October 2020 - Issue 1
From the Dean
I am pleased to announce our new quarterly newsletter, “Dive into CNAS.”  It is our intent to highlight the three pillars of CNAS – Instruction, Research and Community Outreach.  Please enjoy our 1st issue.

Lee Yudin
Meet Your Divers
Olympia Terral
Enjoys writing, photography
and bringing the two together
to tell a story.

Luke Fernandez
Ocean photographer who enjoys
travel, food and music. 
Marissa Villaverde
Designer with a love of discovering
how our worlds connect through travel
and all things True Crime.
Jason Galiza
Educator who enjoys
traveling and the occasional
long distance run.
Instruction During COVID19
CNAS Faculty and Administrators, January 2020. 
The Coronavirus has caused an unprecedented disturbance in everyday life, affecting every major industry, including schools and colleges. This pandemic has forced the University of Guam to work outside of its comfort zone, leaving students, faculty and staff to adapt to new ways of working, communicating and learning.
Student Views
Optimistic at first, Sean Lee, a senior civil engineering and mathematics major, has quickly changed his opinion about online learning due to the challenges he has faced in the past months.  

“At first, I was thrilled to hear that we would be moving the format of the classroom to be online,” said Lee.

However, as time passed, Lee quickly realized that it has become more challenging than he previously expected. While online learning for math can work, Lee struggles with online classes for civil engineering.

“Online learning is not suitable for every degree. Research lab topics, complex operations and physical based operations should be best handled and inspected in a physical environment,” said Lee.

Senior Abigail Pobre, majoring in mathematics and education, has also faced her fair share of challenges.
Senior Abigail Pobre, Mathematics & Secondary Education major.
“For the beginning part of the semester, I didn’t have a laptop to attend classes. It would have been nice if UOG provided laptops for students who don’t have one,” said Pobre.

For both Pobre and Lee, unstable home internet connections are also an issue.

“Since everything is online and programs such as Zoom need Wi-Fi to stay connected, I have been having a hard time staying in control,” said Lee.

“Internet isn’t always reliable, and there are four other people living in the same house as me. It’s not always quiet. I’m also less motivated to study since I’m just at home,” added Pobre.

Though both Lee and Pobre have shared negative experiences, there are some positives.

Lee said, “After being introduced to online platforms, such as Zoom and BigBlueButton (BBB), the engineering professors’ classes have improved.”

“The most useful thing that the university has prepared for is the use of utilizing Moodle for students,” added Lee.

The consensus of many students is that they greatly appreciate what administrators, professors and staff have done to accommodate off-campus learning, but they are definitely looking forward to returning to the classroom.
Student Support
UOG's Office of Information Technology staff. 
With platforms like Zoom and BBB becoming more commonly used, employees of the computer center have also had to adapt to these changes.

Steven Mamaril, a Jr. Information Security Analyst under the Office of Information Technology (OIT), says there has been an increase in calls and email support for students, faculty and staff.

“Additional licenses were purchased for TeamViewer for remote support. For our department, management increased the Zoom licenses to accommodate remote meetings and remote support,” said Mamaril.

“We pushed for Microsoft Teams usage for students, faculty and staff, as well as training. Online chat was purchased to help lessen the phone calls and email requests for operations,” added Mamaril.

Steven Centino, a junior computer operator under OIT, says fully accommodating students who require the use of the computer lab for computers or printing has not been possible.

“Unfortunately, since PCOR1, we are unable to accommodate printing as we are unable to open our labs. However, during PCOR3, the lab was open briefly for student use. We implemented a sign in and temperature checks, as well as sanitizing each station after each student use,” said Centino.
Educator Perspective
UOG CNAS Biology Club and advisor Laura Biggs participating in the Triton's Cup, February 12, 2020. 
Meanwhile, Dr. Ross Miller, professor of entomology, is also struggling with the demand of remote learning.
“I have tried to keep it [curriculum] as similar to the original as possible but have had to simplify presentations and make allowances since what students can accomplish in the field and receive in online lectures is extremely limited,” said Miller.

Being unable to take students into the field or mentor them in the field or lab due to the strict lockdown guidelines are major issues, according to Miller.

Dr. Laura Biggs, associate professor of biology, has also revamped her approach to include more effective methods of teaching remotely.

“I embrace the opportunity to learn. It’s been very stressful, but I appreciate the opportunity to branch out and do things differently and try and reach students in different ways,” said Biggs.

“I feel that my complete revamp of human anatomy and physiology labs have done a great deal to bridge the gap between face-to-face and online instruction,” added Biggs.

Biggs also believes that the university has prepared well for this semester, despite the pandemic.

“I feel that the Moodle classes for faculty are very helpful, especially for beginners and I appreciate the community that it has brought to teaching online. I think the work OIT has done is commendable and I feel very supported and honestly feel that people are doing their best to work within the budget restrictions,” said Biggs.

Although these have been trying times, the students, staff and faculty of UOG have been steadily adjusting and learning new technologies to solve the learning and teaching complexities that this pandemic has brought, showing the true resilience of being a Triton.
The Joys of Gardening
The daughters of UOG alumna Christine Pama enjoy harvesting the first ripe cantaloupe from their 2020 family garden.
The 2020 pandemic has left classrooms empty on campus, however, it has brought an unexpected learning experience for many Tritons and their families: the joys of gardening.
The renewed interest in growing vegetables at home has affected the inventory of local hardware stores and several have periodically run out of gardening supplies over the last seven months. Once a new shipment arrives, it is not unusual to see pickup trucks on the roads loaded with potting soil and gardening supplies.
CNAS Cooperative Extension & Outreach addresses this upsurge in gardening with the recently developed Guam Enabled Gardening: Adaptive Gardening Fact Sheet Series. Written by Extension Associate Phoebe Wall and Lianna Santos undergraduate and BUILD EXITO scholar, the series takes the reader through all aspects of gardening from choosing the best site, types of gardens, planning and planting the garden, and more.
The enabled aspect of this series introduces ways to make gardening accessible to those with physical limitations including raised beds, waist-high gardens, and container gardens.
For more information on gardening and other topics, please visit, https://www.uog.edu/extension/popular-publications.
UOG alumnus Kelly Fitzpatrick weeds a waist-high garden he made for his family. 
2021 CNAS Calendar
The 2021 CNAS calendar, Mushrooms of Guam is at the printers! Beautiful images of fungi found in the forests and neighborhoods of Guam will delight and brighten up any wall. Sienna Hiebert was our mycological consultant and her photographs are included with those of Curt Fiedler, Nina Peck and Lauren Gutierrez.
As with previous CNAS calendars, Mushrooms of Guam will eventually be repurposed as an ebook available on line at https://www.uog.edu/wptrc/ebooks.
Contact the CNAS dean’s office to get your calendar.
Check out the Deep Dive Into CNAS Student Impacts