Both Dave and Michelle Crisostomo promote modern agricultural methods such as hydroponics and aquaponics systems that can feed island for future generations. Dave and Michelle might use modern methods of growing food, but they represent the new generation of educators seeking to promote a fundamental concept of the Guam’s culture: the knowledge of growing one’s food.
It all started when Dave received his first fish tank from his parents as a teenager, which he filled with piranhas “like a typical teenage boy.” This sparked a lifelong passion around fish, fisheries, and aquaculture that continues today. Dave is the aquaponics specialist at the University of Guam’s SeaGrant program, where he conducts studies to ascertain the best practices for aquaponics systems that fit Guam’s unique environment.
Dave has been in this position for a long time, so much so that his daughter, Michelle, remembers growing up around UOG, watching her father teach courses and workshops, feed the fish in aquaponic systems, and even once fondly remembers that she swam with the tilapia in the aquaponic tanks.
Michelle recognizes that her childhood surrounded by sustainable farming and agriculture was vital to how she understands the importance of food security and environmental sustainability on island today. She is President and co-founder of Guåhan Sustainable Culture, which strives to promote food security, environmental sustainability, and food sovereignty on Guam.
Following her father’s footsteps in environmental education, Michelle immerses her children in her own microgreen business which she learned from her father and extends her expertise to the island’s community on how to grow their own food. Both of them seek to empower our island’s community to live sustainability and self-sufficiently.
Watch Dave and Michelle share their story