There's More to Islands ... OIA Conversations

Sisters United in Protecting and Preserving Coral Reefs in American Samoa

June 23, 2021 Tanya Harris Joshua / Motusaga Vaeoso / Valentine Vaeoso Season 1
There's More to Islands ... OIA Conversations
Sisters United in Protecting and Preserving Coral Reefs in American Samoa
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

#WWDIslands | There's More to Islands ... Sisters Motusaga and Valentine Vaeoso both work for the Coral Reef Advisory Group of American Samoa where they work everyday to protect coral and ocean resources for their island home of American Samoa. They each belong to differnt cohorts of the National Coral Reef Management Fellowship program which is funded by Interior's Office of Insular Affairs to strengthen local coral reef management capacity. These women celebrate the ocean every day, not just during the month of June.

OIA Conversations is a series of conversations with officials and stakeholders whose work relates to the U.S. territories and the freely associated states, discussing programs and issues that concern the Insular Areas. Technical support for this OIA Conversation was provided by Philippe Izedian, a Duke University student.

For more information about the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs, visit our website at www.doi.gov/oia, follow on Twitter @InsularAffairs, and like us on 
Facebook at InsularAffairs. Don't forget to click the subscribe button on this channel.

#WhatWeDoIslands | There's More to Islands ...

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welcome to oia conversations where we

 

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share information and learn more about

 

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people programs and issues

 

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that are important and relevant to the

 

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us territories and to the freely

 

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associated states

 

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my name is tanya joshua deputy director

 

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of policy and communications lead

 

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in the office of insular affairs at the

 

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u.s department of the interior

 

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here in washington d.c today we are

 

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speaking with valentine and motusaga 

 

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vaeoso two young women in american

 

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samoa who are sisters and both work with

 

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the coral reef advisory group of

 

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american samoa

 

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they're also one of them motusanga

 

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is a graduate of the coral reef fellow

 

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program

 

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and valentine is currently a coral reef

 

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fellow

 

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thank you so much for joining us today

 

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thank you pleasure

 

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um tell me a little bit about uh your

 

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work with the coral reef advisory group

 

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what do you do in american samoa

 

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hello everyone my name is Motu

 

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right now i'm working for the coral reef

 

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advisory group

 

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as the project lead for the invasive

 

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project in ofu 

 

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so right now this project is is

 

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it's a new project we're trying to

 

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get an idea a feel for how bad the

 

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algae spread there this algae is called

 

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velonia

 

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and this algae it's a it's a bubble

 

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algae

 

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and it sort of like grows really fast

 

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and it smothers the corals

 

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so right now it's growing in the nps

 

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unit

 

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in ofa which is one of the outer islands

 

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of american samoa

 

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and it's a very important site

 

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for us as managers and also for american

 

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samoa because of

 

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its thermally resistant corals

 

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so that's why it's a big thing for

 

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Crag and npr? and its partners to really

 

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study what's going on where is the

 

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algae how like the life cycle of the

 

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algae what's causing

 

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it to grow so fast and

 

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uh how bad is the spread so right now

 

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we're

 

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we're trying to find out as much

 

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information as we can get and as the

 

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project leave

 

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my job is sort of to coordinate

 

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all the uh on the field work that goes

 

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on with this study

 

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and also go in the field and collect

 

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data about um the llc conduct server

 

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or servo biological survey so like

 

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the lg surveys and then also do some

 

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oceanographic surveys like water

 

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sampling

 

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putting out some temperature loggers

 

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yeah and then working with the community

 

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to

 

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educate them about the algae is this a

 

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new

 

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algae where did it come from it's

 

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it's been here you know it's

 

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it's from here it's found in american

 

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samoa but right now

 

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it's sort of overtaking

 

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um from certain of briefs and we're

 

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seeing more of it

 

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also on the main island of tutuila

 

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where it's

 

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the big one where we're on right now so

 

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right now we're seeing more and more of

 

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this algae like

 

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in other locations so we're also looking

 

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at

 

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other sites here closer to tutorial like

 

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and we're trying to study there like

 

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what's also causing it

 

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if we can see what's causing it to

 

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spread here

 

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and also learn about what's causing it

 

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to spread

 

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yes what is it doing

 

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aside from growing on the reefs is it uh

 

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killing the reef or

 

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are you seeing less fish um

 

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i can't say anything about the fish i

 

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have spoken to locos

 

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some locals think that it might have

 

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an effect on their fishing some of them

 

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are saying like they don't see as much

 

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fish in some of the

 

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the sites where they used to go to

 

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so that's just anecdotal i

 

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can't say for sure you know if it's

 

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proven scientifically

 

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but right now we know for sure that

 

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it's overtaking all of the branching

 

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corals

 

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and it's just spreading on top of the

 

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coral and

 

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smothering it so yes

 

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that's what's causing and it's very

 

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um i said i think it's very

 

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alarming because this site in offu

 

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is known for its thermally resist

 

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tolerant coral so

 

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right now we're concerned that it might

 

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impact that ecosystem and shift it to

 

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the red or you know collapse and it's

 

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very important because the community in

 

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singa are very reliant on those reefs

 

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for fishing and you mentioned thermally

 

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resistant tolerant corals uh this

 

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is in terms of tolerance

 

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morning or seed yes in terms of warming

 

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so

 

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um in though in uh in those pools

 

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in ofa they can tolerate

 

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higher temperatures and they can bounce

 

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back after

 

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bleaching events really fast

 

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they can taller tolerate how many

 

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degrees celsius anyways

 

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very very um high temperatures that

 

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other corals and other places cannot

 

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tolerate other corals in other places

 

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are bleaching and are dying but the

 

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corals

 

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in uh oh no they will bleach

 

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but they come back really fast they are

 

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very

 

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resilient so as we like to say

 

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resilience

 

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yes very nice um valentine how about you

 

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for yourself what

 

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do you participate in this work or do

 

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something slightly different

 

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with the coral reef advisory group in

 

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american songwriting

 

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yeah so i'm doing something

 

