Monday, July 29, 2013

"Return of the Cuyahoga" this Friday

First Friday Films will premier Return of the Cuyahoga this Friday, August 2nd at 6:30pm at American Memorial Park in recognition of environmental success stories.

For centuries, the Cuyahoga River in Ohio has been the mainland United States’ frontier. When the United States was a new nation, the river literally marked the western frontier. But "civilization" came to the river; by 1870 the river was on the industrial frontier. On the river's banks sprouted a multitude of factories, a booming display of what was called progress. The river, as it flowed through Cleveland, became a foul-smelling channel of sludge, with an oily surface that ignited with such regularity that river fires were treated as commonplace events by the local press.

But then, in 1969, the river burned again, just as a third kind of frontier swept across the nation: an environmental frontier. And the Cuyahoga River became a landmark on this frontier too -- a poster child for those trying to undo the destruction wrought by progress in America. This film marks the path that the river has taken over the years.

Before the film, representatives from the CNMI Division of Environmental Quality will discuss several environmental disasters on our own islands which are becoming success stories of rehabilitation partnerships between local, national and international partners.

First Friday Films is a partnership between American Memorial Park, the Division of Environmental Quality, Coastal Resources Management and the Humanities Council with support from other organizations. This particular film is sponsored by DEQ. As always, our film events are free and open to the public. This event will run about 70 minutes.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cetacean talk this Thursday, 6:30 at AMP

Check out another APASEEM talk this week focusing on whales and dolphins:

"Findings from Acoustic and Visual Surveys of Cetaceans in the Northern Mariana Islands"

                The Asia Pacific Academy of Sciences, Science Education, and Environmental Management (APASEEM) will host a science-focused public gathering on local whales and dolphins next Thursday, July 18th at the American Memorial Park auditorium, Saipan. Time is from 6:30 to 8pm. Everyone is invited to attend and learn about our region's various species of marine mammals from Dr. Erin Oleson, lead scientist for the Cetacean Research Program at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in Honolulu.

                Dr. Oleson oversees the program’s mission to assess the abundance and status, including potential human-caused impacts, for all whale and dolphin (cetacean) populations within the Pacific Islands Region, including those near Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Erin’s research focuses on developing new passive acoustic technology to monitor the occurrence and behavior of whales and dolphins in remote regions or in situations where traditional visual methods are ineffective. In 2011 Erin was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for her work to bring new innovative technological solutions to fill critical data gaps in cetacean science in the Pacific Region. Research within the Cetacean Program focuses on pairing traditional survey techniques, including ship-based and small boat surveys for cetaceans, with new technologies, such as long-term acoustic recorders, animal-carried tags, and development of new autonomous sensors to develop new techniques for assessing cetacean populations. A copy of her PowerPoint slides from last year's talk is posted on the APASEEM website listed below.

                With support from the U.S. Navy, the Cetacean Program has been conducting small boat surveys from Guam, Rota, and Saipan since 2010. To date these surveys have documented 20 species of cetaceans in the waters of the Marianas Archipelago, a figure which doubles the number which was known just two years ago. In addition, two long-term acoustic recorders have been deployed near Saipan and Tinian to monitor the presence of cetaceans year-round for comparison with these vessel surveys. Erin’s presentation will discuss some of the Program’s findings from the recent surveys and acoustic research in the Marianas. One year and five months of data available so far indicate the presence of several dolphin species, Bryde’s, humpback, and fin whales, at least three species of beaked whale, along with possible new species detected by this year's acoustical probes. As at all APASEEM talks, questions from the audience are strongly encouraged. For more information visit the website or write to us via