Student: Darsy Kimberly Smith Torres
Name: Smith Torres, Darsy K.
Hometown: Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico
Institution: University of Puerto Rico
Campus: Mayaguez Campus
Major: Crop protection
Expected date of graduation: December 2014
USDA Agency of interest: USDA-ARS Beltsville Maryland
I worked as a soil conservationist in the USDA-NRCS Kalispell, Montana and as a biological technitian at the USDA-ARS Beltsville, Maryland. Also reaserch in the plant
breeding program of pumpking at the Agricultural Experiment Station of Puerto Rico looking for resistance to Papaya ringspot virus and at the University of Maryland
collaborated in a research to find the salt tolerance on mutant plant of Arabidopsis thaliana. Description of career experience (what I learned): I experienced a professional
and personal improvement by orienting the citizens about natural resources issues , how the agency can help them to conserve their fields. Also builded maps with GPS’s
programs and the data in the Web Soil Survey. I also improved my leadership skills.
What is your perception of agriculture now:
Learned about the importance to educate about the agriculture issues including food security.
How has this career experience broadened your employment opportunities:
Acquired experience at the field and at the laboratory level including experiences as a biological technician, which prepared me to compete for future employment at USDA.
Career and research aspirations:
I will graduate with a bachelor degree in Crop Protection on December 2014. During the next 5 years I will work on a PhD program related to plants. In 10 years I would like
to collaborate or work as a scientist in the USDA-ARS.
Extract DNA from plants – ELYZA test – electrophoresis – aseptic techniques- design experiment sampling – maintenance nursery planting site – Infostat – Web Soil Survey -
build maps – GPS.
The impact of my career experience:
The career experiences with the USDA has improved my leadership, the ability to find solutions to the problems eficiently and the ability to comunicate in English. Also it
made me understand that I really want to be focus on my eduaction until finishing graduate school with a PhD. The K-12 experiences has helped me to express myself
when I’m teaching. Now I feel the obligation to learn the concept very well such I can teach and share the information with the K-12 students from public schools and
motivate them to study agriculture or related careers.