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different but i do assist

 

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with their surveys um with the lg

 

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surveys uh in ofu

 

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you know why didn't i take my vacation

 

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but uh but i um

 

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i'm actually um like i say like you said

 

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i'm the choral

 

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fellow for american samoa but i'm really

 

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focusing on

 

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core restoration as well as streamer

 

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restoration

 

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so i'm working closely with some of the

 

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village communities here in american

 

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samoa

 

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especially in tutuila the village of aua

 

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and the village of

 

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hopefully restore their reefs so

 

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um right now i

 

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am working on core restoration um

 

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basically uh it's a pilot study uh

 

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restoration may be

 

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some country or states or around the

 

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world maybe ahead of uh restoration but

 

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americans are more is fairly new

 

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to restoration like it's still in its

 

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infancy so uh so what i'm doing

 

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is basically um a pilot study

 

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where we can learn um the methods the

 

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techniques

 

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uh to uh transplant uh

 

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our corals uh in oahu awa is also unique

 

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if you you might already know this but

 

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it has the longest

 

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transact survey um

 

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uh longest transect survey uh in there

 

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i think uh over a hundred years for our

 

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listening audience you might be hearing

 

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a dog barking in the background

 

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lovely sounds from american samoa you

 

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might hear a rooster crowing we heard

 

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one earlier

 

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and there is a cat in the background i

 

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love it we're bringing the island

 

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to this conversation very beautiful i

 

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love it

 

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um so don't be distracted just enjoy

 

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those beautiful sounds if you hear them

 

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please tell me about that transact

 

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survey that you mentioned could you

 

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explain that a little more

 

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so i think back in 1917

 

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a researcher a scientist named alfred

 

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mayer uh did a transect

 

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random transect um and

 

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uh so um just to see what the

 

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coral community

 

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uh is like and you know like back then

 

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or with little western or influence

 

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development the coral reefs were

 

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um thrive like it was a

 

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pristine like but uh over time

 

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with more development the impact of

 

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water quality

 

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in the bay really

 

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um caused the coral reefs there to

 

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decline and

 

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the mortality like increase so um

 

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in 1950 they noticed this uh decline in

 

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the reef

 

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especially the water quality so they

 

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you know they come up with some of the

 

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laws environmental laws

 

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to manage the water

 

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quality you know especially to with the

 

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uh the canneries that was there the

 

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waste waters that was going

 

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in the bay so they um

 

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came up with law to manage um the coral

 

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reefs there and

 

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now we are seeing some corals um

 

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recovering they're coming back

 

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but you know the damage has already done

 

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but um you know there's we want to be

 

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ultimate

 

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there's hope so we want to

 

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you know which is why core restoration

 

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in is important right now

 

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to help uh restore those damaged um uh

 

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habitats uh in aua um not only that

 

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with

 

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shipwrecks uh especially during you know

 

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hurricane

 

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season you know that area in

 

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a war have been heavily impacted at the

 

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time

 

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um also has recently transitioned from

 

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cesspool to sewer system

 

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which might have you know

 

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decreased the nutrient input in

 

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in the bay so that really helps what's

 

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one of the priority sites for

 

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restoration right now

 

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also the village communities um are

 

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really good with engaging

 

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with our local agencies um

 

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so and they wanna you know they wanna

 

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restore their

 

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their ecosystem which is good and you

 

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know

 

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it's a good example um and also

 

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hopefully that other village um are

 

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interested

 

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in you know restoring their damage

 

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habitat i'm

 

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basically working with our local

 

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agencies

 

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our different partners like the national

 

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park

 

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the marine sanctuary 

 

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everyone the marine wildlife resources

 

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you know to help you know learn more

 

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about

 

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the corals there the techniques that can

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help them

 

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grow faster so it's a bit it's a start

 

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yes it sounds like it's you're working

 

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with everybody across the board but

 

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but everybody is for the most part on

 

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board

 

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and is is is interested in this in this

 

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work

 

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yeah yeah yeah how did you um

 

0:12:17.440,0:12:21.040

when you you grew up in american samoa

 

0:12:19.360,0:12:23.440

can you tell us how did you

 

0:12:21.040,0:12:24.720

uh develop this interest in the ocean

 

0:12:23.440,0:12:28.720

and

 

0:12:24.720,0:12:31.839

how did you get started um

 

0:12:28.720,0:12:34.399

i think i've always been fascinated with

 

0:12:31.839,0:12:35.360

um you know the ocean like we're

 

0:12:34.399,0:12:38.480

basically

 

0:12:35.360,0:12:39.600

surrounded by the ocean and we see it

 

0:12:38.480,0:12:41.600

every day like

 

0:12:39.600,0:12:43.120

literally we see it every day we don't

 

0:12:41.600,0:12:46.000

miss

 

0:12:43.120,0:12:48.000

it missing it like if we go to work

 

0:12:46.000,0:12:51.519

after work we see it so

 

0:12:48.000,0:12:54.639

you know like it's

 

0:12:51.519,0:12:57.760

you know why not study it like like

 

0:12:54.639,0:13:01.120

where this is uh we we

 

0:12:57.760,0:13:03.600

also we rely on the ocean like

 

0:13:01.120,0:13:05.360

it's part of our tradition and the more

 

0:13:03.600,0:13:06.160

i'm into you know marine conservation

 

0:13:05.360,0:13:08.880

where i see

 

0:13:06.160,0:13:10.000

you know there are some uh threats or

 

0:13:08.880,0:13:13.760

structure

 

0:13:10.000,0:13:16.880

uh which i'm very like inspired

 

0:13:13.760,0:13:20.000

um to join in the fight you know

 

0:13:16.880,0:13:23.519

um yeah but uh i

 

0:13:20.000,0:13:27.360

i was very interested in the ocean

 

0:13:23.519,0:13:29.760

and i took some courses at college

 

0:13:27.360,0:13:30.720

and the more i learned more about the

 

0:13:29.760,0:13:34.079

ocean

 

