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A tale of two atolls
Date:6/9/2010

st stewards," he added.

To engage the next generation of Tabuaerans, researchers taught science classes at local schools three times a week on topics such as reef ecology and genetics. The Stanford team also conducted town hall meetings at every village on the atoll.

To broaden the scope of the project, team members have shared their results with Kiribati government officials, who face the twin challenges of geography and poverty. With a population of about 100,000, the Republic of Kiribati is one of the least developed countries on Earth, consisting of more than 30 atolls spread across about 1.3 million square miles of open ocean. In 2006, the government established one of the world's largest and most isolated marine reserves the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, a chain of virtually untouched atolls west of Tabuaeran.

"The government has been an ally in our work," Micheli said. "We hope our efforts will assist them in ensuring the long-term sustainability of their reef fisheries and will be a source of information and inspiration for other tropical Pacific communities as well."


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Contact: Mark Shwartz
mshwartz@stanford.edu
650-723-9296
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert

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