IAS Staff Member goes Beyond Expectation: as a Clean Environment Role Model for Youth and wider Members of the University of the South Pacific (USP) Community


The Institute of Applied Sciences at USP is very proud of its young staff member Ms Suzanne Turaganiwai for her long-term commitment and passion to sustain the natural environment.  Most recently, Suzanne, who has a degree in Marine Studies, has been working on marine pollution and inspiring youth to work together for a clean Pacific and encouraging the USP community to be better environmental citizens.

Having been at the Institute of Applied Sciences for 5 years as a media and graphics assistant in the Quality, Marketing and Communications unit (QMC) Ms Turaganiwai is well versed in IAS’s vision, mission and purpose and this aligns well to her additional voluntary role as a community activist.

Ms Turaganiwai’s line manager, Ms Mereoni Degei said, “We are not only proud of Suzanne for her contributions to our QMC unit and IAS more widely but also because of her team building & networking skills to engage with members of the USP community beyond IAS into other parts of the School and wider University community.”

In recognition of the extensive efforts in the past year with the clean-up collection of marine debris art and plastics that Ms Turaganiwai’s and her fellow colleagues and students of the USP have been doing she was invited by the USP Research & International Office Director of Research, Professor Sushil Kumar to attend a meeting with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossa and his IAEA delegation. The Acting Director IAS Dr Isoa Korovulavula was particularly pleased to see this as IAS is one of the selected regional laboratories that has been participating in the free IAEA Proficiency Rounds since the early 2000s for heavy metals analysis in marine biota and sediments.



Deputy Director IAS Dr Gilianne Brodie said, “Suzanne is not only a helpful colleague but walks the talk in conservation and sustainable development by having a proactive approach to problem solving. She does not wait around for someone else to take responsibility for keeping her work environment clean”.

Suzanne is also a co-founder of the newly established “Pacific Ocean Litter Youth Project” (POLYP) and works closely with other like-minded individuals such as Pacific European Union Marine Partnership Programme (PEUMP) Master’s scholarship recipient, Andrew Paris in engaging students and staff at USP to keep the environment clean. The POLYP team have included USP as a study site for their work in categorizing and quantifying different types of marine litter for a wider USP research study on the Suva foreshore. Ms Turaganiwai said, “The rubbish collection project hoped to bring about behavioural change in people and encourage more Pacific youth to become better stewards of the ocean and the natural environment.”

IAS staff member Suzanne Turaganiwai speaks with the Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi on marine debris art pieces and ocean advocacy work being carried out by the Pacific Ocean Litter Youth Project


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