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The guiDE program provides DukeEngage alumni a pathway to continue their commitment to service and civic engagement by providing leadership, mentorship and service opportunities that support wider DukeEngage efforts on campus and beyond.

Junette Yu smiling


DukeEngage Partner Organization: Global Vision International

Major: Neuroscience

Contact Junette:

Talk to Junette about: the brain, the human mind, language, environmental conservation, or anything about the ocean. Inspired by some prior experience in conservation fieldwork, Junette chose to do her DukeEngage independent project exploring marine conservation in Fiji. This time, approaching the topic from a community, rather than ecological, perspective. She spent her time living on an island where 15 minutes is all it takes to walk around the coastline, working with local communities to improve waste management, recycling, and alternative sources of income to fishing. In her free time, Junette likes being near/in/on the sea, travelling, hiking and reading. She is currently studying abroad in Denmark, but would be happy to answer questions via email.

Junette’s Six Word Story describing her experience:

Growing people-people & human-environment relationships

Resource Guide

Following her summer working with Global Vision International in Kauai, Junette developed the following list of resources for students who are interested a similar independent project. – This website gives a good introduction to Fijian pronunciation. Although the Fijian language uses the same writing system as English, the words are pronounced very differently. For example, the island I was based on is called Caqalai, but it is pronounced “Thangalai” and not “Kakalai”. – This, along with the Trip Savvy page, gives a very comprehensive list of the basic Fijian phrases that one may find useful in Fiji. Although most people in Fiji are relatively fluent in English, knowing the local language, especially phrases like hello and thank you, can really bring one closer to the local communities.

“The Fijian Language” by Albert J. Schütz
Perkins/Bostock PL6235.1 .S38 1985 c.1

Duke Centre for Multicultural Affairs (CMA)
Duke International House or International Association

Although there are no specific campus groups that focus on the Fijian culture or language, these campus groups could potentially link DukeEngagers with other students who are from or have lived in Fiji.


  • International Conversation Café – Happens multiple times throughout the semester
  • “Join us for weekly conversations about culture, current events, and more.”
  • Fall Seminar Series – Dr. Elizabeth de Santo, Franklin & Marshall College (06/09/2017, Marine Lab)
  • Series on militarized marine protected areas.
  • On Being Gandhi: The Arts and Politics of Seeing (15/09/2017, Franklin Gallery)
  • “Named one of India’s top 15 rising artists, photographer Shivaraju B.S. (a.k.a. Cop Shiva) focuses on portraits of people living on the fringes, yet who embody the zeitgeist of contemporary India. The idea of masquerade in particular interests him. The exhibition features photographs of Bagadehalli Basvaraju, a village schoolteacher who routinely impersonates Mahatma Gandhi.”
  • Duke Campus Farm – Weekly volunteer workdays. Thursdays and Sundays, 3-5pm.

Online or Campus Groups

  • Duke Centre for Multicultural Affairs
  • Duke Marine Lab
  • Nicholas School of the Environment
  • Duke Office of Civic Engagement
  • Duke Global Health Institute
  • Kenan Institute for Ethics
  • Duke Office of Civic Engagement
  • Duke Centre for International and Global Studies
  • Duke Conservation Society
  • Peace Corps Fiji
  • GVI Fiji – Community partner


Keith Dear, Research Professor in Duke Global Health Institute
Worked on a health early warning system for extreme weather events in Fiji

Ian Markham, alumni of Nicholas School of the Environment
Has explored marine ecosystem of Fiji and blogs about it on the Nicholas School of the Environment webpage (

Michaeline A. Crichlow, Professor in the Department of African and African American Studies
Interested in projects related to citizenship, nationalism and development mainly in the Atlantic and Pacific regions; has knowledge about post-colonialism in Fiji (

Anton Zuiker, Faculty of Duke University School of Medicine
Spent 2 years as a Peace Corps in Vanuatu, a South Pacific nation near Fiji


The Method of Hope by Hirokazu Miyazaki
The Method of Hope examines the relationship between hope and knowledge by investigating how hope is produced in various forms of knowledge–Fijian, philosophical, anthropological. The book discusses the hope entailed in a wide range of Fijian knowledge practices such as archival research, gift giving, Christian church rituals, and business practices, and compares it with the concept of hope in the work of philosophers”

Staying Fijian : Vatulele Island barkcloth and social identity by Rod Erwins
“Barkcloth, or masi, is the traditional art form of the women of Vatulele Island. Its manufacture continues to flourish, even increase, while many other arts are declining, despite the fact that most of its functional roles have been usurped by Western cloth and paper. This book explores this apparent paradox and concludes that the reasons lie in the ability of its identity functions to buffer the effects of social stress.”

