[Coral-List] National Wildlife Refuge System hosts the USCRTF Gov. Sunia Scholarship Summer

Jim Hendee Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov
Wed Jun 1 14:31:50 EDT 2005

*Governor Sunia Memorial Coral Reef Conservation Summer Internship 
Scholarships *
*Will Benefit the National Wildlife Refuge System's Coral Reef Refuges 
*(modified from a June 2005 press release)

This June the National Wildlife Refuge System will welcome two 
recipients of the Second Annual Governor Tauese P.F. Sunia Memorial 
Coral Reef Conservation Summer Internship Awards. Ms. Kassandra Cerveny, 
a graduate student attending the University of Puerto Rico, and Ms. 
Tiffany Robinson, an undergraduate attending Western Washington 
University in Bellingham, are the 2005 Sunia Scholarship recipients.

The Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs is funding the 
2005 Sunia Scholarship. Awards are based on professional experience, 
academic background, an essay, and letters of recommendation. The 
selection committee matches candidates’ aspirations with the coral reef 
conservation and management priorities of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force.

Working with the Refuge System’s Marine Program Specialist, Andrew Gude, 
the Sunia scholars will spend the summer analyzing coral reef resource 
issues from the Refuge System’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Ms. 
Cerveny, who begins work June 1, will investigate the history of Navassa 
Island National Wildlife Refuge. She will produce a white paper 
summarizing the marine biology, geography, natural history and human use 
of the Caribbean wildlife refuge. The white paper will include proposed 
management strategies and foster inter-agency cooperative conservation 
of this spectacular coral reef ecosystem.

Ms. Robinson, who begins work June 13, will develop a comprehensive 
analysis of the Refuge System’s coral reef management programs. She will 
compile, analyze and discuss the coral reef ecosystem resources and 
management activities for wildlife refuges with coral reefs and 
associated habitats. Thirty-seven wildlife refuges have coral reef 
ecosystem resources, including coral reefs, associated hard bottom 
habitats, seagrass meadows, mangrove forests and estuaries. The analysis 
will provide information about natural and cultural resources and 
challenges in addition to marine recreation opportunities, all for use 
in education materials.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency 
responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and 
plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American 
people. The Service manages the nearly 100-million-acre National 
Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, 
thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. The 
mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is too administer a 
national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, 
and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant 
resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of 
present and future generations of Americans. There are 170 coastal, 
Great Lakes, and insular national wildlife refuges geographically 
distributed from above the Arctic Circle to below the Equator. This 
system of Great Lakes and marine refuges encompass some 30,000 coastal 
miles, and some 20 million coastal acres, with 300,000 acres of 
congressionally-designated marine wilderness, and almost 3 million acres 
of coral reef ecosystems. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also 
operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 
ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife 
laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird 
populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and 
restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign 
governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the 
Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in 
excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife 


Andrew_Gude at fws.gov
National Wildlife Refuge System Marine Programs
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, No. 570, Arlington, VA 22203
P - 703.358.2415; Fx - 703.358.1929; C - 703.577.4267

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