Arturo Daniel Castellon

Arturo Daniel Castellon

Name: Arturo Daniel Castellon
Hometown: Miami Florida
Institution: Florida International University
Campus: University park campus
Rank: Senior
Major: Environmental Studies
Expected date of graduation: Summer 2014
Degree: Environmental Studies
USDA Agency of interest: ARS

Career cxperience/location:I have done two interships with the USDA. The first interniship was with APHIS PPQ at Miami international Airport working on nematodes and plant fungi. The secon intenrship was with the ARS were I worked with mango, avocado and sugarcane.

Description of career experience (what I learned): With APHIS PPQ I learned how to extract nematodes from soil samples so that they could be identified. I also learned how to isolate plant fungi and identify with high power microscopes. I learned how to photograph namatodes and fungi with microscope cameras. With the ARS I learned about tropical fruit trees and there genetics.

What is your perception of agriculture now: Today agriculture is conducted as an industry rather than a living system which may or may not be sustainable.

Both of the internships that I participated in offered me jobs. After completing six months internship with the APHIS PPQ I decided it was not a job of my interest. On the other hand the ARS offered me a position which I am very interested in and look forward to working with them.

Career and research aspirations: currently I am working on graduation from FIU and in the hiring process for a part time job with the ARS were I will be working with cacao. After graduation I would like to see myself with a permanent position at the ARS. Also, If possible I would like to pursue higher education so that I could move up in position through the USDA.

Skill Set: Fluent in English and Spanish - Proficient in Microsoft Word Office - Familiar laboratory safety and equipment - Efficient with coordinating and helping at events and presentations - Experienced in breeding and handling small and large farm animals (Horses, goats, chickens and rabbits) - Organic gardening(soil management, pest management and food production) - Apiarist(honey) - Aquaculture(aquarium and pond) - Avid outdoorsmen experienced in South Florida backcountry as well as Colorado Rockies alpine extreme summer and winter conditions - Competitive equestrian show jumping - Boating and ocean safety - Finely tuned communication skills that can be tailored to the needs of any given situation

The impact of my career experience: My experience so far has been mostly with the agroecology program and the Two internships I have done. One with APHIS PPQ and the other with the ARS, both of these experiecnes were made possible to throught the agroecology program at FIU. These internships both opened doors for me and gave me options that I did not have prior. Currently I am looking forward to starting with the ARS which I believe it will be a great next step for me to reach my long term goal. In the future I want to help make the worlds food system more efficent as well as secure. Further more I would like to have a stable job that can provide for all my needs while still contributing to the great good of everyone.