0:13:30.720,0:13:34.720

you know i don't think at that where i

 

0:13:34.079,0:13:36.959

want to go

 

0:13:34.720,0:13:38.000

like i knew what i wanted and i wanted

 

0:13:36.959,0:13:40.720

to pursue

 

0:13:38.000,0:13:41.360

you know a degree in marine science to

 

0:13:40.720,0:13:44.399

um

 

0:13:41.360,0:13:47.600

in hilo and then hopefully come back so

 

0:13:44.399,0:13:48.000

yeah and give back to the community as

 

0:13:47.600,0:13:51.600

well

 

0:13:48.000,0:13:54.959

so it's really good to have that

 

0:13:51.600,0:13:56.959

Goal … to learn um

 

0:13:54.959,0:13:58.560

about marine science you know the

 

0:13:56.959,0:14:02.079

aspects that

 

0:13:58.560,0:14:05.279

affect our marine environment come back

 

0:14:02.079,0:14:08.720

and increase awareness that hopefully

 

0:14:05.279,0:14:10.959

they care care about it as much as i

 

0:14:08.720,0:14:12.240

and i mean both of us care about a

 

0:14:10.959,0:14:15.600

marine looks at the

 

0:14:12.240,0:14:17.199

marine ecosystem so yeah i'm i guess

 

0:14:15.600,0:14:20.320

that's

 

0:14:17.199,0:14:22.959

that's how i was my passion in

 

0:14:20.320,0:14:24.560

working in the marine environment or the

 

0:14:22.959,0:14:28.240

ocean basically

 

0:14:24.560,0:14:31.279

did you want to add to that uh motu

 

0:14:28.240,0:14:34.560

yeah um we grew up

 

0:14:31.279,0:14:36.000

and anytime there's a celebration um any

 

0:14:34.560,0:14:39.360

holiday

 

0:14:36.000,0:14:41.040

uh if we we celebrate where the beach is

 

0:14:39.360,0:14:44.720

at we go to the ocean

 

0:14:41.040,0:14:48.079

we swim it was always a place

 

0:14:44.720,0:14:50.160

you know of fun that's why we just loved

 

0:14:48.079,0:14:52.240

going the ocean like everyone was

 

0:14:50.160,0:14:54.480

excited to go to the ocean

 

0:14:52.240,0:14:55.519

we had to do our chores before we can go

 

0:14:54.480,0:14:57.920

to the ocean

 

0:14:55.519,0:15:00.800

as a family so yeah there's a lot of

 

0:14:57.920,0:15:00.800

good memories

 

0:15:01.040,0:15:04.480

about the memories about you know

 

0:15:03.360,0:15:07.600

celebrating

 

0:15:04.480,0:15:11.920

any important holiday or event um

 

0:15:07.600,0:15:12.320

at the ocean so yeah and college took me

 

0:15:11.920,0:15:14.959

um

 

0:15:12.320,0:15:17.199

on a path and then when i came back uh

 

0:15:14.959,0:15:18.240

graduating with my master's at chaminade

 

0:15:17.199,0:15:21.519

university

 

0:15:18.240,0:15:23.760

i came back here and an opportunity was

 

0:15:21.519,0:15:25.760

opened up to work for the department of

 

0:15:23.760,0:15:27.680

marine and wildlife resources

 

0:15:25.760,0:15:29.040

and from there i just sort of like built

 

0:15:27.680,0:15:31.600

up my my

 

0:15:29.040,0:15:33.040

interest in the in marine science and

 

0:15:31.600,0:15:36.720

marine conservation

 

0:15:33.040,0:15:39.600

and i i got into um

 

0:15:36.720,0:15:40.079

to participate in multi in very

 

0:15:39.600,0:15:43.920

important

 

0:15:40.079,0:15:46.480

projects with a lot of other people that

 

0:15:43.920,0:15:47.680

were i'm very fortunate that i got to

 

0:15:46.480,0:15:50.720

work with them

 

0:15:47.680,0:15:54.079

scientists managers

 

0:15:50.720,0:15:56.880

stakeholders community members students

 

0:15:54.079,0:15:58.560

which is my favorite part of my job is

 

0:15:56.880,0:16:01.839

working with students

 

0:15:58.560,0:16:04.720

and yeah so and then it just came

 

0:16:01.839,0:16:05.920

back full circle and now we're here

 

0:16:04.720,0:16:09.199

trying to teach

 

0:16:05.920,0:16:11.600

the younger generation so

 

0:16:09.199,0:16:12.399

um i mentioned in the intro that you uh

 

0:16:11.600,0:16:14.480

well

 

0:16:12.399,0:16:15.600

uh tine is still in the program the

 

0:16:14.480,0:16:17.040

coral reef

 

0:16:15.600,0:16:19.040

national coral reef management

 

0:16:17.040,0:16:20.800

fellowship program

 

0:16:19.040,0:16:22.800

what is there something in particular

 

0:16:20.800,0:16:25.360

about that program that you

 

0:16:22.800,0:16:26.639

uh took away that you thought was really

 

0:16:25.360,0:16:30.160

important

 

0:16:26.639,0:16:30.160

uh or very worthwhile

 

0:16:30.240,0:16:37.920

yes uh going through that program was

 

0:16:34.160,0:16:41.360

um it sort of like opened up my

 

0:16:37.920,0:16:44.560

eyes to management for reef management

 

0:16:41.360,0:16:49.440

and what it takes to conserve

 

0:16:44.560,0:16:52.880

um our core resources so

 

0:16:49.440,0:16:56.320

i learned a lot about what's going on

 

0:16:52.880,0:16:58.480

in other jurisdictions and

 

0:16:56.320,0:16:59.759

and also i learned that you can also

 

0:16:58.480,0:17:03.279

learn from what's going on

 

0:16:59.759,0:17:07.439

over there so we learn like

 

0:17:03.279,0:17:08.880

in florida with with the disease the

 

0:17:07.439,0:17:10.480

work you see that's something happening

 

0:17:08.880,0:17:11.039

over there overtaking the coral reefs

 

