By Elaine Vaina
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| December 11, 2014
WCS New Ireland team has engaged two graduates from the University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE) Vudal Campus for a one year internship program.
The graduates, Mildred Kelokelo and Sammie Waru graduated from Vudal in March this year and recently joined the WCS team in August under WCS’s sustainable small-scale fisheries program, which is funded by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.
Their work and research projects are supervised by WCS Fisheries Management officer Dr Sven Frijlink.
Miss Kelokelo graduated with a Bachelor in Fisheries and Marine Resources while Mr Waru topped Vudal’s degree program with a Bachelor in Tropical Agriculture.
These two were no strangers to WCS New Ireland program as they were part of a WCS run Marine Field course last year and this year they are carrying out different surveys.
Sammie who has had past work experiences says he is learning new things with WCS.
The young Papuan man said that the new working environment was not an easy one.
“Going out to communities on field trips was a challenging role, because the locals have a different lifestyle that is not the same as mine”, Sammie said.
He conducted his first survey a few weeks ago at the Kavieng Market to find out the economic value of mangrove fisheries products focusing on shellfish such as mud creepers (Long tail), mud clams, mangrove bean and the ark shell.
Meanwhile, Mildred has been carrying out a fortnightly market survey with women who sells mud crabs at Kavieng market.
Her survey focuses on the crab sizes (measurement: length and weight), price, types of communities that bring in the crabs to sell at the market and the amount of time that the women spend on collecting the crabs.
She said that she would like to continue to do more work with WCS PNG especially with research and add more knowledge to fisheries work that WCS has been doing in the past years.
She said the program is an opportunity for her to enhance her career.
This internship program is funded by the David & Lucille Packard Foundation grant to the WCS PNG program, and enables students to venture into field work and research.