G3 partner GUMA holds graduation ceremony 


Guam Unique Merchandise & Art (GUMA) held a graduation ceremony for its current batch of entrepreneurs on Saturday, July 29, at the Planet Hollywood at DFS by T Galleria.  

The event was a celebration of the successful completion of a 16-week training and mentoring program for approximately 72 graduates from more than 50 local companies. The graduates represent various sectors, from food, retail to agriculture. 

GUMA and the G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub are partners in promoting the growth of local businesses in an emerging green economy. By providing essential resources and support, the partnership aims to empower Guam’s talented artists, cultural producers, and entrepreneurs to turn their creative concepts into sustainable businesses. 

With support from Guam NSF-EPSCoR, the G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub plays a vital role in nurturing the growth of new businesses in an emerging green economy. The makerspace provides a creative space for entrepreneurs to upcycle discarded materials and transform them into marketable products. With advanced tools such as 3D printers, a laser cutter, computer numerical control router, vinyl cutter, and power tools, the makerspace can process various materials, including wood, metal, and plastic.  

Beyond its local impact, the collaboration between GUMA and G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub also contributes to achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, which aims to promote Decent Work and Economic Growth.  

By fostering an environment conducive to innovative cottage industries, the partnership seeks to reduce Guam’s dependence on imports and decrease waste generation, paving the way for a more sustainable, green economy. 

Moreover, these efforts align with G3’s goals of reducing reliance on imported goods and minimizing waste generation.  

The graduation ceremony concluded with a sense of hope and promise for the future of Guam’s entrepreneurial landscape. Equipped with the support of GUMA and the innovative resources provided by the G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub, these graduates are now ready to conquer the challenges of the local market and build businesses that not only contribute to the local economy but also promote environmental responsibility. 

G3 Conservation Corps assists in campus post-typhoon clean-up

connar cutting
connar cutting

A day after typhoon Mawar left a trail of destruction all over the island, the Guam Green Growth Conservation Corps (G3CC) got down to work by helping out with on-campus cleanup at the University of Guam.  

 All 12 members of the current G3CC cohort collected felled branches, organic matter, and debris that littered the campus grounds. They also cleared portions of the road where cars and pedestrians pass through, opening access to areas within the university.  

G3 Conservation Corps member Ciara “CiCi” Taijeron said, “Today, it is sad to see so many trees without leaves on them and all the organic matter is everywhere…I am very relieved that my team and I are safe and everybody on Guam is trying to recover from this unfortunate natural disaster.” 

Every Friday, G3 Conservation Corps members usually assist in village beautification activities. With post-typhoon recovery in full swing all over the island, the team recognized the need to refocus their energy and contribute to these ongoing efforts.  

UOG Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant Sustainability Coordinator Phil Cruz said, “The G3 Conservation Corps is our workforce development program, where participants are exposed to jobs related to sustainability. We are shifting gears a bit, focusing on beautification of our island in terms of post-typhoon cleanup.” 

 Cruz added, “Because Guam Green Growth is a community-based organization, it is essential to our G3 Conservation Corps to engage with the community in such a time where we need so much assistance as possible.  

According to UOG Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant Director Austin Shelton, PhD, the G3 Conservation Corps will also contribute to other aspects of the recovery efforts.  

 “Right now, we are clearing roads in the Mangilao area and the University of Guam campus. We will get moving around the island and help with some of our response activities,” he said. 

Shelton also encouraged the community to reach out to the UOG Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant. 

 “If there is any way that you think we can assist, please feel free to reach out to us. We are looking forward to getting through this together and helping out as much as we can,” he added.  

Guam NSF EPSCoR is the catalyst for Guam Green Growth.

For more information about the G3 Conservation Corps’ post-typhoon recovery activities, follow us on social media @guamgreengrowth  

What is G3 and the G3 Conservation Corps?  

The UOG Center for Island Sustainability facilitates Guam Green Growth, or G3, in cooperation with the Office of the Governor of Guam and the G3 Working Group, whose members represent all sectors of society. With the SDGs and G3 Action Framework as a guide, G3 develops tangible solutions to sustainability challenges and contributes to a green economy for the island region.  

