Tuesday, November 26, 2013

December 6th film celebrates GREEN through the ages

First Friday Films would like to announce the FREE SHOWING of our December film:

A Fierce Green Fire
Friday, December 6th 
American Memorial Park.

A Fierce Green Fire is an amazing take on the history of the environmental movement over the last fifty years – from the beginning of conservation to modern times. The film shows footage of conservation of the Grand Canyon in the 60s, the Love Canal battle of the 70s, Greenpeace’s controversial campaigns, the 80s crisis to save the Amazon, and the current conversation about climate change. Each act of the film sheds new light on the most famous environmental battles of the last century, and it is a must-see for anyone who studies, works or plays in the environment.

Before the film, Dr. Peter Peshut will introduce the events in the film by sharing his experiences living and working in the environmental field through each of these decades. Dr. Peshut has earned degrees in civil engineering, marine biology and environmental science and has worked for nearly 30 years on environmental issues in both the government and private sectors. Nineteen of those years have been spent in the Pacific Islands, including American Samoa, Palau, FSM, Hawaii, Guam and the CNMI.

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 and individuals.  This particular film is sponsored by DEQ. As always, our film events are free and open to the public. This event will run about 2 hours.

Friday, November 15, 2013

APASEEM Annual Conference November 19-21 at AMP

On behalf of the Asia Pacific Academy of Sciences, Science Education, and Environmental Management, we would like to let the public know of the annual conference taking place on November 19-21, from 5-8pm each day at American Memorial Park's theatre. The talks are free and open to the public. Please refer to the schedule below to find topics that interest you.

Conference Day One, Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Presenter: Mr. Robbie Greene
Affiliation:  NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship Program, CNMI Coastal Resources Management Office
Title: "Filling up the Bathtub: Using Elevation Models to Communicate the Impacts of Local Sea Level Changes in
                the CNMI"
In January 2013, over 200 scientists, resource managers and academic researchers from Pacific island nations and territories met in Suva, Fiji to discuss the state of climate information services in the region. From this discussion, a need emerged for novel services that could communicate complex climate science to broader audiences. A few creative folks referred to this service as climate translation: a way to transfer concepts and scientific information across a spectrum of researchers, policy-makers, and community members. This presentation highlights the development of CNMI-specific sea level rise maps as a meaningful first step toward local climate translation. High-resolution elevation data were used to map the potential extent of coastal flooding on Saipan due to changes in sea level. A number of empirically supported sea level scenarios were explored, including observed short-term rise due to typhoons and El-Nino events, as well as long-term rise in response to climate change projections. Visualizations of these scenarios are presented, and impacts to Saipan’s social and natural systems are discussed.

Presenter: Dr. Edgar Tudor, DVM
Affiliation: Paradise Animal Hospital
Contact email: edtudor@mac.com
Title: "Discovery of and Details Regarding a New Species to Science, a Cat Earworm"
Note: To include some film footage. Exact title and abstract to be provided.

Presenter(s): Aaron Sanders and Daniel Gubler, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Brigham Young University-Hawaii, 55-220 Kulanui Street #1967, Laie, Hawaii 96762, USA
Contact email: aaronws@go.byuh.edu
Title: "Active Compounds in the Medicinal Plants: Cuscuta sandwichiana and Scaevola taccada"
The parasitic vine Cuscuta sandwichiana is an endemic Hawaiian plant that was used in traditional Hawaiian medicine to treat a variety of ailments. Scaevola taccada is a flowering beach plant found typically in the Indo-Pacific region. This plant has been used as a source of traditional medicine in a vast number of cultures. Previous to this study neither C. sandwichiana nor the berries of S. taccada had not been analyzed for their organic compound makeup. Through the use of Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectroscopy this study identified multiple organic compounds in C. sandwichiana and in the S. taccada berries that validate their uses in traditional medicine.

