Universidade de São Paulo students prosper through CALS internship opportunity

Etori Soares Veronezi

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Agronomy is hosting undergraduate student interns for a 4-month program at Iowa State University. Etori Soares Veronezi and Luiz Felipe Cruz Silva Fortes are visiting from the Universidade de São Paulo (USP) in Brazil with studies in agronomic engineering under the guidance of Dr. Sotirios Archontoulis, Associate Professor. Both interns are part of the Agriculture Experimentation Group (GEA) program at their home university and it is through this program that they connected with Caio dos Santos, PhD student in Dr. Archontoulis’s lab. Through this connection, the student interns were invited to partake in a hands-on internship program at Iowa State University. With a background in agriculture, both Etori and Luiz Felipe were excited to learn about agriculture in Iowa and have the opportunity to compare and contrast soil types, crop development and data collection and analysis. Etori mentioned that the biggest difference he noticed had to do with the soil types and the amount of organic matter in the soil. Most of Iowa’s black soil is made up of nutrient rich, organic matter compared to Brazil’s red in color soil that is high in iron and clay content. Luiz Felipe also mentioned the different growing seasons in Brazil compared to Iowa. Typically, Brazilian farmers are able to harvest two to three growing seasons a year, alternating between soybeans in the spring and corn in the summer due to the climate and weather patterns.


Luiz Felipe Cruz Silva Fortes

During their time at Iowa State, the interns have had the opportunity to work side-by-side with other students in Dr. Archontoulis’s lab as they harvest crops on university field plots and collect and analysis the soil and crop data. Both interns have enjoyed the opportunity to network with other students from Iowa State and learn about academia in the US and about each individual student’s diverse background. Dr. Archontoulis has even allowed the student interns to join weekly lab meetings to help grow their knowledge and understanding of the harvest process and specific research findings.

Both Etori and Luiz Felipe have enjoyed working with Dr. Archontoulis and his lab students’ as this opportunity has allowed both of them to open their eyes to new potentials. Initially, Luiz Felipe was nervous about the internship program as he didn’t know what to expect and thought the research and work itself may be difficult, but now realizes that this is an opportunity of a life-time that has opened doors to endless possibilities. Etori and Luiz Felipe both mentioned they had planned to start working on farms after receiving their undergraduate degrees, but through this program and the connections they have created, both have gained an interest in potentially continuing their education. Both interns mentioned that they plan to stay in contact with Dr. Archontoulis and Caio to continue the communication on future collaboration and continued education in the US.

Dr. Archontoulis is also hosting, Hernan Torres Pacin, a student intern from Facultad de Agronomia, Universidad de Buenos Aires in Argentina through a similar internship program. The student interns will return to their home countries on December 31, 2021 to continue and complete their undergraduate degrees. The student interns visit was coordinated by CALS Global Programs.Dr. Archontoulis’s lab

Written by CALS Global Programs

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