The G3 Conservation Corps program prepares the community for the emerging green economy. For the duration of the program, the 12 conservation corps members participate in workforce development training covering various sustainability topics, such as agriculture and aquaculture, island beautification, invasive species removal, reforestation, circular economy, recycling, to renewable energy. 

Science and Technology committee reports progress in developing plan for Guam 

RU Headshot e1633485376813
RU Headshot e1633485376813

At the first University of Guam- Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Science and Technology (S/T) committee meeting of 2023, members discussed ways to enhance the island wide S/T plan by examining existing state blueprints as a model/guide.  

The S/T committee has been tasked with developing the island’s Science and Technology plan within the next few months. The committee’s primary focus areas are carbon offset, aquaculture, renewable energy, health care, among others. 

UOG President emeritus and committee vice-chair Robert Underwood presided over the meeting. He cited several interesting elements from other state plans, specifically, how components are aligned with the established economic activity as well as the higher education research agenda in the area.  

In the case of Maine, for example, he said the local lobster industry saw an economic boost through the collaboration of private sector/business support and research activities. 

While the state plans provide a helpful reference, Underwood stressed the importance of developing a set of Guam-specific indices for evaluating the island’s knowledge economy as the committee creates its own plan.  

“As we write our Science and Technology plan, we want to put in some benchmark upon which we can evaluate the island and ourselves on whether we are truly moving toward a knowledge economy,” Underwood said at the meeting.  

Underwood recommended using the Milken Institute’s State Technology and Science Index (STSI) as a reference.  The institute developed the STSI to provide a comprehensive review and ranking of the knowledge economies of all 50 US states. The territories are not included in the report.  

According to Underwood, some states use the report as a basis for triangulating progress and even for supporting entrepreneurial startups. The report measures state progress using the following subindexes: research and development inputs, risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure, human capital investment, technology and science workforce, and technology concentration and dynamism. 

Additionally, the meeting highlighted several accomplishments made by committee members to address the priority challenge areas.  

Melanie Mendiola, GEDA administrator, and committee co-chairperson, provided an update on the Guam Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for 2020-2025 (Guam CEDS), adopted by the Office of the Governor.  

The Guam CEDS includes a range of community and research-based initiatives, including circular economy and STEM-related projects, and other technology projects.  

In previous meetings, the S/T committee explored methods for addressing its priority challenge areas by accessing recently opened resources to support community recovery during the pandemic. 

Meet Robert Lasley: Crustacean biologist and new biorepository associate curator

RobLasley1 crop
RobLasley1 crop

The Guam Ecosystems Collaboratorium for Corals and Oceans (GECCO) Biorepository, a new marine biodiversity collection operated by Guam NSF EPSCoR (National Science Foundation – Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research), recently hired crustacean biologist Robert Lasley, Ph.D. as an associate curator. His responsibilities include building a marine invertebrate collection and documenting the crustaceans in Guam and the region.

Lasley’s first studied photojournalism in college. However, he soon found himself drawn to the study of biodiversity and switched his major.

After completing his undergraduate studies in Zoology at the University of Florida, he earned his Ph.D. from the National University of Singapore before becoming a curator at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in Florida.

At some point, Lasley said he took a break from academia and found work as a deckhand on an expedition yacht for a year and a half. While on break, he also travelled to remote locations and worked as a Zodiac driver.

According to Lasley, his experience operating boats and living at sea proved valuable to his work as a crustacean biologist.

“It has been important just to understand the ocean and also (to understand) practical things like how to operate a boat and how to live at sea,” he said.

Lasley ultimately returned to the field of science and worked as a researcher at the Florida Museum of Natural History. A few months ago, he began his current position as associate curator at the GECCO biorepository.

“The element that unites my background is a love for diversity. So, obviously, marine biodiversity. But also a diversity of habitats as I travel… diverse cultures and so on. The other element is a love for the ocean,” he said.

