I am a passionate, disciplined and focused person
My name is Fernanda Mejía, a mexican Ecology Engineer and I am a girl that believes in the power of education, perseverance and a person who wants to have a significant impact in our world, which I do believe is my destination.
Before saying more, I'd like to tell you something about my last 2 years. In 2016 I prepared to apply to a Master degree in Europe, I was accepted in the university I wanted in Germany but unfortunately I wasn't granted with the scholarship of CONACYT both 2017 and 2018. The main reason was due to a budged reduction. I did the mistake of only relied on this funding. Nevertheless, this year I have learned so much about perseverance and foremost, to do not follow a single path.
As my goal is clear for me, there are numerous reasons to enroll into this program. First of all, studying in 3 prestigious universities would be a truly honor for me besides I'd love to have the opportunity to learn and work along side recognized research professors. For instance, I took a look at Dr. Tibor Stigter work and I got very interested in his different publications about aquifers in semi arid zones due in Chihuahua we already have 19 overexploited aquifers out of 61 and according to Kamel Athié, local director of CONAGUA, in the next 15 years we could run out of water. What I also noticed is that Dr. Stigter has worked in Latin America projects such as in Colombia and Brazil, it would be great to work together in a Project like AQUIFERAL in Chihuahua state, for instance in Delicias or Cuauhtemoc where we have high agricultural activity and therefore soil and groundwater contamination.
In 2013 while I was doing my field work for my thesis in the Laguna de Bustillos, Chihuahua I witnessed all the negative impacts of the anthropogenic activities in the Lagoon. It has undergone modifications to its environment due to the deforestation of its basin, the overexploitation of its groundwater table and the contamination by transport of pollutants coming from surrounding activities. All this has left a body of water vulnerable to hydrological threats such as desertification and drought in addition to high concentrations of heavy metals from drains and fields. Chihuahua according to CONAGUA has 22.38% of municipalities vulnerable to climate change.
The Chihuahua State Climate Change Program (PECC) targes 5 analysis of mitigation policies. I want to highlight the cross-cutting issues because those tackle water sustainability. The main objectives are to promote and implement water recharge systems, reinforce the integrated management plans of hydrological basins and diagnosis of vulnerable areas in the face of climate emergencies and to cope with contingencies.
The skills and competences that I will obtain in this program are very usefull to address the needs of Chihuahua. For example, the modelling tools for climate and groundwater in order to create scenario anaylisis and upon this identify the predicted impacts of climate change and climate variabily for integrated water resources management would fit perfectly into the projects and areas of opportunity of Chihuahua state. For a nation which faces water pressure problems and that currently has 104 out of 731 basins with water disponibility problems and coupled with a high vulnerability to drought, specially in the north states such as Chihuahua, is truly important to have qualified people with advanced knowledge of water resources planning. The curricula of the program will give me the skills and competences I need to integrate myself into water resource protection in my country.
My thesis helped me to enforce my skills regarding research. I developed and learned more about sampling techniques, I also improved my skills in statistics and in programs like Minitab and ArcGIS. Working in the laboratory and with equipment like the Atomic Emission Spectrophotometer taught me about analysis methods, likewise the review of literature formed in me a discipline for the understanding and use of scientific texts in order to relate my ideas with those of previous studies. When I was in the university I worked in the Natural Resources Department specially with GIS, I did temperature and precipitation maps using historical data of Chihuahua, I want to gain more SIG skills since I really enjoy working with that tool.
In August of 2013 I participated in the International Congress of Medical Geology held in Washington DC, I presented a poster "Heavy Metal Contamination in Common Fish of the Laguna de Bustillos, Chihuahua, Mexico". In November 2013 I participated in the First Meeting of Young Researchers of the State of Chihuahua by CONACYT. In 2014, I supported the georeferencing project of the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone in the UACh Technopark. In August 2015, I became a member of the College of Engineers in Ecology, an organization that allowed me to follow up on the challenges facing the Ecology Engineers and to motivate the students.
Working as a Safety and Environmental Supervisor, I have been in charge of the compliance of labor and environmental mexican normativity, disposal of hazardous waste materials, sewage water, chemicals control trough the Global Harmonized System and ISO14001.
This year I got my first article publication in the journal of Investigación y Ciencia de la Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, "Heavy metals in sediments of the Bustillos Lagoon, Chih, Mexico and comparison of water regia and peroxide of hydrogen as digestion methods" pages 39-47.
Aware of the difficult dutty that you have selecting the correct candidates for the program and scholarship, I assure you that I am a passionate, disciplined and focused girl who will take all the advantages of this exciting opportunity. At last and a very important fact to me is that by addressing water management problems I will also achieve gender equality and will prevent more girls to drop out school due to water scarcity.