María José Oviedo Ventura
I grew up in El Salvador, a small, beautiful and diverse country of a little more than 6 million people in Central America. Despite living in a big city, I have had the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of different ecosystems from hiking in volcano parks in the hearth of the city to participating in conservation activities like releasing turtle hatchlings. These experiences have driven me to take action to preserve our biodiversity and natural resources.
I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Development Engineering from Zamorano University in Honduras in 2017. Afterwards, I returned to El Salvador to work in areas related to environmental education, agri-environmental regulation, and soil and water conservation practices to improve the climate resilience of households whose livelihoods depend on agriculture.
After working for a few years, in 2021 I decided to pursue my master’s degree, majoring in Mechanized Systems Management (MSc) with a specialization in Water Resources Planning and Management from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My research focus was on nutrient management and short-term indicators of soil health improvements driven by organic amendments application.
I am excited to join the Cornell Small Farms Program and work with farmers to create a community and support network, while we learn together to overcome technical, environmental, and cultural challenges during agricultural production. A main focus for me through the Spanish-first Futuro en Ag project is carrying out capacity-building programs related to climatic resiliency.