As a crustacean biologist, Lasley is interested in crab systematics and taxonomy, including describing new species and understanding how they are related. He is also studying biogeography, speciation, natural and sexual selection, and the impact of ecosystems on the evolution and diversification of land crabs.

Lasley said his work at the GECCO biorepository is strategic because Guam is close to the Coral Triangle, the most diverse marine region in the world.

UOG students make waves, broaden connections at SACNAS  


More than the experience of attending a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) event off-island, the University of Guam delegation, which included Guam NSF EPSCoR student researchers, also earned accolades, learned more about diversity and expanded their network at the National Diversity in STEM (NDiSTEM) conference in Puerto Rico. 

The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) organized the event from October 27 through October 29. The conference drew thousands of college-levels through professional attendees from historically excluded communities throughout the states and territories.  

The conference seeks to equip, empower, and energize participants for their academic and professional paths in STEM.   

Austin Shelton, Ph.D. UOG Sea Grant and Center for Island Sustainability director, Education Workforce and Development coordinator for Guam NSF EPSCoR and SACNAS board member said the conference is the perfect place to expose students to opportunities in STEM. “This is really an important event for our students at the University of Guam. It is the largest multicultural and multidisciplinary STEM diversity conference in the nation. This year, it is the biggest that the conference has ever been. Over half of that are students and over half of them are professionals, and as important, exhibitors who are bringing in opportunities to students in the areas of graduate school or employment in agencies, in nonprofits, in nongovernmental organizations.” 

According to Shelton, 51 students and faculty from UOG took advantage of these tremendous opportunities at the conference. Aside from immersing participants in STEM research and professional development sessions, the conference also encouraged engagement in and the sharing of multicultural celebrations and traditions. 

Cheryl R. Sangueza, Ph.D. assistant professor of secondary education said attending the conference was a success not only for academic and research opportunities, but also because the Guam delegation left a positive footprint for the island and the university. She believes that the experience “possibly changed life trajectories for the UOG students. 

 “Our students were engaged in professional networking and found exciting academic and research opportunities, they met new friends and explored new places and cultures, and they were successfully immersed in a culture of scientific research. “Seeing and feeling like they belong at a STEM conference combined with connecting with graduate school and research opportunities illuminated new options and choices for many,” she said. 

Sangueza is also the co-principal investigator for the National Science Foundation’s INCLUDES SEAS Islands Alliance Guam Hub and oversees student experience for NSF Guam EPSCoR.  

More than 10 UOG students took part in the poster presentations at the conference. One of the students, Michael Fernandez, received recognition for his undergraduate poster presentation on “Host Tree and Mycorrhizal Diversity of Epiphytic Orchids Native to Guam.” 

Alyssa Calalo, an NSF INCLUDES student researcher, also presented a poster on “Assessing the Use of Pre-germinated and Soaked Seed of Native Plant Species for Badland Restoration: Lab and Field Trials.” 

The UOGundergraduate in biology described her SACNAS experience as inspirational. “It was eye opening meeting scientists with the same culture and values, and it made me feel seen and motivated to keep going! My presentation revolved all around using native plants important to the CHamoru culture to restore badlands that have been affected by erosion. I conducted my research project at Ugum Watersheds. My presentation was a great experience for me, and I was able to connect with people from different labs and cultures – network and share ideas on how to keep the project going!”    

SACNAS fosters the success of underrepresented Americans – from college students to professionals – in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and leadership positions in science, technology engineering, and mathematics, otherwise known as STEM. It is the largest multicultural and multidisciplinary STEM diversity organization in the United States, serving more than 20,000 students and professionals. 



Multi-agency ocean cleanup removes blue green algae 


The University of Guam Marine Laboratory led a multi-agency volunteer effort on July 7 to successfully remove blue green algae at the USO Beach in Piti.  

That day, volunteer divers and snorkelers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Park Services (NPS) joined the team from the Marine Lab in manually removing the algal blooms from the coral colonies in the area. 

Meanwhile, Guam Green Growth Conservation Corps and UOG Sea Grant and Center for Island Sustainability interns provided onshore assistance by sorting and sifting through the material collected from the ocean. 