Presenter(s): Erin Hoff, Roger Goodwill, David Bybee
Affiliation: BYU-H Biological Sciences Department
Contact email: roger.goodwill@byuh.edu
Title: "Distribution and Abundance of Sabellid Polychaetes on the Kahuku Reef Flat, O’ahu Hawai’i"
Sabellid distribution and abundance on algae from the Kahuku reef flat (21°41’2.89”N and 157°56’40.74”W) was studied from April 2013 to October 2013. Distribution and abundance was measured using two 30 m transects which were subdivided into numbered 0.1 m2 quadrats. Transects were located on the center of the reef, which represented the most algal cover, and were designed to cover high and low intertidal zones. Transect A was located 15 m from shore, and transect B was located 23 m from shore. A random number table was used to select specific quadrats which determined the infauna sample sites. Sampling was conducted twice each month during low tide, once on transect A and once on transect B. Samples were collected from ten quadrats on each transect, stored in aerated containers of salt water, and sorted using a dissection light microscope. Individual sabellids, either inside or outside of tubes, were teased out of algal samples with microscopic forceps. Preliminary results suggest at least one new species has been found, Amphicorina sp. Evidence suggests that different sabellid species may be actively selecting specific algae for settlement. Initial observations also indicate that the reproductive mode of at least one species, Amphicorina sp, is a tube brooder with several different larval stages confirmed so far.

Presenter: Denton, Dr. Gary R.W. Ph.D.
Affiliation: Water and Environmental Research Institute of the Western Pacific, University of Guam, UOG Station,
                                Mangilao, Guam 96923, USA
Contact email: gdenton@uguam.uog.edu
Title: “Metal Deficiencies and Imbalances in Wetland Plants from a Manganese-Enriched Wetland in Southern
                Guam: A Possible Lytico-Bodig Connection?”
Trace metal levels were determined in surface waters, soil, soil pore-waters and three species of dominant plants from a small perennial wetland in southern Guam. The wetland is unusual in that has formed in an area that is geologically enriched with pyrolusite, a manganese bearing ore found primarily in fractures and fissures of the highly weathered and sparsely vegetated saprolite rocks that dominate the surrounding upland terrain. Over time, erosional processes have mobilized significant quantities of upland soil and fragmented pyrolusite into the wetland below where reducing conditions have favored the liberation of soluble Mn2+ from ore remnants. Manganese levels in surface waters draining the wetland were at least an order of magnitude higher than those found in other Guam rivers and streams draining watersheds without wetlands, while those in sediment pore-waters were up to three orders of magnitude higher. Despite adequate soluble supplies of essential trace elements in the wetland soil and soil pore-waters, the metal status of the common sedge, Fimbristylis tristachya, was suggestive of deficiencies in iron, copper and zinc. In contrast, manganese concentrations in this species and in the climbing fern, Lygodium microphyllum, sometimes approached levels considered phytotoxic to most other plants. Extremely high concentrations of manganese were encountered in foliar tips of the monocot tree, Pandanus tectorius, with values exceeding 10,000 μg/g dry weight in some wetland representatives. P. tectorius is a savannah species that has adapted to wetland conditions and its ability to tolerate high levels of soluble manganese in the study area has undoubtedly helped facilitate its survival in this environment. However, the fact that upland specimens share the same capability suggests this mechanism evolved in response to selection pressures other than those associated with waterlogged soil. Historically, dried Pandanus leaves were used extensively as a source of domestic fiber in the local Chamorro culture. A possible link between the use of this plant and a neurodegenerative disease complex that is symptomatically similar to the occupational disease ‘manganism’ and once plagued the island is discussed. This mysterious ailment, locally known as ‘Lytico-Bodig’ appears only in native Chamorro people and is reputed to have once accounted for the deaths of one person in five over the age of 25. Today, Lytico-Bodig has all but disappeared from Guam, which has led to speculation that the diseases may have been linked to an environmental factor that is no longer threatening.

Conference Day Two, Wednesday, November 20, 2013-Mini Symposium Fisheries
Presenter: Gourley, Mr. John.
Affiliation: Marianas Conservation
Email contact: john.e.gourley@gmail.com
Title: "If Size Matter, Why Doesn’t Science?  A Review of the Science Behind the “Size Matters” Campaign."

The “Size Matters” campaign has been an ongoing voluntary fisheries management campaign since early 2011. The campaign has produced a measurement guide and poster that identifies sizes of various species of reef fish that represents the size when 50% of the species has reached reproductive state; called the L50.  The campaign objective is to educate island fishermen to voluntarily catch and retain fish that are greater than the stated L50 and release any fish that are smaller.

A critique of the science supporting this fisheries campaign was conducted. Various aspects of the campaign, such as source of the L50 sizes, a review of the literature supporting the L50 sizes and the approach of using the L50 as a fishery management measure was investigated for its relevancy.

