Guam Sea Grant at SACNAS in 2019The Sea Grant programme helps support sustainable aquaculture development in coastal areas of the US and its territories © NOAA Sea Grant

GU - Guam's Sea Grant becomes an Institutional Programme

The new designation allows Guam’s Sea Grant to increase its contributions to the national network and enhance the practical use and conservation of Guam’s marine and coastal resources.

NOAA and Sea Grant are pleased to announce that Guam Sea Grant has achieved status as a Sea Grant Institutional Programme, a designation of growth from the programme’s previous Coherent Area Programme status. The designation comes on the unanimous recommendation of the National Sea Grant Advisory Board and NOAA senior leadership. As an Institutional Programme, Guam Sea Grant will be able to increase its contributions to the national Sea Grant network and enhance the practical use and conservation of Guam’s marine and coastal resources.

“Guam Sea Grant has earned Sea Grant Institutional Programme status by demonstrating excellence in research, education and public service dedicated to the environmentally responsible management and development of Guam’s marine and coastal resources,” said Jonathan Pennock, PhD, National Sea Grant College Programme director. “Congratulations to the University of Guam, Guam Sea Grant leadership, and all of the staff involved in the remarkable growth of Guam Sea Grant over the past several years that made this designation a clear and well-earned advancement.”

Since 2012, Guam Sea Grant has supported activities around the United States Territory of Guam as a Coherent Area Programme. These activities have focused on STEM and ecosystem-based education efforts at the undergraduate and professional level, watershed management and conservation, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, and climate variability. Additionally, Guam Sea Grant’s research capacity has gradually increased over recent years. Their programme supports well-aligned research, which includes extension and education initiatives, and funding for graduate student fellowships.

In the spring of 2020, the President at the University of Guam, Dr Thomas Krise, with support from the director of Guam Sea Grant, Dr Austin Shelton, submitted a letter of intent to lead the Guam Institutional Sea Grant Programme. Sea Grant director, Dr Jonathan Pennock, determined that Guam Sea Grant was eligible and charged the National Sea Grant Advisory Board with leading the Institutional Status Review.

The National Sea Grant Advisory Board conducted a review and virtual site visit of Guam Sea Grant in the fall of 2021. During the review, Guam Sea Grant was evaluated on 10 criteria: leadership, organisation, relevance, programmed team approach, education and training, extension and advisory services, relationships, productivity, support and continuity of high performance.

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