Laurie Raymundo, director of the UOG Marine Laboratory and biology professor, said environmental conditions encourage the excessive growth of these long, hair-like algal blooms, “We’ve noticed years ago that seasonally, we got these blooms of blue-green algae of the genus Lyngbya and it tends to come into the water as soon as it gets warmer. Most blue green algae respond to high nutrient waters, which is most of Guam.” She added that the algae blooms smother the corals and cause tissue loss. 

The G3 Conservation Corps and CIS/SG interns separated fish and other marine creatures from the piles and squeezed seawater from the algae. The team collected the piles in buckets and then taken back to UOG to be used as plant and tree mulch. In total, the cleanup team collected and processed three 27-gallon buckets of algae. 

While hard at work, G3 Conservation Corps member Dulce Imbo described the task assigned to the onshore volunteers, “We are trying to remove the algae from channel under the water so that we can have the corals breathe a little easier because these algae are the ones that suffocate the corals. For the Guam Green Growth Conservation Corps, there’s about nine of us here today, accompanied by our interns in our work.” 

G3, is a public-private partnership created to achieve a sustainable future. Aligned with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, G3’s efforts are designed to cultivate an ecosystem for transformative action to achieve a sustainable, prosperous, and equitable future for Guam. 

Bridge to Bachelor’s interns cap summer experience with poster presentation   


The Micronesia Summer Bridge to Bachelor’s Program culminated its 2022 cycle with a poster presentation by its summer interns in July at the University of Guam Microscopy Teaching & Research Laboratory. The presentations highlighted new species found in the Micronesia region.  

The four students were the first batch of program interns to participate on-campus as the University eases its COVID-19 restrictions. Yuji Chibana and Rhiden Moreno from Palau Community College presented a poster on “Palau Mangrove and Coral Reef Diatoms with Emphasis on Gyrosigma Regional Diversity.” Meanwhile, Jemalynn Iguel and Angel Santos from the Northern Marianas College presented on “Saipan Diatoms with Emphasis on Plagiotropis Regional Diversity.”  

Diatoms are single-celled algae found in oceans, lakes, and rivers. These microorganisms thrive in marine and freshwater habitats and produce 20 percent of the breathable oxygen on earth each year.  

Chibana and Moreno worked on several samples taken from mangrove and coastal areas in Palau and Yap.  Moreno said, “We found three species, two of which are new. This extends Palau’s library of Gyrosigmas from eight to ten.” The two species identified were the Gyrosigma variistriatum v2 and Gyrosigma bowtie. 

Meanwhile, the Saipan team found 12 Plagiotropis species from specimens collected in Saipan and 17 species collected from Palau. According to Iguel, samples extracted from the same site revealed diatom species that share similar characteristics, which supported the theory of regional endemicity.  

The students started their internship in June by gathering diatom and algae samples in several mangrove and coastal sites on Guam. The collected samples contributed to an ongoing diatom research supported by the National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

Professor Emeritus of Biology Dr. Christopher Lobban and his team of EPSCoR and NSF INCLUDES SEAS Islands Alliance supported student researchers/mentors worked closely with the interns in analyzing the samples at the EPSCoR-funded lab. NSF EPSCoR Student Research Experience and NSF INCLUDES: SEAS Islands Alliance undergraduate student researchers Khazmyne Kawamoto and Monita Paul served as student mentors to the Saipan and Palau teams, respectively. 

The overall research project seeks to determine and document the native diatom species in the region, especially on Guam, CNMI, Palau, FSM, and the Marshall Islands. “Basically, what we are trying to look for is to look for a signal for regional endemicity. So, we are looking at species that occur here but not in other places,” Dr. Lobban said in an earlier interview about the overall project. 

The Micronesia Summer Bridge to Bachelor’s program offers opportunities to students from the Micronesian region who are interested in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research. Participants of the program receive a $3,000 stipend; comprehensive research training; faculty and near-peer mentorship; and travel, lodging, and food accommodations for those traveling to Guam.   

