The University of Washington Exploration Seminar students and instructors left yesterday after an intensive three weeks. The class “Culture and Conservation on Kosrae” covered the island ecosystems from the reefs to the mountain tops. They worked closely with local experts from the Kosrae Island Resource Management Authority (KIRMA) and Kosrae Conservation and Safety Organization (KCSO) who gave guest lectures and led focused trips into the field, while using our restaurant as the classroom and “home base”.Julian and Nemiah created an intense learning environment which from my point of view was very effective. It looked like the students were learning a lot and having fun doing it.
The students regularly collected data and samples which were analyzed during the daily class sessions held in our restaurant.
Here is a photo of the class exploring the salt and fresh water swamps in the Yela valley where the mangrove forest meets the fresh water ka (Terminalia carolinensis) forest.
At the end of the course each team of 3 or 4 students presented the results of their research and recommendations for future directions. The presentations were open to the public and held at the Governor’s Atrium. The Governor, Lt. Governor and legislators were among those who attended the excellent presentations.
Although it was hectic, it was exciting having the students here. The community also enjoyed having them on the island, and people are asking if they will be back next year.