National Science Foundation Awards University of Guam $300K

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The University of Guam (UOG) was awarded $299,976 from the National Science Foundation to conduct the NSF INCLUDES Launch Pilot project, GROWING STEM. The project will address the grand challenge of increasing Native Pacific Islander representation in the nation’s STEM enterprise, particularly in environmental sciences. Culturally-relevant and place-based research will be used as the framework to attract, engage, and retain Native Pacific Islander students in STEM disciplines. The full science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) pathway will be addressed from K-12 to graduate studies with partnerships that include the Guam Department of Education, Humåtak Community Foundation, the Pacific Post-Secondary Education Council, the Guam Science and Discovery Society, the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. 

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The GROWING STEM project will be led by the UOG Center for Island Sustainability, UOG Sea Grant Program and the Guam EPSCoR Program. Dr. John Peterson (pictured left), Dr. Austin Shelton, Else Demeulenaere and Dr. Cheryl Sangueza will serve as lead investigators. Pilot activities include summer internships for high school students, undergraduate and graduate research opportunities through UOG’s GROW Plant Nursery and the Humåtak Community Foundation Heritage House. STEM professional development activities will be offered through conference participation and student research presentations in venues such as the Guam Island Wide Science Fair, UOG Island Sustainability Conference and the SACNAS National Conference. UOG School of Education Faculty and UOG TRiO Programs will lead the development of a mentoring protocol for the project participants. Community outreach activities will expand public understanding in environmental sciences from the GROWING STEM project. 

“This grant is a great example of the University of Guam’s impact on our island and its important role in developing future local professionals and problem solvers.”

UOG President Robert Underwood

“We have an exciting opportunity to put our local students on a pathway to attain doctoral degrees in science. Everything is centered around practical scientific research experiences aimed at improving the health of our land and ocean.”

Dr. Austin Shelton, co-Principal Investigator
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