UOG was award- ed nearly $300,000 in grant money from the National Science Foundation. The grant will fund environmental science research and outreach to support awareness of the launch project called GROWING STEM.
This grant specifically focuses on giving K-12 students and up an opportunity to conduct culturally relevant and place-based research.
Austin Shelton, Ph.D, John Peterson, Ph.D., Else Demeulenaere and Cheryl Sangueza, Ph.D., will serve as principal investigators and dictate which funds will go to which research projects.
According to Shelton, who is also the direc- tor of Center for Island Sustainability and assistant professor of the Sea Grant Program, the PIs rst had to apply for the grant by creating a proposal and submitting it to the NSF. In their best hopes, the award was granted in early October.
This grant will allow students to get involved in community outreach activities, which will develop their expertise and knowledge of the environmental sciences.
Cheryl Sangueza, one of the co-PI’s, and assistant professor at the College of Education, said she hopes the project will inspire students to further pursue their education and become proactive in the STEM fields and conservation efforts.
Sangueza said: “Everyone has a voice. Your voice can be wasted because maybe you have ideas, but you remain quiet because you do not have the information to support them. Research gives us information. In every aspect of your life, let your voice be heard and use your voice in positive ways,” Sangueza said.
The grant will also hopefully increase native Pacific Islander representation in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics elds.
The GROWING STEM project will be led by representatives of the UOG Sea Grant Program, UOG Center of Island Sustainability, and the Guam EPSCoR Program.
According to Else Demeulenaere, one of the lead investigators and Co-PI of the grant, this grant will allow students to have intern- ship opportunities and possibly participate in conferences to showcase their work.
“The money will go toward stipends to student research and a small supply budget to do that research,” Shelton said.
As the moment, they have formulated a research experience at CIS in the form of the Guam Restoration of Watersheds (GROW) Project.
The GROW Project’s initiative is to restore the health of coral reefs.