Paula Salazar

Paula Salazar

Major: Environmental Studies, BA Certificate: Agroecology Rank: Senior

Career Experience/Location: I currently work as an intern with Broward County, Solid Waste and Recycling Services Department. I help manage the Household Hazardous Waste Program that the county offers to different cities. This past summer, I was able to complete an internship with U.S. Department of Agriculture at the Natural Resources Conservation Services in Defiance, Ohio. During my internship, I was able to assist on various projects, including develop, implement and maintain conservation plans to landowners. I have also volunteered at U.S. Department of Agriculture at the Agricultural Research Station located in Coral Gables, FL assisting on the fruit characterization program, including mangos and avocadoes, and collaborating on outreach events. Additionally, I have completed different internships and projects relating to the importance on biodiversity conservation and community engagement.

Description of Career Experience (What I Learned): My career experience has helped me not only apply my knowledge in the environmental field but also broadened my knowledge by attending different trainings and experiential learning trips. During these different events, I was able to study the different agricultural systems in California and Milan, Italy, learned from the administrative component, different research skills to the customer service to various landowner and private contractors. These experiences have helped find my passion towards the environment and agriculture.

What is your perception of agriculture now: Agriculture has been and still is the fundamental key to sustain human life and the future. Although for the past years, humans have been exploiting nature’s resources. The relationship between organisms and their environment or Sustainable agriculture grow is the main key to our future.

How has this career experience broadened your employment opportunities? Due to my previous volunteer experience at the USDA at ARS and my persistence passion and motivation towards the environment, I was able to obtain the internship with NRCS this previous summer. Additionally, I was sponsored to travel to California to learn its advance agricultural system and Milan, Italy to attend to the world’s fair, EXPO 2015 Milano focused on Feeding the Planer, Energy for Life, and European Food Safety Authority’s 2nd Scientific Conference.

Career and Research Aspirations: My career aspiration is to combine my educational and experiential experiences to make a change in today’s society. I believe that the balance from our past experiences and our current technology is the solution to our current and future’s agricultural and environmental issues. Also, I would like to educate others on the importance of conserving the environment and possibly assist others on conservation practices.