Student: Fabian Carmona Ortega
Name: Carmona Ortega, Fabian
Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Institution: University of Puerto Rico
Campus: Mayaguez Campus
Major: Mechanical Agricultural Technology
Expected date of graduation: May 2014
USDA Agency of interest: USDA-NRCS Bismarck, North Dakota
Worked as a Soil Conservationist Student Trainee with North Dakota’s NRCS at the New Rockford and Mandan Field Offices for two consecutive summers.
Description of career experience (what I learned):
With these experiences, I learned about different conservation practices, how to work in an office environment,how to work with several GPS tools and speacially how to
work with producers in order to help them conserve the resources in their land.
What is your perception of agriculture now:
After these experiences, my perception of agriculture has changed from one of production only, to one of production and conservation for a better agricultural production.
How has this career experience broadened your employment opportunities:
During these internships, I have worked at different NRCS facilities with researchers from ARS, which can open opportunities of working with the ARS or other NRCS offices.
Career and research aspirations:
One of my goals is to finish my BS in mechanical agricultural technology and continue onto a Masters degree in agronomy focusing my research on soil health promoting
practices for clayey soils in the Caribbean. Five or 10 years from now I would like to work with the NRCS in Puerto Rico, promoting soil health among the farms in the island.
Bilingual-English/Spanish(written and oral)- Computer skills with Windows programs and others- field work realiability- time efficiency- data analysis- photography- lab
work skills- office work- ArcGIS and GPS basic skills- problem solving skills-
The impact of my career experience:
In the first place, this career experience has given me the opportunity of developing my communication skills in english since my first languague is spanish. Other benefits
from this internships include the development of my laboratory work skills since during my last summer internship I spent ¼ of my time working with researchers
from the ARS offices at Mandan, North Dakota helping them in the process of sampling and preparation of samples for further analysis. We actually spent some time
analysing soils from different fields under different management practices to observe how those practices affected soil health in each field. Added to this, I spent more
than half of this summer reading academic documents and attending field tours related to soil health promoting practices and worked with several producers that
anaged their farmland, which has made me understand that my future research should be focused in this subject.