UOG agriculture student earns legislative recognition for environmentalism
A University of Guam student has been publicly recognized by the 37th Guam Legislature for his personal advocacy and stewardship for Guam’s environment and natural resources.
During a ceremony on April 28, senators presented Farron Taijeron with Resolution No. 94-37 and thanked him for raising awareness on Guam’s environmental challenges, including pollution, illegal dumping, and human-caused wildfires, by sharing a first-hand account of the issues on his “The Guam Guy” social media accounts.
Sen. Chris Barnett, the primary sponsor of the resolution, praised Taijeron for his determination in finding those important stories to tell — often putting himself in the center of those scenarios to show impactful visuals.
“You really put your neck on the line to promote stewardship and environmentalism, and it’s to be commended,” Barnett said.
Taijeron is an undergraduate Agriculture & Life Sciences major at the UOG College of Natural & Applied Sciences. He has dedicated many hours of his personal time to broadcasting first-hand accounts of some of Guam’s environmental challenges. His in-depth, on-site coverage has included an oil spill in Apra Harbor, soil runoff into Marbo Cave (Sasayan), and illegal dumping on cliffsides in Tamuning, which he worked with a drone company to clean up.
“All this incremental progress is possible if people just try,” Taijeron said. “I’m grateful to the work of all our elected leaders, but we don’t have to put it all on them. We can do whatever we can ourselves because it is our island.”
He said he chose the agriculture program to help him become an even more effective instrument in addressing conservation issues on island.
“When I think about problems, projects, and proposed ideas, I try to have conversations with my professors since they're literally living resources to help me act in better and more responsible ways,” he said.
Taijeron also works as a research associate at the UOG Marine Lab and is a fellow with the PI-CASC Climate Adaptation for Resource Management program. As a PI-CASC CARM fellow, he is observing local perceptions of wildfire and wildfire management in Guam with assistance from the Guam Department of Agriculture’s Forestry & Soil Resources Division. The results of his project are intended to provide forestry managers with data that can inform and bolster effective communication with the island community to prevent wildfires.
“Farron has always taken initiative to be a responsible steward of Guam, and he puts in additional effort to keep the community informed about environmental harms that threaten our precious resources,” said Dr. Romina King, associate professor of geography at UOG’s Western Pacific Tropical Research Center and UOG lead of PI-CASC. “His strong communication skills in the digital realm have surely impacted the way people respond to such issues in a positive way. I’m so very proud to see him progressing through these passion projects that have been a benefit to the community.”
In addition to his environmental involvement through UOG, Taijeron is a conservation coordinator with The Nature Conservancy. He is also the island’s first master free diving instructor and has created a Professional Association of Diving Instructors, or PADI, certification course on managing coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish.