Welcome all shoppers from Louisiana Pond Management & Small Scale Aquaponics!

Meet our Newest Member of the Team, Joaquin!

1. Where are you from? 

I was born and raised in McAllen TX, down the street from Quinta Mazatlan, the world birding center! I consider myself very lucky to have been born in South Texas because we have one of the most ecologically diverse habitats in the US with over 30 bird species that can’t be found anywhere else in the US! I grew up very interested in nature and my dad was always impressed by my ability to remember plant and animal names and facts.

2. What is your college background? 

I graduated from Florida Keys Community College with an associates degree in Applied Science for Marine Environmental Technology in 2017. FKCC was ranked the 18th best community college in the US (out of 1,132). This is because of their hands on approach to teaching, which enabled me to take amazing classes like coral reef ecology, scientific diving, survey of mariculture and marine data collection. All of our labs were in the field, as we would take a dive boat to the Florida reef tract, the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world, and conduct surveys to monitor the health of the reef. I am now a certified Divemaster and Professional Research Diver. I also learned about aquaponics at FKCC in the aquaculture club. After graduating from FKCC, I took a week-long workshop in Australia called "Aquaponics Design Course" by Murray Hallam where I learned more about commercial aquaponics systems.

3. What drew your interest to this job/working for this company?

I was interested in joining Enterprise Aquatics because I am passionate about aquaponics and managing wetland ecosystems to improve their health and productivity by eliminating invasive species and preventing fish die-offs. Ecosystem restoration and aquaponics will be extremely important in the future as our population is expected to reach 11 billion by the end of this century. We will need to manage our ecosystems better and grow our food in a way that does not cause further damage so it is an honor to be a part of this movement to sustainability.

4. Did you have any related experience that could help you on the job?

I have always had pet fish since I was a child, having an aquarium in my room was a necessity. Taking care of fish has always made me feel serene but I never would have thought the skills I learned in maintaining good water quality would be applicable in my future for my job. I have built several small aquaponics systems and sold one to a local kindergarten back home in hopes that it will inspire kids. I believe caring for fish has taught me the importance of maintaining good water quality and conserving our resources.

5. Were you more excited to gain field experience with pond management or aquaponics?

I am learning new things everyday at LPM and SSA that will be useful for the rest of my life, as working with and learning from professionals is a great opportunity and I am lucky to be a part of this supportive team!

6. What are some of your hobbies?

I love to scuba dive, I believe everyone should dive at least once, it is truly another world down there! It feels like flying and how cool is it that we can breathe underwater, this would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago. I am also passionate about bird watching and wildlife photography.

7. What did you think of Louisiana before moving here?

I love Louisiana, it has beautiful ecosystems with cypress trees growing out of the water so for me it's one of the coolest ecosystems in the world and people take this for granted! The people here have been very welcoming and friendly!

8. Favorite movies?

Jurassic Park

9. Any other fun facts about yourself or cool stories? 

I have swam with blue whales in Sri Lanka.

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