0:17:10.480,0:17:12.959

there

 

0:17:11.039,0:17:14.319

it's sort of like we need to learn from

 

0:17:12.959,0:17:17.439

what's going on over there

 

0:17:14.319,0:17:18.240

and we need to prepare ourselves for the

 

0:17:17.439,0:17:21.120

time when it

 

0:17:18.240,0:17:22.880

eventually comes here because there's a

 

0:17:21.120,0:17:23.679

lot of movement here people are always

 

0:17:22.880,0:17:26.079

moving

 

0:17:23.679,0:17:27.839

and the ocean is always connecting us

 

0:17:26.079,0:17:30.880

and eventually

 

0:17:27.839,0:17:33.600

it might it won't get here but

 

0:17:30.880,0:17:35.919

hopefully we want to be proactive

 

0:17:33.600,0:17:37.600

proactive and we want to be prepared

 

0:17:35.919,0:17:40.480

for the time that something like that

 

0:17:37.600,0:17:43.520

happens and we our community is prepared

 

0:17:40.480,0:17:47.039

and our coral reefs are

 

0:17:43.520,0:17:50.080

in a place where they can handle

 

0:17:47.039,0:17:51.360

an event so i've learned a lot from the

 

0:17:50.080,0:17:54.400

core reef management

 

0:17:51.360,0:17:57.120

fellowship i've met a lot of people

 

0:17:54.400,0:17:58.840

and i've also had a good relationship

 

0:17:57.120,0:18:02.640

with our cohort

 

0:17:58.840,0:18:05.679

and and i know like it's important to

 

0:18:02.640,0:18:08.799

continue learning and continue on

 

0:18:05.679,0:18:09.840

pursuing like higher education in order

 

0:18:08.799,0:18:14.480

for us to

 

0:18:09.840,0:18:18.480

um come back and fill these shoes and

 

0:18:14.480,0:18:18.480

serve our community here in america

 

0:18:19.280,0:18:23.200

time you um mentioned that on your

 

0:18:22.240,0:18:25.840

vacation

 

0:18:23.200,0:18:26.400

you're busy working it sounds like your

 

0:18:25.840,0:18:29.440

sister

 

0:18:26.400,0:18:31.039

makes you work when you're supposed to

 

0:18:29.440,0:18:33.679

be on vacation do you want to tell us a

 

0:18:31.039,0:18:36.799

little bit more about that

 

0:18:33.679,0:18:36.799

no sometimes

 

0:18:36.960,0:18:43.760

sometimes they need um an extra hand

 

0:18:40.320,0:18:46.880

with the survey you know like i've been

 

0:18:43.760,0:18:47.280

you know working with them like from the

 

0:18:46.880,0:18:51.360

past

 

0:18:47.280,0:18:55.120

few years like uh um

 

0:18:51.360,0:18:58.000

and we we sort of built the skills

 

0:18:55.120,0:19:00.080

that necessary to do the survey and

 

0:18:58.000,0:19:02.559

sometimes they need assistance

 

0:19:00.080,0:19:03.520

you know with kobe there's nowhere and

 

0:19:02.559,0:19:06.960

border closure

 

0:19:03.520,0:19:10.240

there's nowhere to travel so

 

0:19:06.960,0:19:13.280

when they ask if i can help i was like

 

0:19:10.240,0:19:16.960

why not like i can use my vacation time

 

0:19:13.280,0:19:20.880

um to assist um um the crack or

 

0:19:16.960,0:19:21.679

her on her serving or her lg survey so

 

0:19:20.880,0:19:25.280

it's so

 

0:19:21.679,0:19:28.320

win-win i mean i really enjoyed

 

0:19:25.280,0:19:31.360

going we don't have a lot

 

0:19:28.320,0:19:31.360

we're we're under staff

 

0:19:33.600,0:19:39.840

and also a sister in her project oh yeah

 

0:19:36.840,0:19:39.840

so

 

0:19:40.000,0:19:45.280

it's a mutual relationship yeah so it

 

0:19:43.280,0:19:48.240

worked really well

 

0:19:45.280,0:19:50.720

we are working with different projects

 

0:19:48.240,0:19:53.840

and so we alternate like so we

 

0:19:50.720,0:19:57.039

help each other in our

 

0:19:53.840,0:20:00.400

office so i i i do enjoy it

 

0:19:57.039,0:20:04.080

you know anytime that we get to

 

0:20:00.400,0:20:05.760

visit our outer island like i'm up for

 

0:20:04.080,0:20:10.080

it

 

0:20:05.760,0:20:13.840

yeah and i enjoy um seeing the beautiful

 

0:20:10.080,0:20:15.200

corals you know like i'm always baffled

 

0:20:13.840,0:20:18.240

and amazed at

 

0:20:15.200,0:20:18.880

the variety of organisms and species you

 

0:20:18.240,0:20:22.320

know

 

0:20:18.880,0:20:25.520

thriving in um those pool so yeah

 

0:20:22.320,0:20:30.080

i enjoy i always enjoy

 

0:20:25.520,0:20:30.080

um going with her assisting them

 

0:20:30.400,0:20:34.960

well i can only imagine i've seen some

 

0:20:33.039,0:20:36.960

pictures and american samoa has to be

 

0:20:34.960,0:20:40.559

one of the most beautiful places around

 

0:20:36.960,0:20:44.320

so oh thank you thank you thank you

 

0:20:40.559,0:20:47.520

um tell me about uh what kind of

 

0:20:44.320,0:20:49.520

advice would you share with is the

 

0:20:47.520,0:20:51.280

advice that you give to people

 

0:20:49.520,0:20:52.880

visiting american samoa different from

 

0:20:51.280,0:20:54.960

the advice you give

 

0:20:52.880,0:20:56.880

to folks who are resident in american

 

0:20:54.960,0:21:00.799

someone or would the advice be the same

 

0:20:56.880,0:21:05.360

i would say very similar

 

0:21:00.799,0:21:08.320

most of the time we talk to people about

 

