GUALO RAI Saipan – A professor emeritus of environmental engineering and science from Stanford University will deliver the keynote address at the 26th Pacific Islands Environmental Conference to be held at the Saipan World Resort from June 22 to 25.

In keeping with the summit’s theme "Climate of Change: Energizing a Sustainable Future for Pacific Islands " Gil Masters’ keynote address is titled "Planning for a Future Without Oil."
According to Michael Mann NMI program manager for the Pacific Islands Office of the Communities and Ecosystems Division of Region 9 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Masters retired several years ago. However he continues to teach courses on energy-efficient buildings and renewable energy systems as part of the graduate program in Atmosphere and Energy at Stanford.

Masters is also author or co-author of eight books including "Renewable and Efficient Electric Power Systems" "Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Science" and "Energy for Sustainability: Technology Planning and Policy."

According to Mann Masters’ interest in Pacific Island nations dates back to the early 1960s when he was a graduate student and had a summer job that took him to a number of Pacific islands including Palau Yap Guam Wake Midway and Kauai.

Meanwhile the EPA has also announced that the $750 000 Brownfields grant won by the NMI’s Department of Public Lands will be presented during the conference. Laura Yoshii acting regional administrator for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region will be presenting the award during the conference.
With the grant the NMI will be performing 26 site assessments including proposed work on the Tinian landfill site.

About the energy conference Yoshii said "The sessions will focus on efforts making a difference in protecting island environments examine environmental challenges and issues facing the Pacific Islands and provide island leaders with the latest ideas and tools on preserving fragile ecosystems."

Frank M. Rabauliman director of the NMI Department of Environmental Quality said in a release "We’re honored to have Ms. Yoshii EPA Acting Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator present the grant award. We are also excited to engage in discussions with visiting environmentalists from Guam American Samoa Palau Hawaii and other neighboring countries."

The conference will focus on a range of topics including adapting to climate change impact increasing sustainable and green infrastructure efforts community and non-governmental activities to protect the environment water and wastewater infrastructure issues and protecting coral reefs. MBJ