Master of Science Environmental Science
The Graduate Environmental Science Program at the University of Guam is a well-designed program that benefits from having diverse and knowledgeable professors and a tropical Pacific region in which to study. I attended the EV program from 2010 to 2012 with a background in geology and geography and an interest in studying hydrogeology. My research focused on the Northern Guam Lens Aquifer, Guam’s primary potable water supply, and the natural and anthropogenic factors that affect its salinity. While involved in the program, I was also employed as a Research Assistant at the Water & Environmental Research Institute of the Western Pacific at UOG working on paleoclimate field research at two caves on northern Guam. The field research experiences were highly rewarding for me. I enjoyed the sense of community that comes with a small university on an island. I was able to generate close working relationships with the professors, staff, and other EV program students. My overall experience in the UOG EV program was extremely positive, and I am grateful to those involved in the program that strengthened my scientific understanding and forwarded my environmental career.
Christine A. Simard
Research Assistant III
Water & Environmental Research Institute of the Western Pacific
Mangilao, GU 96923
What sets the Master of Science in Environmental Science program at UOG apart from other schools is its size. Unlike the situation at most larger schools, the program is small enough that the professors and students have close interactions and each student receives individualized attention. UOG professors are also actively involved in research in a variety of areas. As a conservation horticulturist, I had the unique opportunity to work closely with professors in several fields. I worked with Dr. Mari Marutani managing laboratory and field experiments at Triton Farm, an integrated demonstration farm. Under Dr. Mohammad Golabi, we collaborated with Guam Water Works Authority to implement a low-cost Vetiver Grass Technology (VGT) experiment at the Inarajan Wastewater Treatment Plant.
After graduating, I went on to work on a joint project with the University of Washington and UOG, the Ecology of Bird Loss Project. This ongoing project will provide the first landscape-level assessment of the impacts of bird loss on an entire forest community and it will provide critical ecological indicators of the indirect impacts of the brown tree snake invasion.
Through my formal education and work experiences, I have gained knowledge of a broad range of biological disciplines, including botany, ecology, geology, hydrology, forestry, soils, bio-statistics, entomology, ornithology, toxicology, and herpetology. Besides getting a superb graduate education, I have created an extended network of friends and future colleagues, which includes not only my fellow students, but also the faculty. The Environmental Science Program at UOG is packed full of interesting and diverse courses that will arm you with the knowledge and tools to make a real and positive difference in the world.
Leanne Obra, Biologist
USGS Brown Tree Snake Project
Monday, 22 June 2009 13:52
KOROR (Palau Horizon) – The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Micronesia Program has announced the selection of Umiich Sengebau as the new deputy director of Conservation. Mr. Sengebau’s new role will be effective on July 1, 2009. He succeeds Trina Leberer, who became Director for TNC Micronesia Program in April 2009.
In making the appointment, Director Leberer said, “After an incredibly competitive and lengthy process, myself and the rest of the interview team are delighted to announce the selection of Umiich Sengebau as the new Deputy Director of Conservation for our team. Umiich brings to the position a wide variety of experiences and history with the program and I look forward to working with him to fully realize the potential of the position and Conservation section.”
Mr. Sengebau has been with TNC Micronesia Program since 2002. He has more than 10 years of experience working on conservation and environmental issues in the Micronesia region. His knowledge and practical experiences are in the areas of biodiversity conservation, environmental monitoring and impact assessment and environmental planning and policy. He currently serves as the Regional Conservation Planner and coordinates technical and scientific support for the implementation of the Conservancy’s Conservation by Design process – Ecoregional Assessment (ERA), Conservation Action Planning (CAP), and spatial analysis for protected areas network design within the Micronesia Program. Prior to joining TNC, he worked with Dueñas & Associates, Inc. in Guam, U.S.A. as an environmental specialist responsible for preparing and conducting environmental impact assessment reports, biological baseline surveys and environmental monitoring for development projects.
Mr. Sengebau holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science from University of Guam and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from University of Hawaii at Manoa. Mr. Sengebau currently serves on a number of boards in Palau including Environmental Quality Protection Board (EQPB), Lake Ngardok Nature Reserve Board and is presently Vice-Chairman of Palau Conservation Society Board of Directors.
The Masters of Environmental Science program at the University of Guam is a well designed and robust curriculum that allows one to focus on a particular area of professional or academic interest, while guiding the student through a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of each of the important aspects of environmental science. I have called upon the knowledge that I acquired in UOG’s Environmental Science program many times during my career as a hydrogeologist.
Rob MacCracken, Hydrogeologist
I attended the University of Guam between 2005 and 2007 as a Master’s candidate in their Environmental Science Department. Prior to that, I had graduated from the University of South Florida with B.S. degrees in both Geology and Environmental Science, and had spent several years working in the field of Environmental Science. My research at the Water and Environmental Research Institute (WERI) involved a hydrogeochemical study that was fully funded by the Guam Hydrologic Survey (GHS). During my time at WERI, I gained experiences, friendships and professional relationships that will last a lifetime. The staff and faculty are warm and generous, and truly have students’ best interests at heart. I also got to interact with students and faculty at the Marine Lab, which, in addition to more friendships, led to an opportunity to participate in a two-week study in Yap! From the heart of the western Pacific, I was able to travel to all sorts of other great destinations, such as Australia, Palau, Saipan, Indonesia, Singapore, Borneo, the Philippines and more. After making the (very difficult and heartbreaking) decision to return to my native Florida, I quickly landed a fantastic job with the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Water Resource Management Department as their Environmental Biologist. Now I work in the heart of the Everglades, intimately involved in projects related to wetland conservation and management, invasive species management and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project (CERP). My time on Guam was truly life-changing; it was the most meaningful, defining experience in my life to date.
Seminole Tribe of Florida
Environmental Resource Mgmt. Dept.
Office (863) 902-3200 ext. 13413
Attending the Master's degree program in Environmental Science at WERI/UOG was enlightening, rewarding, and fun! The program -- like its institution and location -- is a truly singular blend of American standards, island lifestyle, Asia-Pacific setting, and an international outlook. The faculty and staff are so warm and encouraging that becoming lifelong colleagues and friends is the norm. Opportunities for education and research funding are available to all dedicated and ambitious students. Equipment and facilities are excellent, and the institute's location is unbeatable. The main building is right on the ocean, next to one of the largest coral reefs on Guam.
The close and trusting relationship between students and faculty means that research can be carried out with support of daily briefings with advisors, or independently by extended fieldwork on remote islands. Guam and its Western Pacific neighborhood are incredibly inspiring for scientific work and are full of chances to discover something truly new, especially in field-based research. I spent a couple of years exploring caves, sinkholes, and underground waters of Guam and had the privilege of contributing to a better understanding of tropical island aquifers.
Life outside the University is just as positive and enriching. Given Guam's fantastic location and diversity, making friends with people from all over the Pacific and the world and gaining insight into other cultures is a natural part of daily life. Calling Guam home for a few years was the single most important step I have taken on the path to truly becoming a world citizen. After earning my Master's degree and a year spent traveling in Central Asia, I was granted a full scholarship from the Japanese Government's Ministry of Science for further studies in Japan. I completed my Ph.D. in Earth Science at Hokkaido University in Sapporo. Not able to resist the call of the islands, I returned to Micronesia soon after. I now work with a non-government research and educational organization on the island of Pohnpei.
There is not a slightest doubt in my mind that if I was to miraculously find myself back in the days of trying to decide on a graduate school, I would choose Guam again.
Island Research & Education Initiative
PO Box PS303, Palikir
Pohnpei, FM 96941
The Environmental Science Program at the University of Guam is a unique graduate program, bringing together expertise from many different fields of science. Research and classes cover a braod spectrum of interests, whether it is in hydrology, soil science, plant science, or waste management, among others. The professors care about the education of the students, and class sizes are conducive to forging strong teacher-student associations. The University of Guam is situated in a unique region of the world, and research within the Environmental Science Program can provide experiences on Guam and other islands in the Western Pacific that are unrivaled at any other academic institution. The research I was involved with brought me in close contact with people from many unique cultures and provided learning experiences that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Most importantly, the research results directly benefit the people. Since receiving a Master's Degree through the program I have moved on to pursue a doctorate at another institution, and without hesitation I can say that receiving education and scientific training through the Environmental Science Program laid a strong foundation.
Ryan T. Bailey
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering
Colorado State University
My experience at WERI (UOG) was enriching and offered me the opportunity to pursue a professional career I truly enjoy. The quality of the graduate program is second-to-none. I believe that the program made me exceptionally well prepared for a demanding professional career. The class sizes at WERI are small and provide for great interactions and discussions between students and faculty. Both the staff and faculty at WERI were supporting and encouraging every step of the way towards my graduation. I will always be thankful for their dedication and support. I would highly recommend the WERI graduate program to anyone with a quest for knowledge in Environmental Science, Karst Geology and Hydrology.
Food Safety Specialist/Dairy Specialist
Oregon Department of Agriculture
It's been a few years, but as always I am proud of being a UOG graduate and my work at WERI as it has been a tremendous help in my career. I graduated in 2007, and worked with Dr. Mohammed Golabi, Dr. Shahram Khosrowpanah, Dr. Leroy Heitz, and Dr. Yuming Wen. My thesis topic was: "The development of a GIS-based Soil Erosion Potential Model of the Ugum Watershed." After graduation, I worked at the engineering firm Duenas, Camacho, & Associates (DCA). My accomplishments while there included the environmental permitting of private development ventures, Government of Guam improvement projects, and the trans-oceanic fiber optic cable systems by AT&T Inc. I also participated in the important task of relocating endangered snails (yes, snails!) by working closely with island experts Barry Smith and Richard Randall. I currently work for the Navy contractor DZSP 21 LLC in the Environmental Compliance department.
DZSP 21 LLC
Naval Base Guam