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
USDA Agency of interest: USDA- Soil Conservation
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.
• 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.