The University of Guam is awarded funding to remodel an existing indoor, air-conditioned space at its Marine Laboratory (UOGML)to create a dedicated laboratory for visiting researchers and thus providing a resource currently lacking at the facility. Established in 1970, the UOGML serves the US-affiliated islands of Micronesia, including the Territory of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Belau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. As the only U.S. marine research station in the equatorial Pacific that includes a modern research laboratory, UOGML is important in meeting the research and educational needs of the region as well as supporting research by visiting scientists. No other U.S. facility provides both a well equipped laboratory and easy access to the diverse flora and fauna near the epicenter of marine biodiversity in the tropical western Pacific Ocean, thus serving as a research and educational gateway to a wide variety of biomes from shallow coral reefs to the Mariana Trench (the deepest biome in Earth's oceans).

UOGML provides access to Guam's marine and terrestrial habitats with access to research assets and equipment as well as project support. The dedicated visitors' laboratory will help visitors make the most of these assets, increase visitor productivity and encourage the wider use of the UOGML by visitors. As a resource for scientific discovery, the new laboratory will also encourage scientists from around the world to conduct research at a geographically and academically isolated marine laboratory, thus expanding productive research activity at UOGML and also providing both faculty and students with a more vibrant intellectual atmosphere. The lab will promote new and higher levels of scientific collaboration between UOGML and other researchers, especially across disciplines and across biomes given Guam's unique geographical setting.

UOGML is especially important to the under-served people of the U.S.-affiliated Pacific-island nations who depend on UOGML for training and scientific expertise. This group has relatively few other opportunities locally for academic training in marine biology or scientific research in general and also limited opportunity for interacting with the larger international scientific community. Thus, increasing visiting-scientist activity at UOGML will benefit the scientific and educational capacity of the region directly.

Project Report

The University of Guam Marine Laboratory (UOGML) has been designated by the University of Guam as a Center of Excellence because of its historic role as a major institution devoted to the study of marine and aquatic sciences in the western Pacific region. The UOGML is directly adjacent to the coral reef at Pago Bay on the eastern coast of the island of Guam. The UOGML has a number of laboratories devoted to studies in such fields as behavioral ecology, biogeography, conservation biology, coral reef biology and management, ichthyology, invertebrate zoology, macroecology, molecular ecology, natural products chemistry, and phylogeny and systematics. The UOGML provides research space support to visiting researchers from around the world, as well, and it is an increase in the demand for this support that prompted the UOGML to seek funding from the National Science Foundation to create a Vistor's Laboratory. This laboratory provides basic ADA-compliant facilities for a wide range of uses (see photographs, attached). New equipment installed in the laboratory includes a reverse-osmosis water system, refrigerator, chest freezer, and a duct-less fume hood. Safety equipment includes an eye-wash station and a safety shower. The laboratory has also a dehumidifier, an ADA-compliant bench with a sink, a second ADA-compliant sink, surge protectors and office furniture. There is direct access to a running seawater system and holding tanks directly outside of the back door of the laboratory. Additional equipment may be installed on demand to suit the needs of visiting scientists. This new laboratory will prove to be of considerable use to a wide-range of visiting scientists who wish to conduct laboratory and field experiments in marine biology and chemistry. The existence of this new laboratory enhances the UOGML's capacity to meet the demands of collaborators and visiting researchers from around the world.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)
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Peter H. McCartney
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University of Guam
United States
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