0:21:05.360,0:21:08.799

taking care of the environment so we um

 

0:21:08.320,0:21:12.000

try

 

0:21:08.799,0:21:16.159

and foster the spirit of lotu nugu

 

0:21:12.000,0:21:19.280

which is also you know having a heart

 

0:21:16.159,0:21:20.480

in your community when you really care

 

0:21:19.280,0:21:23.520

about your community

 

0:21:20.480,0:21:26.400

so lots of new it relates to everything

 

0:21:23.520,0:21:27.280

so if you take care of your environment

 

0:21:26.400,0:21:30.320

if you're

 

0:21:27.280,0:21:33.600

picking up after yourself if you're

 

0:21:30.320,0:21:34.559

not stepping on corals it's the same

 

0:21:33.600,0:21:37.200

thing that we say

 

0:21:34.559,0:21:38.000

to any outsider that comes here which is

 

0:21:37.200,0:21:41.120

um

 

0:21:38.000,0:21:42.640

like how to snuffle properly and what to

 

0:21:41.120,0:21:45.520

do when you're out in the beach

 

0:21:42.640,0:21:46.159

pick up after yourself simple things uh

 

0:21:45.520,0:21:47.760

here

 

0:21:46.159,0:21:49.600

you don't really have a problem with

 

0:21:47.760,0:21:53.120

sunscreen because of natural

 

0:21:49.600,0:21:56.240

um you know melanin

 

0:21:53.120,0:21:59.600

so over here it's not such a big

 

0:21:56.240,0:22:02.000

problem here i mean i think people

 

0:21:59.600,0:22:02.640

here don't use a lot of sunscreen anyway

 

0:22:02.000,0:22:04.400

so

 

0:22:02.640,0:22:06.400

i guess when people from the outside

 

0:22:04.400,0:22:08.559

come one of the things that

 

0:22:06.400,0:22:09.440

might be different is that you know we

 

0:22:08.559,0:22:12.640

advise them

 

0:22:09.440,0:22:13.520

on reach sticks on screen to use it's

 

0:22:12.640,0:22:16.559

just

 

0:22:13.520,0:22:18.159

always using respect you know respect

 

0:22:16.559,0:22:21.679

your land

 

0:22:18.159,0:22:21.679

respect the ocean as well

 

0:22:22.400,0:22:28.320

anyone that comes here um i can hear a

 

0:22:26.159,0:22:32.240

bird in the background

 

0:22:28.320,0:22:34.240

yes there's birds we have

 

0:22:32.240,0:22:37.280

we're actually right now looking

 

0:22:34.240,0:22:42.799

straight out in the ocean right now

 

0:22:37.280,0:22:45.919

so yes there's a lot of animals here

 

0:22:42.799,0:22:48.000

yeah so you're gonna hear a lot of sound

 

0:22:45.919,0:22:51.600

birds dogs

 

0:22:48.000,0:22:53.120

cats somewhere

 

0:22:51.600,0:22:55.200

tell me about the painting there's an

 

0:22:53.120,0:22:56.960

octopus painting in the background

 

0:22:55.200,0:22:58.880

is is can you tell us it's very

 

0:22:56.960,0:23:01.280

beautiful can you tell us about that

 

0:22:58.880,0:23:02.640

she's an artist and her inspiration

 

0:23:01.280,0:23:04.720

comes from the ocean

 

0:23:02.640,0:23:07.039

and if you follow her on social media

 

0:23:04.720,0:23:09.120

she likes to explore different mediums

 

0:23:07.039,0:23:11.440

she likes to downgrade what you know her

 

0:23:09.120,0:23:14.559

talent but

 

0:23:11.440,0:23:17.120

one of her things are she's a she's an

 

0:23:14.559,0:23:18.320

artist and she explored like pull that

 

0:23:17.120,0:23:22.000

down

 

0:23:18.320,0:23:25.360

can you pull it closer to the camera

 

0:23:22.000,0:23:28.640

so your sister tyne is an artist

 

0:23:25.360,0:23:28.640

she is an artist

 

0:23:29.280,0:23:31.840

it's beautiful

 

0:23:33.120,0:23:39.360

right here she did this artwork

 

0:23:36.320,0:23:41.810

wow that that reminds me of

 

0:23:39.360,0:23:44.000

of tattooing in american samoa

 

0:23:41.810,0:23:51.840

[Music]

 

0:23:44.000,0:23:51.840

um from like samoa

 

0:23:52.559,0:23:56.640

what was the website that you said i'm

 

0:23:54.080,0:23:58.640

sorry go ahead

 

0:23:56.640,0:24:00.799

um i was just saying if you follow her

 

0:23:58.640,0:24:03.520

on her social media

 

0:24:00.799,0:24:05.039

accounts you'll see like some of the

 

0:24:03.520,0:24:07.279

artworks that she does

 

0:24:05.039,0:24:08.880

um she does photography you know she

 

0:24:07.279,0:24:10.400

doesn't like to brag about herself but i

 

0:24:08.880,0:24:13.760

like to brag about her

 

0:24:10.400,0:24:16.880

so she does painting she draws like

 

0:24:13.760,0:24:19.679

um sometimes she's like designing shirts

 

0:24:16.880,0:24:22.799

and stuff she does logos

 

0:24:19.679,0:24:25.760

she's had she has a lot going on

 

0:24:22.799,0:24:26.720

but we also have a great page before

 

0:24:25.760,0:24:30.000

thank you

 

0:24:26.720,0:24:30.400

for advising page which we work together

 

0:24:30.000,0:24:33.200

with

 

0:24:30.400,0:24:34.559

some of our colleagues here and we're

 

0:24:33.200,0:24:37.039

very

 

0:24:34.559,0:24:39.279

particular in how we select and how we

 

0:24:37.039,0:24:42.880

edit our photos almost like her

 

0:24:39.279,0:24:42.880

because she has the artistic guy

 

0:24:45.279,0:24:49.760

well you know like if you have that sort

 

