Research and Mentoring faculty of Philippine Science High School: Profiling Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products in the Davao Watershed

Caroline Marie Jaraula1, Mary Antoinette Limen1, Shyrill Mae Mariano1, Jihan Al-Shdifat2, Joanne Constantino3 and Diana Aga4, (1)Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Metro Manila, Philippines, (2)The Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines - Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, (3)The Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines- Diliman, Philippines, (4)University at Buffalo, Department of Chemistry, Buffalo, NY, United States
High schools in the Philippines are gearing faculty for the K-12 transition, even more so for science-focused schools, premier government-supported training schools to equip students to pursue science and technology courses. This research program supported by USAID-PEER is an avenue to conduct cutting-edge research and reach out to the faculty of the Philippine Science High School-Southern Mindanao Campus located in areas close to the study site. Faculty are invited to participate in the fieldwork, sample processing, data analyses, and co-authorship of papers. Various training activities and workshops are conducted to enhance their capabilities to undertake research. The study are stretches the watershed of Davao river to Davao Gulf. Davao River watershed is the third largest river basin in Southern Philippines. It’s upstream reaches host diverse bird and insect populations. It drains into the Davao Gulf, host to marine protected areas composed of seagrass beds, other shallow water ecosystems, and a sanctuary for giant clams reintroduced in its waters. Furthermore, varying modes of land use result in the run-off of various substances, posing a threat to sea turtles, dugongs, cetaceans, and marine species that use the waters for spawning or feeding. We study the upper to lower reaches of the river and trace its effluents in Davao Gulf. We measured the physico-chemical properties (i.e. temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, total suspended solids, nitrate and phosphate contents) and add this on to five years’ worth of water quality monitoring data and land-use. During summer season sampling in Davao Gulf, the Davao River discharge low dissolved oxygen waters of with high organic loading. Nitrate is at the borderline value of 6.6ppm for upstream stations, whereas downstream stations recorded a 2017 average of 10.8ppm. Phosphate source from the watershed is at 12 ppm in the most inland sampling site and drops two orders of magnitude in Davao Gulf with distinct decrease to the lowest measured concentration of 0.06 ppm at the river mouth.