The Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the National Park Service (NPS) have partnered to offer free environmental films to the public on the first Friday of every month. The films will be shown at the American Memorial Park visitors center at 6:30pm on each first Friday. Check back often for scheduling and program updates.
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.
"Filling up the Bathtub: Using
Elevation Models to Communicate the Impacts of Local Sea Level Changes in
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.
Dr. Edgar Tudor, DVM
Paradise Animal Hospital
"Discovery of and Details Regarding
a New Species to Science, a Cat Earworm" Abstract:
To include some film footage. Exact title and abstract to be provided.
Aaron Sanders and Daniel Gubler, Ph.D.
Brigham Young University-Hawaii, 55-220 Kulanui Street #1967, Laie, Hawaii
"Active Compounds in the Medicinal
Plants: Cuscuta sandwichiana and Scaevola taccada" Abstract:
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.
Erin Hoff, Roger Goodwill, David Bybee
Title: "Distribution and Abundance of
Sabellid Polychaetes on the Kahuku Reef Flat, O’ahu Hawai’i"
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.
Denton, Dr. Gary R.W. Ph.D.
Water and Environmental Research Institute of the Western Pacific, University
of Guam, UOG Station,
“Metal Deficiencies and Imbalances in
Wetland Plants from a Manganese-Enriched Wetland in Southern
Guam: A Possible Lytico-Bodig
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
"If Size Matter, Why Doesn’t
Science? A Review of the Science Behind
the “Size Matters” Campaign."
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.
Dunn, Mr. Trey.
CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife, Fisheries Section
Life History Work on the Red-Lipped Parrotfish Scarusrubroviolaceus"
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 workwill be presented.
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"
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.
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
Title(s):"A historical review of research
and management of reef fisheries in the CNMI"
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.
"Determining the Chemical Signatures
of Emotional States"
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.
Ryan Okano, Ph.D.
CNMI Division of Environmental Quality
Title: "The Influence of Water Quality and Herbivory on Algal Communities
within Laolao Bay"
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