Talk Story with President Panuelo and Nicole Yamase

A Conversation on Navigating the FSM’s Blue Heritage and Future

Blue Prosperity Micronesia Facebook


March 30th

Nicole grew up on the islands of Palau, Saipan, Pohnpei, and Chuuk, and was passionate about science and the environment from a young age. She graduated from Chaminade University of Honolulu with a Bachelors of Arts in Biology and Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies. She received the Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge scholarship from Micronesia Conservation Trust to continue her PhD in the Marine Biology Graduate Program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her research focuses on the effects of climate change on the marine plant community. Understanding how primary producers respond to these changes will help scientists and managers predict the future health of reefs, which is crucial for the livelihoods of Pacific Islanders who highly depend on the ocean for many purposes.

Says Nicole: “Climate change will be a long-term issue, which means we need a long-term solution. I believe that the long-term solution is found in the education of our youth. I hope the expedition will help inspire young Pacific Islanders to pursue STEM fields and encourage them to obtain higher degrees.”

Despite their distance from human communities, the offshore and deep sea environments are increasingly impacted by human activities like deep sea mining, bottom-trawl fishing, and pollution. Nicole’s journey is a reminder that like the ancestors of the FSM, we are fundamentally connected to the ocean and are supported by its vast and diverse habitats. Nicole made this voyage thanks to deep sea explorer Victor Vescovo, who owns and operates the Limiting Factor, one of the only submarines capable of descending to such depths.

Blue Prosperity Micronesia is a partnership between the Government of the FSM and the Blue Prosperity Coalition, including Micronesia Conservation Trust, the Waitt Institute, National Geographic Pristine Seas, and Oceans5, to protect 30% of the FSM’s waters, including unique places like the deep sea.

For more information, please contact:

Yolanda Joab Mori | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. |

Canon Purdy | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +1 415-747-4360

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