Recent Graduate Spotlight: Diana Saintignon

Major: Forestry, Fisheries, & Wildlife (FFW)                                                  Specialization: focus on Forestry & Wildlife Management   Graduated: December 2013

Volunteer/ Service: Peace Corps            Philippines, Luzon and Southern Leyte

As of January 2015 I have been in the Philippines now for about 6 months – two of which were spent in Luzon for training, and the past four at my assigned site in Southern Leyte. During training they gave us an intense crash course in Filipino culture, the Tagalog language, and in relevant technical work. So I am in the CRM sector (Coastal Resource Management), so volunteers in my sector were taught about three main marine ecosystems (corals, mangroves, and seagrasses) and how to survey them as well as the wildlife there in, but it isn’t all field work either. We were taught about working with the Local Government Units (LGUs), Fisherfolk Associations, Peoples Organizations, Non Government Organizations and other environmental stakeholders. Many of us were assigned to Provincial or Municipal Agriculture Offices. So I work at the Municipal Agriculture Office in my municipality part of the time, and the other part of the time I spend at our Marine Park.

AMBPIC10635773_10152325895601755_6734196879477171857_n    We are very fortunate to have a highly functional marine park with tourist opportunities like snorkeling and an observation deck for fish feeding and space for educational programs, which I can’t wait to use! My typical day is spent in the office pulling up and reading articles that can contribute to better management of our natural resources and helping with paperwork for the establishment of a second marine protected area. On the days when I am out in the field, I find myself snorkeling, honing my fish identification skills for the upcoming assessment season and making observations in our mangrove area. Having already surveyed our mangroves, my next task is writing up a summary of the results and management plan.

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