Working towards a sustainable future
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Student: Gina D. García Rivera

Name: García Rivera, Gina D.

Hometown: Las Piedras, Puerto Rico

Institution: University of Puerto Rico

Campus: Humacao Campus

Rank: B.S.

Major: Chemistry

Expected date of graduation: May 2014

Degree: B.S. in Chemistry

USDA Agency of interest: USDA-ARS Albany California



Career cxperience/location:

Working for the USDA-CETARS program at the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao under the supervision of Dr. Rolando Tremont.


Description of career experience (what I learned):

I am working in the determination of arsenic III in tomatoes and if the antioxidant lycopene is deactivated by the arsenic. I am going to plant five plants of tomatoes to be

analized when ready and I was able to prepare soil using a digestion.


What is your perception of agriculture now:

The agriculture is necessary for the humanity, without it we can’t have high quality goods. We must have to rescue the agriculture in Puerto Rico.


How has this career experience broadened your employment opportunities:

I analyzed soil before use it for the plants of tomatoes. The soil has to be free of heavy metals. Using atomic absorption I will determine if the soil is free of arsenic, lead,

mercury, and other heavy metals. I will be able to use electrochemistry techniques for the making of a calibration curve. I will poison the plants with different

concentrations of arsenic for the analysis.


Career and research aspirations:

I aspire to finish my M.S. in agronomy within the next five years and find a job at the USDA-ARS in Albany California or any other location. In 10 years I would like to be

working for the USDA permanently in multiple projects around the United States and its territories.


Skill Set:

Bilingual-English(intermediate)/Spanish(native)-Microsfot Word, Excel, Power Point 2007-proficient in atomic absorption, UV/VIS -leadership skills.


The impact of my career experience:

The reseach experience at the USDA-CETARS program has given me the necessary skills to become a competent scientist in the near future. I applied techniques and

procedures of agricultural interest, such as determine arsenic in tomatoes using atomic absorption. The tomatoes that everybody eat are sprayed with pesticides that

commonly have arsenic present. Is very important to know if what we eat is healthy and safe.These experiences will prepare me to compete in the job market specially at

USDA. My longterm goal is to work as a reseach scientist at USDA.

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