My Story List

Join in the discovery of WiSEM by exploring the My Story databases. Celebrate the contributions of Rutgers’ outstanding female scientists. Explore careers in science, engineering, mathematics, and the health professions by taking a peek into the academic and life adventures of women faculty at Rutgers University.

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Areas of Interest: Homogenization, Invasion Ecology, and Conservation In Action.
My Story: I originally became interested in science out of happenstance coupled with a slice of laziness. There were two ways to get out of high school during the second half of the day; one was work-study, usually waitressing, and the other was taking classes at the community college. I chose the latter option, so the only high school class that fit into my schedule before I left for the afternoon was Advanced Biology. I discovered two things from this experience. First, college courses went faster and were more enjoyable than high school classes. Second, I really liked biology. When I started college...
Areas of Interest: Vulnerability, Adaptive Capacity and Resilience to Natural Hazards, Ecosystem Services and Drivers of Ecosystem Change, Land Use and Land Cover Change, Cartography, Geographic Information Systems, Mixed Methods, Participatory Research Methods, Puerto Rico, Caribbean
My Story: Growing up in the mountainous areas of Puerto Rico and being in constant interaction with nature aroused my interest in human-environmental relationships. How to achieve a balance between resource use, conservation, and increasing people’s knowledge and capacities of how to reach that balance has always been an interest to me-- particularly in marginal communities that do not have access to a lot of resources. My father is a farmer, so I was always exposed to and was curious about different processes of nature. Also, my family was always trying to teach us about social justice and the...