funding, and sustainable practices. Pragmatic solutions can be drawn from identifying these concerns and then customizing them based on the island’s agricultural needs. Understanding the challenges that our local producers face can expand marketing opportunities in creating feasible approaches for the successful preservation and development of a more diverse and resilient food production system within our island community. 


For more information, contact: 
Mary Catherine Wiley  |  wileym@triton.uog.edu
Jesse Bamba  |  jbamba@triton.uog.edu
Kuan-Ju Chen, PhD  |  chenkj@triton.uog.edu

FOCUS ON LIFE TRAINING

We are looking for people to participate in free self-paced training with the Behavioral Health & Wellness Center (GBHWC) in an effort to raise suicide awareness.

In part of a larger picture to the Western Region Agricultural Producer Stress Assistance Program (WRASAP), farmers have become a concerned focus given these times of distress.

Given that extension agents, assistants and researchers are the closest in line to see the hard work of farmers, this training will sincerely increase our understanding and create a mindful space for these invisible stressors, so we highly encourage you to participate!


For more information, contact: 
Mary Catherine Wiley  |  wileym@triton.uog.edu
Tim de La Cruz  |  jdelacruzt237@triton.uog.edu
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