Dr. Maria Gonzales Acosta
I grew up along the Atlantic coast of Guatemala and I always just loved the water.
My father used to call me his little fish. We immigrated to the United State and lived in Minnesota. That state has 11842 lakes! My love for the water continued to grow snd I became fascinated with the effects people had on the watershed system. My father suggested I go to school and follow my passion to learn more about the water on our planet. And so I did and earned all my degrees right through my PhD in Geology with a speciality in Hydrology finally making me a Master of Earth and Water. My parents were so proud. Now I am very lucky to go to work everyday outside and enjoy what I do.
I am a chemist who works for the Smithsonian Institution. I grew up in Miami
Florida and was always fascinated by how natural materials interact. I first became
interested in chemistry back in high school when I was in science class. We used to do small chemical experiments to see the reactions of different elements when
mixed together. The periodic table of elements is very important. Well I was
excited when my teachers told me I could go to college and be a real scientist! So I
worked very hard learning both science and math so I was able to get into a great
university. First I earned my Bachelor Degree in Organic Chemistry. Then I
returned to college and earned my Masters degree in environmental Chemistry. I
am still working towards my PhD in Chemistry. It’s a cool field because there are so many things I can do with a chemistry background. I can work for the Smithsonian, or the medical field or even in commercial industry and pharmaceuticals. The opportunities are all over.
Dr. Anyango Omandi
I am a zoologist for the Smithsonian Institution, with a special area of focus on Animals and their habitats. My parents owned a farm in Kenya so I grew up with all kinds of different animals. On school vacations my parents would take me out across the countryside to go on photographic safaris. Thats when I really started to
understand how each species of animal exists within its own environment and how
changes in an animals environment can have a great effect on the animal itself.
Image if someone came into your home and did whatever they wanted without any
respect to you and your family? Something to think about when you are outside
within another species home.
Hey! I’m Hector. I’m a junior at the local high school. I’m also a starting forward on
the varsity soccer team. My dad taught me to play. The subject I like the most is
earth science. I like all the field trips I get to take around here because I get to work outside, see cool animals and really learn about the environment. My teacher
Senorita Satterlee says if I keep my grades up and work hard I’ll be able to go to
college and become a scientist. I think that’s pretty cool.
High School Science Teacher
I grew up in El Paso, Texas so it was normal to learn both Spanish and English. I also learned to speak German and Latin because of my interest in the sciences. And because it was just really cool to be able to speak and read so many different
languages. Eventually I had the opportunity to travel to Germany and actually
immerse myself with native speakers. It was such a wonderful experience, much the way I'm sure many people feel when they visit us here on the border towns. I
earned my Bachelors and Masters degrees in education with an emphasis on science starting at the community college and then transferred over to the four year school to finish. It was a lot of hard work but totally worth it because now I get to teach cool students like you and the other Eco Explorers!
8 yrs. old
Hi! I’m Dianna. I’m from Oaxaca, Mexico. But right now I’m staying with my grandparents here in the United States while my mom and dad are doing job interviews. I love visiting mi abuelo and abuela. There is always something fun and exciting to do here. I really like exploring the lands here and meeting all the creatures.
Dr. Antonia Monroe
I am a environmental scientist with the Smithsonian Institution. I specialize in
animal tracking and migration. When I was growing up in the DR, Dominican
Republic, my brothers and I used to try and track the lizards that ran through our
yard. My older brother taught me that you could actually tell what type of animal
had moved through an area just by the footprint it left! That’s when I was hooked on solving animal tracks and the patterns of their movements through areas which is called migration. The crab tagging project allows us to attach a tag with a specific number to the crab and if someone spots the crab they can call it in and we can track its movements.
Well, I guess I've always had my hands in the dirt. As a kid growing up in El
Salvador, I worked with my dad for a local farmer. We used to help plant and
harvest coffee beans but also traditional grains including white corn, sorghum, rice,
and edible beans. So from a young age I learned the importance of a hard days work and how you could grow food for your own family while also helping the community and making a profit. Sadly though, the life of the farmer is becoming harder and harder with the onset of the environment declining. I'm hoping all those young scientists and young people like you can find a way to reverse destruction of the land.
I am a catholic priest who grew up in San Paolo Brazil. Although I grew up speaking Portuguese I also learned Spanish because my grandmother was from Lima, Peru. I did my studies in environmental theology at the Seminary in Brasilia, then went on to spend most of my life working with communities in the Amazon region in Peru and Brazil. It’s important to understand the culture of people in respect to their spiritual beliefs and their relationship with the natural environment.
My grandfather had owned his own little bodega on the south side of Phoenix. My
siblings and I used to sit in the shade of his storefront eating popsicles during the
Sonoran desert months. I used to like to watch all the different people coming and
going. Some people did not even buy anything; they just came into the store to talk
with my grandfather and grandmother to catch up on the community news and
events. That’s what started me wanting my own store when I grew up. Senor
Rodriguez and I actually met while we were in high school. We met during a
photography master class for high school students at the local University. We
earned our MBA degrees and became business partners and eventually got married. We settled right here where we went to school and we try to run our shop just like my grandfather did back in Phoenix. A place for essential supplies as well as a place for community to gather, talk and celebrate the everyday.
My wife and I own the local mini mart shop down the block. We both went to
business school and got our MBA or Master of Business Arts degrees so that we
would know how to set up a business and be successful entrepreneurs. My wife and I think it’s important to be educated and then come back and give to the community that helped support and raise us as kids. If you stop by the store you can tell her I said hi and you may also see my son Hector running around somewhere. He was supposed to help with the recycling today but I haven't seen him.