Darien is a second-year graduate student as a Master’s candidate in Plant and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at NMSU in 2013. Initially joining the SBAR Center as a lab technician in Dr. John Idowu’s lab where she assisted in SBAR Extension field experiments, as well as other projects. She participates in SBAR Extension and Outreach events around New Mexico and Arizona, and is an SBAR Fellow working closely with the Education Team. Her research focuses on beneficial fungus in the soil and how to improve its relationship with plants by utilizing compost and biochar as soil amendments.
“I am the first in my family to have a Bachelor’s and the first to be working on a Master’s degree program. However, my family has had a huge influence with my passion for STEM. The past two years has shown me how powerful education, extension and outreach are in the field of agricultural sciences. I believe SBAR could lead to a more sustainable future for this region, as well as help the growers of this region thrive. There’s no better way to push a sustainable future than to start with youth in the great states of New Mexico and Arizona!”