American Samoa Water Quality
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American Samoa Water Quality Researchers
Don Vargo Don Vargo is Research Coordinator with the ASCC Land Grant Program. He is a native of Southwestern Pennsylvania. He earned a B.S. in chemistry from California State College in 1972 and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone from 1974 to 1976. Don graduated from the Ohio State University in 1981 with a Ph.D. in chemistry and in 1983 with a M.S. in agronomy (soil chemistry), a belated decision he credits to his West African experience. He has been in American Samoa since 1984, where his research interests ranged from crop variety trials to soil ecology studies. Don is currently searching for indicators of biotic integrity in the many streams that flow through the rain forests that cover the volcanic peaks of Tutuila Island. He also serves as State Coordinator for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. He is a graduate of Class 12 of the ESCOP/ACOP Leadership Development Program. Married in 1972, Don and his wife, Agnes, have two children.
  His e-mail address is
Kristel van Houte-Howes Kristel van Houte-Howes is the Aquatic Ecologist with the ASCC Land Grant Program. Kristel is originally from The Netherlands, and moved with her family to New Zealand when she was 11 years old. Kristel spend 5 years working as a dairy farmer and part time veterinary nurse before attending The University of Waikato to complete her BSc in biological sciences in 1999 and a Master of Science in biology in 2003. Her main interests are in marine and freshwater ecology and zoology. Her home is on the west coast of New Zealand's North Island, a small town called Raglan. Kristel has been in American Samoa since April 2003 with her husband and son. She enjoys exploring the biological diversity of the many streams that flow throughout Tutuila Island and is the Coordinator for the American Samoa Region 9 USDA-CSREES Water Quality Coordination Project.
  Her e-mail address is
Sharon Fanolua Sharon Fanolua is a Research Assistant with the ASCC Land Grant Program. She was born and raised on Tutuila Island, American Samoa. She received her AS degree in general agriculture from the American Samoa Community
College in 2002. Upon graduation, she was hired by the college's nutrition program but was soon recruited to assist in its water quality research and extension
projects. She is the daughter of Rev. Elder Tautalatasi and Foua Fanolua of Taputimu Village. An avid hiker who enjoys exploring and learning about her
island home. Sharon strives to share her sense of wonder and appreciation for nature with the territory's schoolchildren.
  Her e-mail address is
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