Sobeida Figueroa


My name is Sobeida Figueroa. I am an undergraduate student at Hunter College where I am working on my bachelor’s degree in the environmental studies. Prior to transferring to Hunter I received a liberal arts degree in the social sciences and humanities from LaGuardia Community College. It was through the humanities that I decided to embark on a career in environmentalism.

As a child I spent entire summers in ranches and small family farms in California, Texas and Mexico. I come from a long lineage of farmers so naturally, anything related to the agricultural sciences appeals to me. Another topic of interest I have only recently explored is the permaculture movement in urban areas. One of the greatest paradigm shifts occurring in our lifetime is the transition from rural to city living. As urbanization trends continue to popularize throughout the globe it is crucial to consider a more sustainable way of farming. Lastly, the anthropogenic mass extinction brought on by climate change and deforestation is a pressing issue, in my view. I am equally interested in conservation efforts and ecological research.

I purposely chose a broad, interdisciplinary field like the environmental studies so that I can expose myself to a multitude of stimulating disciplines and potential internships. I view the world through a wide lens and hope to sharpen my focus with more experience in the fields encompassing the environmental studies. Thus far, I have mainly participated in the non-profit sector with organizations like the American Museum of Natural History, the Wildlife Conservation Society and most recently, GrowNYC and the Gowanus Canal Conservancy. I plan to gain as much work experience both domestically and abroad before possibly enrolling into a graduate program.

Sustainable Agriculture: the Evolution of a Revolution


Intensive agricultural practices generate a myriad of polluting agents. My research addresses ways of mitigating transboundary pollution associated with agricultural practices in the U.S. I will begin with a general approach as I introduce public health concerns and environmental issues arising from transboundary pollution. As my paper progresses, I will narrow my scope and give specific examples on ways this pollution can be mitigated.

In response to human population growth and urbanization we have intensified agricultural practices to meet the growing food demand. The implications of intensive farming often result in environmental degradation and an overall reduction in quality of life. I expect my research will help make considerable progress in mitigating agricultural pollution.

My approach synthesizes information recorded from multiple case studies and scientific research projects. The variables I am closely inspecting are water-polluting agents from agricultural sources and their ecological effects, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico.

Agricultural pollution-mitigating techniques are possible in part by natural ecological services and technological advances. The mitigating techniques discussed in my research can be implemented in similar fertile river/delta regions across the globe.

Keywords: antimicrobial pollution, antimicrobial resistance, buffer strips, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), conservation agriculture, eutrophication, fertilizers, groundwater, hypoxia, leaching, manure, mitigation, nutrient management, nutrient pollution, runoff, sewage sludge, surface water, synthetic hormones.

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