A Fijian inshore fishing struggle : can governmental and customary management system be integrated? by Tsuyoshi Ito
This book introduces the customary marine management system in Fiji, such as the establishment of tabu areas, and how they may be integrated with more modern systems of marine protection.

I’ve come across some of these books after returning to Duke from my summer project in Fiji. It is very interesting reading them and picking up on the familiar or relatable parts that may be similar to my own experience.


“Tabu in Fiji”

“Women leading ocean action”

“Assisting coastal communities in the Pacific Islands with alternative sources of livelihood and income”

“Effect of local cultural context on the success of community-based conservation interventions”

“10 fun facts about Fijian culture”

News Sources

Fiji Times
Wildlife Conservation Society Fiji
Fiji Locally-Managed Marine Area (FLMMA) network


Although there are quite a number of films shot in Fiji, they did not portray the issues of my project and were not particularly holistic representations of the local culture. I did not use any of them to prepare for my project.

“The Cove”, a documentary about the controversial dolphin hunting practices in Japan, might be somewhat relevant to the topic of my project. Although set in a different cultural context, it prompts reflection about the many social, economic, and cultural tensions that may arise from conservation initiatives.

Online Videos “These are the Ocean’s Protected Areas—and We Need More” “GVI Fiji Marine Conservation – Caqalai” “GVI Fiji – Rainwater Harvesting System Construction, April 2011”

TED Talks

“Glimpses of a pristine ocean” by Enric Sala
This talk highlights the importance of collaboration between different organisations/governments/institutions to achieve conservation goals.

“Sustainable Seafood” by Barton Seaver
This talk portrays the sustainability of marine resources in a way that brings it close to our everyday lives, for example our eating habits and what we see as “essential” foods.

  • Duke Conservation Society
  • The Wild Ones
  • Duke Partnership for Service
  • Effective Altruism

Fiji Embassy of Washington DC
Fiji American National Association (FANA)
Marine Conservation Institute
FLMMA (In Fiji)
School of Marine Studies, University of South Pacific (In Fiji)

GVI has an alumni base through which one can find people who have worked on the sites previously, ask about the projects, find out more about the lifestyle, etc.

Duke Splash: “a semesterly event, providing the classrooms and resources so that Duke students can design a class and teach their passions to middle and high school students. Past classes include: Pokemon Anthropology, Doodling can make you a Designer, Bollywood Dance, etc. ”
A lot of my project in Fiji, be it workshops with villagers or teaching lessons in school, are education-oriented. Duke Splash offers a good opportunity to practice planning and delivering information in a concise manner that is easy for others without prior knowledge about the topic to understand.

Future is now: “The Future Is Now is a student organization dedicated to being a positive force in the lives of underrepresented 4th through 6th grade female-identifying students in the Durham community. Through mentoring, our volunteers seek to be a positive influence in a young child’s life, while emphasizing the importance of higher education, culture, and service.  It is committed to providing youth a better future now.  Through weekly activities, mentors work to improve academic and social skills while developing meaningful relationships with the girls that encourages and helps them through life’s challenges.”
This is also a good chance to practice planning and delivering information in a way that builds relationships and empowers others. The topic of this civic engagement opportunity, women’s empowerment, is also relevant to the project in Fiji.

Duke Campus Farm: Weekly volunteering hours, Thursdays and Sundays 3-5pm
Volunteering in the campus farm would allow DukeEngagers to learn through the hands-on experience on working in a close-to-nature setting. One of the projects done in Fiji is about introducing organic vegetable farming practices to the local villagers, to increase their food and nutrition variety, and also potentially as an alternative source of income.