Scientists in the Making Present Research Projects

Six science students completed their summer internships with the Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources (ACNR) Division of the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) last week with presentations on their summer projects.

During the six-week internships, students were expected to work a 40-hour week on their chosen projects, under the mentorship of a member of the ACNR staff.

Fa’atoia Areta, did a project on, “A Preliminary Survey: Parasites of Myna and Bulbul Birds in American Samoa,” working under Dr. Otto Hansel of ACNR.

Falani Fonoti, working with mentor Mr. Ionatana Faasavalu, researched, “Soil Texture Effect on Plant Growth using Joi Choi Cabbage.”

Johann Vollrath, working by special arrangement with Dr. Tim Clark of the National Park Service, studied “Distribution of Crown of Thorns Outbreaks along the North Shore of Tutuila.”

Pesamino Poyer explored, “Utilization of Taro Leaves and Stems as a Human Food Source,” mentored by Dr. Hansell.

Fa’amanu Puaina Jr., working under Mr. Faasavalu, made a “Comparison of Water Sources to Grow Joi Choi Cabbage Hydroponically.”

Anetioka Mavaega, who was mentored by Dr. Hansell, researched “Identifying Internal Parasite Eggs in Swine Feces.”

Four of the interns major in General Agriculture at ASCC, while Fa’amanu Puaina Jr., is currently pursuing an Agriculture major at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Johann Vollrath, majors in Marine Science at ASCC.

ACNR Director Aufa’i Apulu Ropeti Areta commended the six young adults for their interest in the sciences as well as their perseverance in focusing on their projects for the whole six weeks.

He also reminded the interns to show gratitude to their parents and families for supporting them in their efforts to become science professionals.

Aufa’i also recognized Dr. Ian Gurr, Dr. Mark Schmaedick, Dr. Ndeme Atibalentja, and the staff of the Research, Instruction, and Extension divisions of ACNR for their contributions to the summer internship program.

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