Presenter(s): Dunn, Mr. Trey.
Affiliation(s): CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife, Fisheries Section
Contact email: tdunn.dfw@gmail.com
Title: "DFW's Life History Work on the Red-Lipped Parrotfish Scarus rubroviolaceus"
The CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife has a long running fish life history program that seeks to gain specific life history characteristics for important fish species in the CNMI. This information is critical for making management decisions. DFW has recently been shifting focus of the program solely to reef fishes that are most commonly fished. One of the most common and readily targeted parrotfish in the CNMI is the Red-Lipped Parrotfish Scarus rubroviolaceus. Over the past two and a half years, DFW has been sampling this fish and taking life history information. The results from this work will be presented.

Presenter: Gourley, Mr. John.
Affiliation: Micronesian Environmental Services
Email contact: john.e.gourley@gmail.com
Title: "Is the Condition of Saipan’s Reef Fish Better or Worse Since 2009? A  Comparison of the 2009 PMRI market
                study and the 2011-2013 Bio-Sampling market study"
Pacific Marine Resources Institute (PMRI) conducted a 4-month market survey of Saipan landed reef fish during 2009 and 2010.  Over the past 3 years, the results have been widely disseminated in the public arena as an informational brochure, grey-literature report, peer-reviewed paper, numerous presentations, several newspaper articles, and the unilateral development of commercial size regulations for reef fish. The message being broadcasted was that that most of the Saipan commercial reef fish were being caught before they have a chance to reproduce and that SCUBA assisted spearfishing activities are supplying most of the fish for the Saipan market.

A NOAA-PIFSC funded fishery bio-sampling program was initiated late 2010 with market sampling starting in January 2011.  Sampling the same Saipan-based vendors that PMRI surveyed the previous year, the bio-sampling program collected fish size data, as well as catch effort and location data, over a 33 month period. 

Results from the PMRI market study are compared with results of the Bio-Sampling study in an attempt to distinguish any changes that may have occurred since the PMRI study was conducted.

Presenter: Trianni, Mr. Michael.
Affiliation: N/A
Contact email: mtrianni@ymail.com
Title(s): "A historical review of research and management of reef fisheries in the CNMI"
Research and management of reef fisheries are presented along a historical timeline, noting various actions implemented by the CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife through 2010. The rationale and process of managing reef fisheries in the CNMI, particularly Saipan, has often been challenging, and solely aimed at providing a sustainable resource for present and future generations.

Conference Day Three, Thursday, November 21, 2013

Presenter(s): Zachary Rupp and Daniel Gubler, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Brigham Young University-Hawaii, 55-220 Kulanui Street #1967, Laie, Hawaii 96762, USA
Contact email:zrupp@go.byuh.edu
Title: "Determining the Chemical Signatures of Emotional States"
In this project we are looking to find and study human pheromones in the form of volatile organic compounds. A large part of this project involves working with a Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer in order to analyze the compounds that are given off by participants during testing. Our current testing involves evoking certain emotions in participants, to see if in the process they give off any chemicals that could be correlated with the desired emotion. For example among certain organisms, when in danger, they give off an alarm pheromone to make their fellow organisms aware of the threat. We are testing to see if humans do something similar, that is, using chemosignaling in some way to communicate to those around them. This presentation will discuss a class of small molecules that may act as alarm pheromones in humans.

Presenter(s): Ryan Okano, Ph.D.
Affiliation: CNMI Division of Environmental Quality
Contact email: ryanokano@deq.gov.mp
Title: "The Influence of Water Quality and Herbivory on Algal Communities within Laolao Bay"

Water quality and herbivory are considered to be primary factors that influence tropical algal communities.  Water quality parameters in particular nutrients can fuel algal growth and result in the proliferation of weedy species.  Herbivores are known to feed on algae, limiting the growth and presence of algal species.  The recent Laolao Bay Watershed Restoration Project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has provided the Marine Monitoring Team with a unique coastal data set.  Water quality constituents considered are salinity, pH, turbidity, and nutrients.  Biological data considered are algal diversity quadrats and food fish stationary point counts.  The influence of water quality on algal communities is demonstrated on the reef flat, while data suggest a relationship between algal and fish communities on the reef slope.

Presenter(s): Frank Villagomez
Affiliation: CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife
Title: "Fish Aggregating Devices in the CNMI"
Abstract: To be provided

Presenter(s): Dr. Angel Yanagihara, Ph.D.
Affiliation: University of Hawaii
Contact email: angel99anne@yahoo.com
Title: "Box Jellyfish: Field Ecology, Envenomation and Treatment of Stings"

Abstract: To be provided