The UOG Center for Island Sustainability and UOG Sea Grant in partnership with the UOG School of Education oversees the program. It is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation through UOG’s Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) Supporting Emerging Aquatic Scientists (SEAS) Islands Alliance Guam Hub.   


Student researchers from Palau and CNMI explore mangrove sites


In June, participants of the Micronesia Summer Bridge to Bachelor’s Program from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Palau started their internship experience on island by gathering diatom and algae samples in several mangrove and coastal sites on Guam. The program contributes to an ongoing diatom research supported by the National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). 


The Micronesia Summer Bridge to Bachelor’s program offers opportunities to students from the Micronesian region who are interested in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research. Participants are enrolled at the Northern Marianas College, Palau Community College, the College of Micronesia-FSM, or the College of the Marshall Islands.  


The students who were selected to participate in the summer program come from diverse academic backgrounds. Prior to their trip to Guam, the student interns collected marine and coastal data in their respective areas.  


On Guam, Professor Emeritus of Biology Dr. Christopher Lobban and his team of EPSCoR and NSF INCLUDES SEAS Islands Alliance supported student researchers/mentors are working closely with the students in analyzing the samples at the UOG Microscopy Teaching & Research Laboratory 


“The idea of this research experience is to give the students a chance to see what it’s like to do scientific research,” said Dr. Lobban. At the EPSCoR funded lab, the students have access to a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and other innovative equipment to study detailed images of the samples. 


According to Dr. Lobban, the overall research project seeks to determine and document the native diatom species in the region, especially on Guam, CNMI, Palau, FSM, and the Marshall Islands. Diatoms are single-celled algae found in oceans, lakes, and rivers. These microorganisms produce 20 percent of the breathable oxygen on earth each year.  


Basically, what we are trying to look for is to look for a signal for regional endemicity. So, we are looking at species that occur here but not in other places,” Dr. Lobban said. Samples collected in the previous year’s program resulted in student researchers discovering and naming several previously undocumented types of algae and diatoms. 


Yuji Chibana, one of the student interns from Palau said the program spurred his interest in Scientific research. “I’m a liberal arts major and I am trying to transition more into a Science-based major like Environmental Marine Science.


The experience catapulted me into that area of learning. This program is really helping me. I’ve never really been exposed into these kinds of things before. So, it is a good start.  


Participants of the program receive a $3,000 stipend; comprehensive research training; faculty and near-peer mentorship; and travel, lodging, and food accommodations for those traveling to Guam. 

NSF Guam EPSCoR taps into the Open Science Grid

Photo of Jeffrey Centino
Photo of Jeffrey Centino
Jeffrey Centino, research computing facilitator at EPSCoR -GECCO says the Open Science Grid will improve the program's computational and data analysis capabilities.

As research opportunities continue to expand for the University of Guam EPSCoR- Guam Ecosystems Collaboratorium for Corals and Oceans (GECCO) program, so does the need to improve its cyberinfrastructure to keep up with the additional computational and data analysis requirements.  

Part of the UOG EPSCoR-GECCO strategic plan is to implement high throughput computing (HTC) resources in Guam and to establish partnerships that would broaden access to off-campus HTC resources. According to the plan, “leveraging existing partnerships to enable remote access to HTC resources, implementation of local HTC hardware and effective user support will accelerate UOG’s capacity for data-intensive research, moving UOG closer to its goal of becoming a research-intensive university.”  

To beef up research computational capacity, the program is looking at tapping into the Open Science Grid (OSG). According to the strategic plan, the OSG will provide project research access to its distributed computing network to facilitate parallel computing and support GECCO research.  

Jeffrey Centino, research computing facilitator at EPSCoR –GECCO said the OSG 

is a collaboration between institutions, universities, and other research organizations to forward the field of science through high throughput computing.  

“So basically, you have these data centers located around the world and they are connected through high-speed internet, and they function together like a grid. So, say you need to run a job or an analysis, you can recruit these resources from around the world to complete your job in the fraction of the time compared to what is available to you in a single data center or your personal workstation.”   