0:24:48.240,0:24:50.880

of background you know you can really

 

0:24:49.760,0:24:54.640

show the beauty

 

0:24:50.880,0:24:55.520

of the ocean and the environment nature

 

0:24:54.640,0:24:59.200

itself

 

0:24:55.520,0:25:02.880

so why not use it to you know draw

 

0:24:59.200,0:25:05.440

the people you know our local community

 

0:25:02.880,0:25:06.080

see you know a lot of the time they

 

0:25:05.440,0:25:08.559

don't see

 

0:25:06.080,0:25:09.840

what's underwater like they don't have

 

0:25:08.559,0:25:12.400

that um

 

0:25:09.840,0:25:14.159

opportunity like we do like we're

 

0:25:12.400,0:25:16.880

constantly in the water

 

0:25:14.159,0:25:18.000

um it's a good way to show them you know

 

0:25:16.880,0:25:20.720

what you're missing like

 

0:25:18.000,0:25:21.600

go out you know enjoy the ocean enjoy

 

0:25:20.720,0:25:25.039

the beauty

 

0:25:21.600,0:25:27.600

you know right in our back um backyard

 

0:25:25.039,0:25:28.080

so yeah i mean i feel like it's

 

0:25:27.600,0:25:30.799

beautiful

 

0:25:28.080,0:25:32.640

way though showcase the beauty of the

 

0:25:30.799,0:25:35.039

ocean

 

0:25:32.640,0:25:36.000

in in dc here in the federal government

 

0:25:35.039,0:25:38.799

we're talking about

 

0:25:36.000,0:25:39.520

june is ocean's month or is the month to

 

0:25:38.799,0:25:42.159

celebrate

 

0:25:39.520,0:25:43.520

the ocean but sounds like you celebrated

 

0:25:42.159,0:25:46.640

all the time

 

0:25:43.520,0:25:49.600

oh yeah definitely i mean we're

 

0:25:46.640,0:25:50.559

we're um this friday we're gonna do uh

 

0:25:49.600,0:25:54.240

uh we're gonna go

 

0:25:50.559,0:25:57.600

out you know uh again and do some

 

0:25:54.240,0:25:58.159

oral transplant so we we're gonna

 

0:25:57.600,0:26:00.640

highlight

 

0:25:58.159,0:26:01.919

that as well you know for the ocean

 

0:26:00.640,0:26:05.200

weekend ocean month

 

0:26:01.919,0:26:06.000

itself so yeah like ocean day is every

 

0:26:05.200,0:26:08.960

day

 

0:26:06.000,0:26:10.000

for us um here in red sunglasses so

 

0:26:08.960,0:26:12.559

that's good

 

0:26:10.000,0:26:14.799

we just hope people you know care more

 

0:26:12.559,0:26:15.840

about the ocean you know see how much we

 

0:26:14.799,0:26:19.600

care

 

0:26:15.840,0:26:22.840

um and you know be part of the

 

0:26:19.600,0:26:24.960

discussion conversation on marine

 

0:26:22.840,0:26:28.400

conservation

 

0:26:24.960,0:26:31.279

how do students respond to you uh

 

0:26:28.400,0:26:32.640

as american samoan women who are

 

0:26:31.279,0:26:36.640

teaching them about

 

0:26:32.640,0:26:36.640

the ocean and being scientists

 

0:26:36.960,0:26:40.240

uh when we whenever we go in the

 

0:26:38.799,0:26:43.760

classroom it's always

 

0:26:40.240,0:26:44.080

exciting to see um students and to see

 

0:26:43.760,0:26:47.120

that

 

0:26:44.080,0:26:49.600

interest spark when we show them what we

 

0:26:47.120,0:26:51.919

do and who we are when they see like us

 

0:26:49.600,0:26:53.440

in front of them teaching science and

 

0:26:51.919,0:26:56.880

when they find out like our

 

0:26:53.440,0:26:58.799

job is um in the ocean and as women

 

0:26:56.880,0:27:00.799

we're doing all this work that

 

0:26:58.799,0:27:02.000

none of them thought that they could do

 

0:27:00.799,0:27:04.400

so um

 

0:27:02.000,0:27:06.000

we we know for sure that it really

 

0:27:04.400,0:27:08.960

inspires them so

 

0:27:06.000,0:27:10.240

um i i've seen a lot of students come

 

0:27:08.960,0:27:12.720

over and ask us

 

0:27:10.240,0:27:14.400

hey we want to intern for for you guys

 

0:27:12.720,0:27:16.960

we want to work for you guys

 

0:27:14.400,0:27:17.600

and we're like yes we're very excited

 

0:27:16.960,0:27:19.520

and

 

0:27:17.600,0:27:22.000

right now we've we've done more we've

 

0:27:19.520,0:27:24.320

gone back we've also

 

0:27:22.000,0:27:25.520

gone to the college the local community

 

0:27:24.320,0:27:28.559

college here

 

0:27:25.520,0:27:31.600

and we taught some classes some courses

 

0:27:28.559,0:27:32.960

so i feel like us teaching the science

 

0:27:31.600,0:27:35.440

it really

 

0:27:32.960,0:27:36.159

sort of like connected next everything

 

0:27:35.440,0:27:39.600

for people like

 

0:27:36.159,0:27:42.559

oh wow science like someone

 

0:27:39.600,0:27:43.679

can do their like the science like why

 

0:27:42.559,0:27:46.799

are we not doing it because

 

0:27:43.679,0:27:48.559

they're always reliant on on like

 

0:27:46.799,0:27:50.399

outsiders and i mean it's nothing

 

0:27:48.559,0:27:51.600

against them but you know it's always

 

0:27:50.399,0:27:54.399

that disconnect

 

0:27:51.600,0:27:56.159

like they don't see our faces you know

 

0:27:54.399,0:27:59.279

they don't see them

 

0:27:56.159,0:27:59.679

themselves doing the science so um it's

 

0:27:59.279,0:28:01.520

always

 

0:27:59.679,0:28:02.880

exciting for us to go in there and we

 

