Marianas Trench national monument gets a new chief

HAGÅTÑA, Guam—Natural resource professional Tammy Summers has been hired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the new refuge manager for the Guam National Wildlife Refuge and superintendent for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.

Summers will provide leadership for the conservation management activities on both the Refuge and in the Monument, including continuing to support important partnerships in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. 

The approximately 1,217-acre Guam National Wildlife Refuge protects the limestone and coastal forests, and nearshore coral reefs and waters essential for native wildlife like the endangered Haggan betde (green sea turtle), threatened Fanihi (Mariana fruit bat), and endangered Hayun lagu (Serianthes nelsonii tree). The Ritidian Unit, home to Puntan Litekyan, welcomes visitors to explore the roughly two miles worth of trails, visit latte stone and other cultural sites, or stop by the visitor center. 

Designated a monument in 2009, the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument includes both the Mariana Trench and the Mariana Arc of Fire National Wildlife Refuges. The 95,216 acres of protected lands and waters of the Monument include submerged lands and volcanic sites, unique coral formations and marine species found nowhere else on Earth.

“I am incredibly humbled, honored and excited to continue collaborating with stakeholders and community members of the CNMI and Guam in this new capacity,” said Summers.

Summers has spent over 10 years in the Mariana Archipelago working as a National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration affiliate studying sea turtles and, most recently, as a natural resource marine specialist for Naval Facilities Marianas. She has also served as an aquatic preserve manager for the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, St. Joseph Bay, and Alligator Harbor in the Florida Panhandle. Summers then served two years as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer and national park and marine reserve project coordinator in Bacalar Chico, Ambergris Caye, Belize

She received a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and a B.S. in Ecology from the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne and a Master of Natural Resource and Environmental Management degree from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. She also received a certificate in International Cultural Studies from the UH East-West Center with an emphasis on the Chamorro and Carolinian cultures of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Summers began her tenure with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on April 14. (PR)

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