Meet the Team: Dirige does her part to keep the Guam NSF EPSCoR program moving forward

After spending her entire career working with and helping program leads and researchers as the Director for Contracts and Grants at the University of Guam (UOG) Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Janet Dirige took a leap into the ocean known as EPSCoR and has been swimming since.  

Following her retirement from UOG in the summer of 2020, Dirige made her return to the workforce and is now the Associate Director/Project Administrator of Guam NSF-EPSCoR. 

According to Dirige, her main goal is to make sure that the program and all its components stay on track. 

“I work with project management,” explained Dirige. “I ensure that Guam EPSCoR stays within the rules and regulations of the National Science Foundation to ensure we are in compliance with expenditures and project scope of work.” 

When the mother of two is not spending time with her children or two grandchildren, you can find her listening to music, catching a movie or spending time outside gardening.  

Her strong connection to the environment and sense of family leaves her hopeful for the future and thankful for the work the EPSCoR research team is conducting.  

“I hope with all the research our research team is doing they find the solution to the coral bleaching problem,” said Dirige. “(They can) make it better for Guam and the region so we can have a better ecosystem and better environment for everyone.” 

Dirige says that she is excited to work with team members to accomplish tasks and make things happen as efficiently as possible.  

“I like to get things done,” said Dirige. “Tomorrow there is going to be another project or event that we need to take care of, so as long as it is within our budget and in compliance, let’s get it done.”  

Dirige can be found in the main EPSCoR house in Dean Circle alongside the administration team and can be reached via email at <jtdirige@uog.edu>. 

G3 Conservation Corps helps plant more than 2,000 trees to prevent erosion

The growing reforestation movement was in full display as more than 2,000 trees were planted in the hills of Malesso’ on July 24 by the Guam Green Growth Conservation Corps, a joint program of the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability, the Office of the Governor, and Guam NSF EPSCoR’s Education and Workforce Development objective.

The Corps worked alongside the Department of Agriculture Forestry Division, and more than 200 interns and volunteers.

The effort was part of the As Gadao Manell Watershed Restoration Project and one of several Island Beautification Task Force activities organized by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Guam to commemorate Guam’s 77th Liberation Day. 

“[The Forestry Division] is trying to plant trees to prevent erosion, to put back and recover native and endemic species, and try and solve some environmental issues out there,” Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio said. “Tree planting this morning is one of the very critical pieces in the plan.”

The G3 Conservation Corps members spent the week prior working alongside the DOA team preparing the land for the planting event.

“We spent about four days bush-cutting in a very specific manner, taught by the forestry team, to prepare the land for this event, and it made it so easy for the volunteers to come in and plant so many trees,” said G3 Conservation Corps member Joey Certeza.  “Preparing the land, and now seeing it with so many people helping out, is very satisfying and gratifying.” 

The corps members created contour lines in the southern ridge to create space for trees to be planted and pruned previously planted acacia trees (Acacia auriculiformis) to prepare for the introduction of understory natives to develop a native forest.

“We are working to convert the highly fire-prone landscape, which is dominated by invasive grass species, to forested lands,” said Christine Fejeran, the Forestry and Soil Resources Division chief at the Guam Department of Agriculture. “The acacias help amend soils and shade out the grasses giving native trees a chance, once planted.”

The G3 Conservation Corps is a newly launched workforce development program preparing the local community for the emerging green economy. It is part of the Guam Green Growth initiative, the island’s most comprehensive public-private partnership ever created to achieve a sustainable future for the island.