Working towards a sustainable future
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Student: Mario Garcia

Name: García- Rodas, Mario

Hometown: Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

Institution: University of Puerto Rico

Campus: Mayaguez Campus

Rank: B.S. (Third Year)

Major: Agronomy and Soil

Expected date of graduation: December 2015

Degree: Undergraduate

USDA Agency of interest: USDA- Soil Conservation



Career cxperience/location:

I worked with APHIS in the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina, Puerto Rico.


Description of career experience (what I learned):

Half of my work was in the field recolecting fruit flies from fly traps across the metropolitan area. The other half of the job consisted of identifying the insects in the

laboratory and ducumenting the findings. We also did a survey in Naranjito, Puerto Rico in an orange field.


What is your perception of agriculture now:

Protecting our nation from invading pests and insects is very important for our economy and agriculture. USDA plays a major role in the control of invasive species that

attack fruits and vegetables, which is very important for our economy.


How has this career experience broadened your employment opportunities?

It has broadened my employment opportunities because I have gained laboratory and field experience in the control of invasive species that may damage crops. This

summer research will help me to compete for future career opportunities at USDA.


Career and research aspirations:

In the next 5 years I see myself finishing a master’s degree in soil conservation at UPR- Mayaguez or other institution on the mainland. My main goal is to own a fertile

farmland in Puerto Rico to start my small agronomical business to improve the agricultural economy in the island. I will like to participate of several internship to acquired

all of the necessary experience needed to achieve my goals.


Skill Set:

• Skills: Language: Fluent in English and Spanish

• PC: Proficient in Word, Excel and Power Point

• Experience in field work

• Experience in laboratory work


The impact of my career experience:

The experience during the summer of 2013 in the internship with APHIS helped me to learn how to distinguish between native fruit flies and dangerous invasive fruit flies

like the Mexican or the Mediterranean fruit flies. I also learned how to document these findings in the lab. The experience was also fun because I traveled across the

northern part of Puerto Rico looking for flies in the designated traps. During these trips, my supervisors explained and taught me the procedures to change the baits, located

mango seed weavers and more. I now know the importance of protecting our crops from dangerous invasive species and I would like to gain more experience in other fields

to expand my knowledge.

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