Mabuhay and Håfa Adai! My name is Joshua Artuz and I’m the first Career Discovery Intern at the Guam National Wildlife Refuge. Currently, I’m a student at the University of Guam pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree. I used to major in bio-medical, but later changed my major to Tropical Agriculture Production with a minor in Farm & Natural Resource Management.
Why did I change my major? During the Covid-19 pandemic, I realized that Guam residents rely mostly on imported produce, which is surprising because Guam has great weather to grow the produce we need. I’ve also noticed that people of my generation rarely have an interest in growing their own food. This realization reignited my passion for gardening, which is rooted in my childhood. Growing up, I enjoyed gardening at home with my lola (“grandmother” in Tagalog). This influenced my passion for growing plants today. Out of all my cousins, I'm the only one that is carrying on the love of growing plants. When I graduate, my goal is to teach more people how to grow their own food, so they can become self-sustainable. For now, I’m excited to explore other careers as a student.
I applied for the Career Discovery Internship Program to learn more about the native plants of Guam. One big curve ball to the internship - Typhoon Mawar hit Guam right when I was supposed to start my internship. I ended up starting my internship two weeks later. This summer I worked with US Fish & Wildlife Service staff on typhoon recovery in a variety of ways. I worked with maintenance staff to remove branches and other natural debris for post-typhoon assessments as well as the Bio-tech to identify Guam tree snails (Partula radiolata) for safe relocation within the Refuge. I worked with the Park Ranger to create outreach materials, like an educational bookmark and display, to spread awareness about Guam tree snails. I teamed up with Tatiana, Guam’s Directorate Fellow, to conduct outreach and presentations at a local daycare, to refuge tour participants, and at the AG loves GU event hosted by Guam Department of Agriculture. I even had the chance to showcase the Guam Tree Snail to the Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland during her visit to Guam!
Even though it was an unexpected start, I’ve gained so much knowledge and experience that challenged be personally and professionally. I’m excited to continue my journey through this December as an intern!
The Career Discovery Internship Program is administered by the Student Conservation Association and . Joshua Artuz still interns at the Guam National Wildlife Refuge under the University of Guam’s Next Generation of Diverse Food & Agriculture Professionals Program while continuing courses at University of Guam.