Working towards a sustainable future
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Student: Maricely Ramirez Hernandez

Name: Ramirez-Hernandez, Maricely

Hometown: Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Institution: University of Puerto Rico

Campus: Mayaguez Campus

Rank: B.S.

Major: Chemical Engineering

Expected date of graduation: May 2016

Degree: BS in Chemical Engineering

USDA Agency of interest: USDA-ARS Beltsville, Maryland USDA-FS-FPL Madison, Wisconsin



Career cxperience/location:

Worked in a reseach internship at the USDA-FS Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin under the supervision of Dr. Richard D. Bergman.


Description of career experience (what I learned): 

I worked on putting together a bill of materials for secondary road steel bridges and later used it to carry out a Life Cycle Assessment using Athena Impact Estimators and



What is your perception of agriculture now:

Agriculture entails a lot more than just field work, all areas of science are needed in order to have successful, safe, and sustainable food sources.


How has this career experience broadened your employment opportunities?

I learned how to use Athena Impact Estimators and several databases during summer. While in the program I have learned to use XRD,FT-IR,UV/VIS, and Z-Potential

characterization techniques. I have learned to work with microwave synthesis methods as well.


Career and research aspirations:

I aspire to finish my BS in chemical engineering within the next 2 years and find a job in an USDA agency as a researcher or related position. In 10 years I would like to have

finished my PhD in Materials Science to apply it to food packaging and continue my career as a researcher at USDA.


Skill Set:

Bilingual-English/Spanish-computer literate-Office 2010-proficient in XRD,FT-IR,Z-Potential,UV/VIS Spectrometry,TGA,Optical Microscopy


The impact of my career experience:

The reseach experiences while being a part of the CETARS program have given me the necessary skills to become a competent scientist in the near future. I have learned

several characterization techniques as well as synthesis techniques not taught in regular teaching laboratories. My oral skills have greatly improved since I am no longer

that dubious of myself when presenting my project. These experiences will prepare me to compete in the job market, especially at USDA. My long term goals are to find a

reseach position at an USDA facility. This experience has helped me to know the reseach that is being carried out in the University of Puerto Rico as well as in Forest

Products Laboratory, where the research being conducted is like nothing I ever imagined. I understand these opportunities will better prepare me to become a competent

researcher that would be honored to work for the USDA.

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