UOG appoints new associate director for Land Grant research

UOG appoints new associate director for Land Grant research

UOG appoints new associate director for Land Grant research


Photo of Frank Camacho

Frank A. Camacho has been named the new interim associate director of the Western Pacific Tropical Research Center under the College of Natural & Applied Sciences at the University of Guam, effective May 27.

The center is the scientific research arm of the university’s Land Grant and receives federal funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate improvements to food production and agribusiness for the region.

“A key part of UOG's Land Grant mission is research — exploring solutions and improvements in our ability to grow food locally and sustainably. We welcome Dr. Camacho, as a skilled scientist and collaborative leader, in guiding our research endeavors in this increasingly critical area,” said UOG President Anita Borja Enriquez.

Camacho replaces Adrian Ares, who has held the position since 2018, and will work under the center’s director and the dean of CNAS, Rachael T. Leon Guerrero, and alongside the interim associate director of extension, L. Robert Barber Jr., and interim associate dean of instruction, Maika Vuki.

“Dr. Camacho is well-suited to guide our Land Grant research,” Leon Guerrero said. “As a biologist, he brings a natural curiosity for our island environment and how we can best utilize and sustain our land for the health of our communities.”

Camacho has been faculty in UOG’s Biology Program since August 2008, advancing in rank from assistant professor to associate professor and, in April this year, to full professor. He is a two-time alumnus of UOG, having earned his bachelor’s and master’s in biology in 1994 and 1997, respectively. He earned his doctorate in biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2005.

As interim associate director, Camacho will be reviewing and approving faculty research proposals, facilitating research projects, and overseeing operations at the WPTRC facilities. These include:

  • the Yigo, Inarajan, and Ija agricultural experiment stations
  • Triton Farm
  • the Guam Aquaculture Development & Training Center, also known as the Fadian hatchery
  • the CNAS Aquapark.

“I am especially excited to work with the faculty, staff, and students of WPTRC,” he said. “These individuals are the backbone of the experiment station and are an amazingly talented core of scientists and personnel.”

Camacho has a background in ecological research and statistical analysis and a personal research portfolio that includes awards from USDA Hatch, the National Institutes of Health, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, and the Royal Society of New Zealand. He has served as a research mentor to Pacific islander and Native American students in Costa Rica and is the research experiences coordinator for the Islands of Opportunity Alliance of the National Science Foundation’s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation. He previously served as interim director for the Center for Island Sustainability at UOG and as faculty at Guam Community College.