Guam’s latest initiatives shared at climate science summit

Guam’s latest initiatives shared at climate science summit

Guam’s latest initiatives shared at climate science summit



The University of Guam recently joined consortium partners of the Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center (PI-CASC) in a virtual summit to share the latest research dedicated to climate change impacts on island communities in the region.

The summit, held on Nov. 18 and 19, brought together researchers, natural resource managers, and officials from across the Pacific to address the unique climate challenges in the islands with the latest news in technology and science geared toward curbing harmful impacts to ecosystems and local communities. UOG joins the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and the University of Hawai’i at Hilo to make up the academic side of the PI-CASC consortium.

Majuro Flood
High tide on Majuro Atoll under blue skies floods the low-lying land, signaling the threat of rising seas for much of the Pacific. Photo courtesy of K. Fellenius

Guam’s Climate Change Resilience Commission chairperson, Evangeline Lujan, shared the latest initiatives Guam has in place to ignite action on climate adaptation with more than 300 summit participants.

"The efforts of the Climate Change Resilience Commission and Guam Green Growth, both of which consist of scientists, managers, and officials from various sectors, are an excellent start in making our island more resilient and sustainable in the face of climate change,” Lujan said. “We hope to continue collaborating with the other Pacific Islands through exchanges with PI-CASC and other organizations that are leading these monumental efforts. To address the impacts of climate change, it is critical that future policies are informed by science and traditional knowledge.”

The G3 Initiative, facilitated by the UOG Center for Island Sustainability and comprised of dozens of community partners, aims to address sustainability challenges and come up with innovative ways to promote a green economy for the island. Lujan and UOG PI-CASC lead Romina King, who is also the vice chairperson of the Climate Change Resilience Commission, are members of the G3 Working Group.

Lujan told summit participants that Guam’s top experts and officials are working diligently to implement sustainable goals into their day-to-day operations so that the island community can be better equipped as a changing climate threatens natural resources and quality of life.

Research toward climate resilience

Patrick Keeler
Patrick Keeler, a University of Guam graduate student and the watershed coordinator with the Guam Coral Reef Initiative, shares his thesis project during the Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center Virtual Summit on Nov. 18, 2020.
During a “Lightning Talks” segment of the summit, UOG graduate student and Guam Coral Reef Initiative watershed coordinator Patrick Keeler presented his thesis project on “Evaluating the effects of biochar on soils, seedling health, and mortality in Southern Guam.”

“The thesis project I am proposing directly addresses some of the management issues, such as increased drought, that we expect to see on Guam in the future. By modifying and improving our management techniques, while keeping climate change in mind, we are able to increase the resiliency of our work to benefit both present and future generations of the island,” Keeler said.

His research on using biochar as a soil remediation technique is intended to help improve reforestation and natural resource management through the lens of climate change resiliency.

Watch the Summit