Updated: March 6, 2019
Hafa Adai! Mabuhay! Hello!
My name is Marcel Kate G. Jardeleza (pronounced: Har-de-le-za) and I am a first year Master of Science in Ecology graduate student at Colorado State University. I am an immigrant from the Philippines and moved to the US territory of Guam when I was 8 years old. I grew up on the beautiful island of Guam where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at the University of Guam. My research interest is greatly affected by where I grew up. If you are not familiar with Guam, it is a US Territory in the Pacific Ocean, and its environment has been drastically altered by the introduction of the brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) in the 1940s. Growing up, it was not unusual to find snakes in or around our home at least once a month, which affected our daily lives, but more importantly altered Guam's ecosystem. The introduction of the brown tree snake has caused seven of the fourteen terrestrial birds to be extirpated off island and only three native species are left in the wild. As I progressed in my education, I fell in love with science and noticed a real need for local scientists. I believe that it is very important to allow the local community to write its own scientific narrative. Getting into science was difficult because I had to convince my family and myself that I can have a real career in science. I did not know any Filipino immigrant ecologist at the time, nor did I know many scientists of color. It was not until I participated in a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF REU) with University of Hawaii at Hilo Pacific Internship Program for Exploring Science (UH Hilo PIPES) where I met a Filipino ecologist (Dr. Jonathan Koch) that I really considered a career in science. Meeting a Filipino ecologist and having a scietific mentor in my life has made all the difference in my career path. My experience in deciding on a career in science made me wonder how many local students were discouraged to pursue this track due to the lack of role models. I decided that I needed to be that role model for girls like me. Once I complete my MS in Ecology at CSU, I will continue onto my PhD and eventually return to my island and help develop the local scientific force in the Pacific.
Si Yu'os Ma'ase! Salamat! Thank you!
Aside from the science stuff, I enjoy cooking, eating, gardening, pretending to be a runner, breweries, traveling, photography and outdoor activities.