He said high throughput computing breaks the computational work into smaller tasks, which can run concurrently using these resources. “Right now, we are running an analysis server and it is very under powered so basically researchers are fighting for computational space and once we get those researchers onboarded to the Open Science Grid, they can have their jobs or their analysis run within a fraction of the time,” Centino added.  

Centino said they are also expanding their computer clusters to support grid capacity, but the worldwide chip shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions delayed the process of acquiring the servers. “So, we are looking to launch early next year for the computer cluster, around the first quarter,” he said. 

The OSG has over 100 participants that provide access to large computing resources. The most notable ones include the Large Hadron Collider Beauty Experiment, the Fermi Natural Accelerator Lab (Fermilab), and Dark Energy Survey.

Guam Green Growth recognizes first cohort of Conservation Corps graduates


An innovative program designed to establish the foundation for workforce development in an emerging green economy achieved a milestone this month by holding its first graduation.  

The University of Guam’s Guam Green Growth Initiative recognized its first batch of conservation corps graduates on Friday, Nov. 19, at the Ricardo J. Bordallo Governor’s Complex (Adelup) in Hagåtña. 

The following Conservation Corps members graduated from the program: Nikomang Bradley, Joseph Certeza, Alana Chargualaf, Abby Crain, EnyDennis Dali, Claudia Rosalia Guerrero, Jacqueline Jones, Drake Kemp, Lusech Ngirakesau, Daniel Stone, Kaya Taitano, and Kevin Wong.  

G3 launched the conservation corps program in partnership with UOG Center for Island Sustainability, NSF Guam EPSCoR and UOG Global Learning and Engagement in June. For the past five months, the 12 members trained full time on various sustainability topics, such as agriculture and aquaculture, island beautification, invasive species removal, reforestation, circular economy and recycling, to renewable energy. 

“Through the G3 Conservation Corps program, the 12 corps member are now trained in these focus areas, and these can be applied in agencies, organizations, and businesses to help transition our island into a green economy,” UOG President Thomas Krise said on the conservation corps’ contribution to G3’s overarching goal. 

Krise said the members will receive continuing education units for completing the workforce development program. “This is supported by our partnership with the Global Learning Education and the Center for Island Sustainability. This is such a great way to combine education with all your other successes,” Krise said, addressing the members of the conservation corps.  

At the graduation, Austin Shelton, UOG Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant director, highlighted the contributions of the first batch of Conservation Corps members. “When Guam Green Growth started, I shared that sustainability is about human society, the natural environment, and the economy. And you [graduates] have been an important part of getting ready to prepare our community and our workforce for the emerging green economy.”  

From Jun. 23 to Nov. 9, 2021, the conservation corps accomplished the following: 

  • Engaged community participants and leveraged 4,149 volunteer hours  
  • Picked up 578 extra-large bags of trash, removed 211 white goods and bulky waste; 
  • Collected and recycled 70,516 aluminum cans; 
  • Installed 641solar panels and changed 693 fluorescent bulbs to LED; 
  • Prepped 10 acres of land for reforestation projects; 
  • Planted 2,890 trees and 2,024 food crops; 
  • Built 690 ft. of erosion control devices; 
  • Completed 9 painting projects (murals, bus stops, safety barricades, etc.); 
  • Conducted 6 beach and 19 roadside cleanups, and; 
  • Removed 400 feet of chain of love and 212 invasive bamboo stalks. 

At the ceremony, Lt. Governor Joshua Tenorio commended the conservation corps graduates, “I am really happy and grateful for this great partnership with the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability and really how all of you are pioneers in this movement to transform the island. In many ways and across many disciplines, the public sector, private sector and civil society.” 

Guam EPSCoR is a catalyst for Guam Green Growth and the Conservation Corps.


Guam Green Growth or G3 is the island’s most comprehensive public-private partnership created to achieve a sustainable future. Aligned with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, G3 cultivates an ecosystem for transformative action to achieve our island’s sustainable, prosperous, and equitable future. UOG facilitates the island-wide initiative in cooperation with the Office of the Governor of Guam and the 99 members of the G3 Working Group representing all sectors of our society.    

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