By JULIUS REYES
Coral Reef Initiative Intern
My name is Julius Reyes. I am 20 years old and a student at the Northern Marianas College. I am majoring in Natural Resources Management (NRM). This was my first time as an intern for the Coral Reef Initiative Internship. My mentor was Jose Quan the Geographic Information System analyst at Division Environmental Quality. As an intern under GIS I learned how to use the program to accomplish my projects. GIS is a computer program capable of capturing, storing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced information; that is, data identified according to location. GIS can be used to make maps as well as used to emphasize spatial relationships among objects being mapped.
For the internship I had two main projects, one was the Garapan Business Identification Project. Basically I had to go around the Garapan hotel district area collecting GPS data points using the TRIMBLE (a GPS device) to log the variety of business establishments within the hotel district of Garapan. The reason for this was to get a spatial idea of where the storm drains lie relative to the different types of businesses. We will be able to assign specific drains to a business when the Blue Starfish Storm Drain Tagging project progresses into the stage of encouraging business to implement Best Management Practices for storm water mitigation.
My second project was Watershed Management. I had to use raster images of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota to create a Watershed Map. To create the map I created a model on GIS for stream generation instead of generating the map step by step. It ran the process like a program and was much easier and faster, with little or no mistakes.
Being a part of this internship has been a great learning experience for me. It allowed me to do hands on work in the field of Natural Resource Management, which is my major at NMC. I had a great time doing all the Lagoon Monitoring and LaoLao Revegetation activities. Also I learned a lot of things from our discussion groups we had every other Thursday and also from the mentors. Overall, I am grateful to have been a part of this internship.
From here, my plans are to finish up my program at NMC and receive my AA in NRM, next would be to further my education as far as a masters or even a PhD in the realm of Natural Resources Management.