Where did you grow up?
I was born in Brownsville, Texas and I grew up in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Where did you go to school and in what subject did you get your degree(s)?
I have a Bachelors in Biology. I’m currently working on my Masters degree in Ocean, Coastal, and Earth Sciences at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. My thesis research is on coastal conservation investigating eutrophication effects on Black mangrove and soil gas fluxes in eutrophicated coastal blue carbon in South Texas.
How did you come to work at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center?
NOAA Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems (CCME) is funded by NOAA Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions to educate and train new generations of scientists, particularly from underrepresented minority communities. My school is one of the five partner universities. One of the requirements of this program is to complete a 12-week internship at a NOAA facility. I became a NOAA CCME scholar in June 2020 and I started working at the science center’s Galveston facility in July 2021.
What do you do at the science center?
I’m currently conducting shrimp experiments to evaluate a new tag used in shrimp. These visible marks will help monitor shrimp growth over time. I monitor retention rate, and visibility of the tags, as well as shrimp survival. Our field sites are mainly in coastal marshes, mangroves, and oyster reefs. My lab group and I perform other duties such as rehabilitating the wet lab facility, conducting field work, boat maintenance, and helping with other shrimp projects.
What do you like most about your position?
I appreciate having the privilege of learning from experienced researchers and getting immersed in fisheries science research. I really enjoy fieldwork and finding creatures every time out there. I’m grateful for having fun and working with my enthusiastic labmates.
What does National Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month is a good reminder to acknowledge where I came from and feel proud of where I am today. I recognize diversity plays an important role and integrating different ethnic groups into science helps us build a more collaborative input for better decisions. It helps us recognize that it doesn’t matter where you came from while trying to conserve our planet.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I like swimming and scuba diving. I love traveling and trying out different adventure activities with friends. Photography and puzzles are also hobbies that I really enjoy!