0:28:01.520,0:28:06.080

love like working

 

0:28:02.880,0:28:06.960

with our partners to to put together

 

0:28:06.080,0:28:09.600

like um

 

0:28:06.960,0:28:11.120

camps environmental camps and it's

 

0:28:09.600,0:28:14.080

always my favorite

 

0:28:11.120,0:28:14.799

trying to think of a way to teach a

 

0:28:14.080,0:28:16.799

lesson

 

0:28:14.799,0:28:18.159

that's really fun and interesting for

 

0:28:16.799,0:28:21.120

the students so

 

0:28:18.159,0:28:22.000

anytime we go we get to um go inside the

 

0:28:21.120,0:28:25.120

classroom

 

0:28:22.000,0:28:27.520

and go in front of young students

 

0:28:25.120,0:28:28.559

and we're very excited to do that

 

0:28:27.520,0:28:32.080

because it's always

 

0:28:28.559,0:28:34.880

fun to see that um spark you know when

 

0:28:32.080,0:28:36.960

when you see it it's always fun and yeah

 

0:28:34.880,0:28:38.240

to add on what most you say is also good

 

0:28:36.960,0:28:40.000

because so

 

0:28:38.240,0:28:42.559

you know most of the time it's really

 

0:28:40.000,0:28:44.559

hard to translate the science

 

0:28:42.559,0:28:47.200

because you understand the science we

 

0:28:44.559,0:28:48.159

can simplify and make it easier for them

 

0:28:47.200,0:28:50.559

to understand

 

0:28:48.159,0:28:52.320

in our native language as well so you

 

0:28:50.559,0:28:54.080

know it makes it easier for

 

0:28:52.320,0:28:57.120

for them to understand and know what's

 

0:28:54.080,0:29:01.360

going on in the marine environment so

 

0:28:57.120,0:29:03.840

yeah like we we um the couple of months

 

0:29:01.360,0:29:05.360

the best we've assisted or one of the

 

0:29:03.840,0:29:08.559

marine instructors

 

0:29:05.360,0:29:11.919

uh that was janet of island um with her

 

0:29:08.559,0:29:13.279

class so we've been in the field taking

 

0:29:11.919,0:29:16.640

the students to

 

0:29:13.279,0:29:19.760

you know sites different sites um

 

0:29:16.640,0:29:22.960

teach them certain serving

 

0:29:19.760,0:29:25.520

skills that they can you know use

 

0:29:22.960,0:29:27.600

you know to answer a research question

 

0:29:25.520,0:29:31.440

which is good like expose them

 

0:29:27.600,0:29:34.880

to the scientific you know world and

 

0:29:31.440,0:29:38.240

hopefully peak the interest

 

0:29:34.880,0:29:40.559

yeah i love it that's so beautiful um

 

0:29:38.240,0:29:43.600

and how about diving is that's not very

 

0:29:40.559,0:29:45.679

not very many american samoans do diving

 

0:29:43.600,0:29:47.360

it's mostly a tourist sort of thing i'm

 

0:29:45.679,0:29:50.880

guessing

 

0:29:47.360,0:29:54.960

not really actually we don't have

 

0:29:50.880,0:29:58.640

um like tourism for diving here

 

0:29:54.960,0:30:01.039

yes i would say recreational diving

 

0:29:58.640,0:30:01.840

so most of the diving is done by

 

0:30:01.039,0:30:05.480

research uh

 

0:30:01.840,0:30:06.840

researchers and people who work for the

 

0:30:05.480,0:30:11.200

department

 

0:30:06.840,0:30:13.440

of the view of the students so

 

0:30:11.200,0:30:14.320

um the diving community here is very

 

0:30:13.440,0:30:17.760

small

 

0:30:14.320,0:30:20.720

and i can count on my head like my hand

 

0:30:17.760,0:30:21.279

all the the psalm once here that dies

 

0:30:20.720,0:30:24.799

and there's

 

0:30:21.279,0:30:25.840

only three someone women that i know of

 

0:30:24.799,0:30:29.520

that are working here

 

0:30:25.840,0:30:31.600

a few yeah like one or two students

 

0:30:29.520,0:30:32.960

off island but right now there's three

 

0:30:31.600,0:30:36.000

of us women

 

0:30:32.960,0:30:39.520

um divers who are doing science here

 

0:30:36.000,0:30:41.600

so we sometimes we take our gear

 

0:30:39.520,0:30:43.919

and show them like i don't know how to

 

0:30:41.600,0:30:45.520

put a together idea and then also have

 

0:30:43.919,0:30:47.919

them try it out themselves

 

0:30:45.520,0:30:49.279

yeah see how heavy it is so yeah it's

 

0:30:47.919,0:30:51.840

always exciting

 

0:30:49.279,0:30:52.640

to to to have them try it out and get a

 

0:30:51.840,0:30:55.840

feel for it

 

0:30:52.640,0:30:58.240

so yeah and most of the

 

0:30:55.840,0:30:58.960

diving community is still in with the

 

0:30:58.240,0:31:01.760

corey

 

0:30:58.960,0:31:02.960

advisory group like a member agency and

 

0:31:01.760,0:31:06.000

nps

 

0:31:02.960,0:31:09.200

um sanctuary marine wildlife you know

 

0:31:06.000,0:31:12.000

like epa as well so yeah it's a really

 

0:31:09.200,0:31:15.200

small community

 

0:31:12.000,0:31:16.480

mostly focused on you know scientific

 

0:31:15.200,0:31:20.480

research

 

0:31:16.480,0:31:21.600

um yeah but there's not really a lot of

 

0:31:20.480,0:31:24.720

women as well

 

0:31:21.600,0:31:25.360

so we hope that we gain some interest on

 

0:31:24.720,0:31:28.480

more

 

0:31:25.360,0:31:32.320

local uh someone women and

 

0:31:28.480,0:31:35.600

men you know hopefully they uh

 

0:31:32.320,0:31:38.000

join in and enjoy diving with us

 

