Alexander Arbelaez is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies with a focus in Agri-Science as well as a Certificate in Agroecology. He is interning at the USDA ARS Subtropical Horticuluture Research Station in Coral Gables, Florida under the supervision of Dr. David Kuhn and Barbara Freeman. As a START NOW scholar, he will undergo two weeks of agricultural training in Costa Rica during the summer of 2017. Alexander is interested in researching interactions between plant systems to contribute towards more sustainable food production and better soil health in tropical environments under the mentorship of Agroecology Program Coordinator, Eric Betancourt. After graduating, he plans to use his knowledge to spread sustainable agriculture practices to local communities in order to lower dependence on foreign food imports and strengthen local social interactions and food production.