As the information technology specialist for the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) in Madison, Wisconsin, Carlos, among his other work activities, supports both the intranet and lab’s website. Both responsibilities are key to making the scientists’ research findings and technical reports accessible to the public. Though he has only been part of FPL since 2017, Carlos started working with the USDA Forest Service about five years ago as a science delivery specialist fellow for Research & Development (R&D) in the Washington office.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The best part of my job is how dynamic it is. Moreover, delivering content to the public is a gratifying and rewarding experience. Not only do I get to share new, fun, and exciting news about FPL’s research with the public every day, but I also get to learn about new scientific advancements in the process, so it is very difficult to get bored.
My background in natural sciences (biology) and environmental health, along with my experience in computer science, ended up being the perfect match for my current position. Thanks to my education and background, I am well prepared to communicate via web the impressive and extensive research taking place at FPL. At the same time I can understand and appreciate the technical content I am posting, which is very gratifying.
Describe a recent, current, or upcoming project that you’re currently working on.
For a while now I’ve been part of several efforts to modernize the R&D web presence. Our main goal is to present all Forest Service research in a comprehensive, integrated, and uniform way while taking advantage of the latest technologies available to best serve our public.
Describe a professional or personal achievement that you are particularly proud of.
Being part of the Forest Service family is probably one of my biggest professional achievements. On the personal side, for two consecutive years I ran in the Army Ten Miler, the second largest ten-mile race in U.S.
I would like the public to know more about Forest Service research, the motivation behind it as well as the short- and long-term impacts of the findings. I want them to appreciate how important this work is in our everyday lives. I would also like them to know we do our best to share all this information so they can make use of it. I would like to show that we are delivering a good return on the investment of their taxes.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to serve their country as a Forest Service employee?
There’s no better way to serve the public than benefitting from and protecting our national forests and grasslands while at the same time learning about them through research. Forest product research is truly the key to becoming a more sustainable society.