In celebration of Women’s Heritage Month, USDA is proudly sharing tales of girls leaders in agriculture who are supporting women and girls succeed along the way.
In this website, we element Dr. Dominique Carter, Agricultural Science Fellow with USDA’s Place of work of the Chief Scientist. Dr. Carter’s function touches several research portfolios to evaluate the efficiency and effects of USDA science initiatives. In addition to her perform, she is also interested in emerging technologies, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Dr. Carter talked about having a strong operate ethic, chasing your goals, and “taking up area.”
Tell us your journey and how your curiosity in agriculture produced
I turned intrigued in rising systems for the duration of my very last yr of graduate faculty. I decided to go after a career that would permit me to incorporate my motivation to improve the lives of some others through scientific discovery and innovation, with my desire in science policy. The AAAS Science & Know-how Coverage Fellowship gave me the opportunity to engage in science coverage at a federal science company, the Nationwide Science Basis (NSF). At NSF, I worked cross-functionally to catalyze world partnerships in science and innovation in Europe and Africa. This perform bundled engagement throughout the federal federal government via NSF interagency partnerships for a variety of systems, including the U.S. Company for Worldwide Improvement (USAID) for the Partnerships for Increased Engagement in Research (PEER) plan and USDA for Improvements at the Nexus of Food items, Strength, and H2o Techniques (INFEWS) program.
What is your function in the Business of the Main Scientist? What is a normal workday for you?
I perform as an Agricultural Science Advisor in the Office environment of the Chief Scientist. My portfolio spans throughout many regions so just about every working day is a new journey! At the moment, my work focuses on supporting the Strategic Setting up & Efficiency Measurement and Evidence & Analysis committees to coordinate efficiency measurement, development checking, evaluating applications for performance, and science policy improvement for the Exploration, Schooling, and Economics mission space. I also co-direct the Crucial Performance Indicator (KPI) Innovation Staff to acquire and identify performance measures to reveal the influence of USDA science.
I also assistance the Pollinator Health Investigation portfolio for coordinating and monitoring all pollinator health investigate actions across USDA in compliance with necessities from the 2019 Farm Invoice. I will also shortly assist the Sustainable Agriculture Intensification theme group in accordance with the Method Theme described in the new USDA Science Blueprint.
Who are your position versions? Who/what inspires you?
My private job versions contain my grandmother and mom as they were being the first examples of sturdy, resilient girls in my daily life. They taught me the significance of really hard function, how to be assertive, and encouraged me to be in relentless pursuit of my dreams generally. Almost everything I am is due to the fact of who and what they are.
What personalized challenges have you encountered and how did you conquer them?
Some personalized challenges I have encountered incorporate becoming underestimated and resultantly underutilized in some educational and qualified options. As a the latest Ph.D. receiver from the Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics Software at the Medical College or university of Wisconsin, I learned the importance of speaking up, trying to get prospects to develop and show my skillsets, volunteering for assignments, and trying to find qualified mentorship.
What advice would you give to girls and young ladies who want to enter agriculture? What tips do you have for fellow women in agriculture, both equally in USDA and in the private sector?
My advice to girls and youthful ladies interested in agriculture is to advocate for your self and normally request prospects to learn much more and establish your capabilities. I am passionate about finding a lot more women, gals, and underrepresented minorities to study STEM subjects. It’s also essential to detect and cultivate experienced and peer mentor interactions. Numerous possibilities are uncovered by way of networking. Last but not least, I would encourage them to just take up area! Do not limit yourself for the comfort of many others.
Investigation and Science