Friday, October 16, 2009

2009 Youth Environmental Ambassadors Summer Camp

“I learned and experienced so much at the camp. . . . YEA club, you’re the the best!!! - Frauleen
Fredrick (sophomore at Nanpei Memorial High School)

During the five day camp, students learned the skills needed to become the next environmental leaders of Pohnpei. Students didn’t let a little rain slow down the learning or the fun during the five day camp.

Plant specimen collection, hiking, GPS training and tree planting are not typical summer camp activities, but the Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP) Summer Camp is quite unique. The
camp, on its fourth year, was held from August 3rd through 7th at the Salapwuk Elementary School. It hosted 42 students from Pohnlangas and Nanpei Memorial High Schools for a week of
terrestrial-based learning and hands-on activities.

The students are all members of the Youth Environmental Ambassadors (YEA) Club, which began at PICS High School in 2005 and has since grown to include the Pohnlangas and Nanpei
schools. Each club has student officers, memberships and faculty advisors, and meets regularly to address local environmental issues.

Club members have organized activities such as roadside and campus cleanup and mural painting. Members are dedicated to spread their knowledge of all the environmental challenges facing Pohnpei through peer and community outreach.

Salapwuk served as the perfect campgrounds for a land-based camp due to its lush, intact forest, spectacular 7 waterfalls hike, Sahwartik and Sahwarlap falls, and sacred sites. Students grew to appreciate Salapwuk’s beauty even more throughout the week, as they learned about the importance of conservation, clean water, invasive species, and other critical Pohnpeian terrestrial themes that were presented by CSP, Pohnpei’s Environmental Protection Agency, the Island Food Community of Pohnpei and the Division of Forestry.

The Society wishes to express sincere appreciation and Kalahngan to the Australian Embassy AusAid small grants program for providing the funding that makes this year’s camp possible.

Special thanks also to the Salapwuk community for the warm hospitality and support throughout the summer camp.

Story by: Tess Carly
Pictures by: CSP

CSP -- Staff Updates

Goodbyes are a thing of life but this summer CSP had to say farewell to a few valuable members of the family.

In the past few months CSP has had to say goodbye to three valuable leaders who helped make CSP one of the leading conservation organizations in the region.

Ben Namakin started with CSP as an environmental educator and eventually went on
to lead our Education Program; Roseo Marquez led the Terrestrial Program for six years as the Program Manager; and Liz Terk served two years in the Deputy Director role. Their 15
years combined experience will be greatly missed.

Mr. Marquez is leaving to become the National Integrated Water Resource Manager for the federal government of FSM. Mr. Namakin is continuing the work he started while at CSP in the
area of climate change and its effect on the Pacific Islands. He has co-founded the NGO Pacific Islands Climate Change Revolution. Ms. Terk looks to build upon her experience as a
dive instructor and working in conservation by pursuing a master’s degree. She is studying Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the prestigious Scripps Institute of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. CSP is proud of the work done by these three and feels honored to help build the capacity of these young leaders.

As CSP bids farewell to dedicated team members it welcomes a new member to the CSP family.

Joshua Fuder arrived at CSP at the end of July to replace Ms. Terk in the Deputy Director role. He has a B.S in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and M.S in International Studies,
both from Oklahoma State University.
Prior to coming to CSP he served three years in the Peace Corps in Vanuatu. He has experience in sustainable land use, agro-forestry, renewable
energy, and community based development. He is excited to be a part of the CSP family and looks forward to helping preserve Pohnpei’s natural beauty.
Article written by: Josh Fuder
Pictures by: CSP