Building capacity in the U.S. Territories

by Dr. Edward DeMartini
Ed DeMartini explains a projected image of a histology slide to the newspaper reporter.

Ed DeMartini explains a projected image of a histology slide to the newspaper reporter.

“Wow! That looks like great abstract art,” said John Gourley, one of the participants in a workshop/tutorial that I conducted. “The colors are amazing.”

As part of the Fish Life History Program at PIFSC, I had the opportunity to help our agency partners in Saipan and American Samoa. I conducted two training sessions to build capacity in the U.S. Territories by teaching our partners how to identify sex and assess maturity of fishes using histology slides of gonads.

At the end of the training, students had to pass a practicum using previously unseen slides.

At the end of the training, students had to pass a practicum using previously unseen slides.

Although the training started as a 2-day class at Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), our partners in American Samoa soon traveled to the NOAA Fisheries facility on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, for the same training. This was a great way to share our methods and develop collaborations with other researchers. The methods I taught represent the best way to obtain the body size at sexual maturity information needed to improve management of our coastal fisheries.

I provided histological slides of gonadal materials for a practicum to assess the abilities of biologists to accurately evaluate sex and sexual maturity. Here a DFW biologist and Tony Flores (MES, next to myself) examine microscope slides while Manny Ramon (MES, in front) and Trey Dunn (DFW) look on.

I provided histological slides of gonadal materials for a practicum to assess the abilities of biologists to accurately evaluate sex and sexual maturity. Here a DFW biologist and Tony Flores (MES, next to myself) examine microscope slides while Manny Ramon (MES, in front) and Trey Dunn (DFW) look on.

“I just wanted to say thank you for the various forms of support that you have provided to the Saipan Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and the Micronesian Environmental Services (MES) bio-sampling program,” said workshop participant and MES owner John Gourley. “The 2-day gonad staging workshop went well and I believe we have several candidates that will be able to assist PIFSC in alleviating the backlog of gonad samples that have been collected from the various bio-sampling programs over the past several years.”

A local newspaper produced two articles about the workshop:

http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/71899-dfw-personnel-trained-by-hawaii-biologist-on-how-to-determine-fish-maturity

http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/71846-dfw-personnel-train-with-visiting-biologist

This was a great opportunity to help train NOAA Fisheries’ partners in the U.S. Territories. I know that all of the agencies are appreciative of the support that I provided.

Beneficial collaboration between PIFSC and agency representatives from the CNMI.

Beneficial collaboration between PIFSC and agency representatives from the CNMI.

 

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