0:31:35.600,0:31:41.039

incredible you mentioned uh how your

 

0:31:38.000,0:31:44.559

artwork brings the ocean to the people

 

0:31:41.039,0:31:46.880

that's such a what uh what a perfect uh

 

0:31:44.559,0:31:48.640

medium to use to to help in your

 

0:31:46.880,0:31:51.360

outreach and awareness

 

0:31:48.640,0:31:52.960

facebook instagram is free why not use

 

0:31:51.360,0:31:54.640

this up platform

 

0:31:52.960,0:31:56.320

you know to increase the wording i'm

 

0:31:54.640,0:31:58.880

sure everyone has

 

0:31:56.320,0:32:00.799

um internet and on facebook and

 

0:31:58.880,0:32:04.000

instagram tick tock as well

 

0:32:00.799,0:32:07.200

you know why not share it um

 

0:32:04.000,0:32:09.279

use it wisely i guess thank you very

 

0:32:07.200,0:32:10.399

much we've been speaking with motusanga

 

0:32:09.279,0:32:13.279

and valentine

 

0:32:10.399,0:32:14.000

via oso in american samoa what are your

 

0:32:13.279,0:32:15.760

final words

 

0:32:14.000,0:32:17.039

for us they both work for the coral reef

 

0:32:15.760,0:32:19.840

advisory group

 

0:32:17.039,0:32:22.559

in american samoa um would you leave us

 

0:32:19.840,0:32:24.640

with some final words

 

0:32:22.559,0:32:26.840

even in samoan if you'd like to share in

 

0:32:24.640,0:32:30.559

samoan

 

0:32:26.840,0:32:34.240

sure um in psalm 1 i just want to say

 

0:32:30.559,0:32:37.600

lava for your time thank you for

 

0:32:34.240,0:32:39.679

tuning in and listening to us and

 

0:32:37.600,0:32:41.039

if you have a chance to come over and

 

0:32:39.679,0:32:43.519

visit our island

 

0:32:41.039,0:32:44.960

and learn about our coral reefs and our

 

0:32:43.519,0:32:47.200

fisheries we

 

0:32:44.960,0:32:48.640

are more than helped uh happy here at

 

0:32:47.200,0:32:51.360

craig to

 

0:32:48.640,0:32:53.200

teach you about what's going on here and

 

0:32:51.360,0:32:56.559

we hope that you also

 

0:32:53.200,0:33:01.039

learn more about our like

 

0:32:56.559,0:33:04.240

initiative which is trying to um

 

0:33:01.039,0:33:07.440

come up with a holistic way to to teach

 

0:33:04.240,0:33:07.840

people that you know if whatever happens

 

0:33:07.440,0:33:10.080

in the

 

0:33:07.840,0:33:11.279

land happens in the ocean and happens to

 

0:33:10.080,0:33:14.320

people who live

 

0:33:11.279,0:33:17.360

on the land so we're all connected which

 

0:33:14.320,0:33:20.000

is about connection and that's what

 

0:33:17.360,0:33:22.240

um i guess we want to say is that we're

 

0:33:20.000,0:33:24.159

all connected here

 

0:33:22.240,0:33:25.279

especially on an island we're very

 

0:33:24.159,0:33:27.440

connected we're not

 

0:33:25.279,0:33:28.480

isolated we're connected to each other

 

0:33:27.440,0:33:31.600

so

 

0:33:28.480,0:33:32.640

um yeah protect the ocean coral reefs

 

0:33:31.600,0:33:36.559

right now

 

0:33:32.640,0:33:39.440

we are facing some

 

0:33:36.559,0:33:39.919

climate impacts and we want to make sure

 

0:33:39.440,0:33:43.519

that

 

0:33:39.919,0:33:46.880

our reefs are in the best conditions

 

0:33:43.519,0:33:48.559

to survive whatever is going to happen

 

0:33:46.880,0:33:53.200

to them so that we can

 

0:33:48.559,0:33:56.960

continue depending on this resource

 

0:33:53.200,0:34:00.720

so thank you yeah i think um

 

0:33:56.960,0:34:03.360

to cover um most of uh

 

0:34:00.720,0:34:05.200

what needs to be said uh thank you you

 

0:34:03.360,0:34:09.040

know we just hope we

 

0:34:05.200,0:34:11.919

increase awareness again our

 

0:34:09.040,0:34:13.839

local community the importance of our

 

0:34:11.919,0:34:16.399

marine

 

0:34:13.839,0:34:17.520

ecosystem and the need to protect and

 

0:34:16.399,0:34:19.679

preserve them for

 

0:34:17.520,0:34:21.520

you know not just for now and for future

 

0:34:19.679,0:34:25.040

generations so they can enjoy

 

0:34:21.520,0:34:27.280

you know this um this beautiful

 

0:34:25.040,0:34:28.240

beautiful environment you know like um

 

0:34:27.280,0:34:31.440

so yes

 

0:34:28.240,0:34:34.240

uh just um

 

0:34:31.440,0:34:35.280

we hope we empower you know future ocean

 

0:34:34.240,0:34:38.800

stewards

 

0:34:35.280,0:34:42.159

um and join join with us

 

0:34:38.800,0:34:46.839

so thank you everyone um thank you

 

0:34:42.159,0:34:49.839

tanya for having us thank you very very

 

0:34:46.839,0:34:49.839

much

 

0:35:12.400,0:35:14.480

you

 

Coral Reef Advisory Group (CRAG) Work with Motusaga
Valonia Bubble Algae
Thermally-Tolerant Corals
CRAG work with Valentine
Longest Continuously Monitored Coral Transect 1917 to present
How They Got Started or Developed Interest in the Ocean
The Coral Reef Fellowship Program
Work or Vacation? Sisters Help Each Other on Respective Projects
Lotonu’u – Respect the Land, Respect the Ocean
Valentine Uses Art for Outreach
Ocean Day is Every Day
Students and Scientists
Divers in American Samoa are mostly Researchers not Tourists
Closing Words