Four graduate students with ties to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Pacific Biosciences Research Center (PBRC) were awarded scholarships to attend the Ocean Leadership Practicum held in January 2013 at the Center for Ocean Solutions in Monterey, California. The four students are all Pacific Islanders—Narrissa Spies, a Native Hawaiian; Austin Shelton, a Chamorro student from Guam; Sean MacDuff, a Chamorro student from Saipan; and Jacques Idechong, a Palauan.
The practicum was focused on strengthening the leadership skills of the brightest up-and-comers in the area of marine conservation, and included training in communicating science to diverse audiences, working through potential conflicts to achieve measurable goals and outcomes and providing leadership through innovation and collaboration.
Spies, Shelton and MacDuff are PhD students performing their doctoral dissertation research at PBRC’s Kewalo Marine Laboratory. Idechong, presently a graduate student at the University of Guam Marine Laboratory, served as an undergraduate research assistant at the Kewalo Marine Laboratory as well.
“These four students are actively engaged in marine conservation research and its application to sustainability in Hawai’i and the Pacific Islands,” said Robert Richmond, research professor at PBRC. “They will undoubtedly serve as excellent ambassadors and role models of the expertise and passion that exists in Hawai’i and Micronesia for protecting our oceans as a legacy for future generations.”
—Adapted from a UH Mānoa news release