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NRCS Caribbean Ecological Sciences and Field staff plant Arachis pintoi field trials at Yauco, PR, coffee farm on August 26, 2022.

Caribbean Ecological Sciences Division

The Caribbean Ecological Sciences Division provides training and resources for NEPA environmental compliance and Resource Concern assessment under the NRCS 9-step Conservation Planning process, and provides assistance with Agroforestry, Forage, Native Plants and other plant materials resources.

Cafe Lareño shade coffee farm in Yauco, Puerto Rico - 28 August 2020.

Focus Areas

What's New?

Who We Are

Our Caribbean Ecological Sciences staff lead the technology in ecological, cultural resource, and environmental compliance to ensure science-based conservation for NRCS in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

What We Do

Contour planting for pinto bean fields in Aguada, Puerto Rico.

Our Ecological Sciences team integrates agricultural, ecological, environmental, fish and wildlife, cultural legacy and energy concerns into all NRCS programs. We consult with our NRCS conservation planners and partners to help farmers and landowners develop appropriate land use, conservation treatment and associated conservation measures. We validate, develop, and implement new technologies to assess conditions in soil, water, air, plant, animal, and energy resources.

The team develops policies and guidelines for NRCS compliance with federal, state and local laws, regulations, and executive orders pertaining to ecological sciences disciplines. We provide policy guidance and update the Caribbean Area Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG)which provides all of our Conservation Practice Standards and supporting documents and guidelines.

Ecological Sciences provides guidance, expertise and employee and partner training for erosion prediction and control, nutrient management and comprehensive nutrient management plans, pest management, forestry, fish and wildlife management, highly erodible land and wetland compliance, air quality, invasive species and pollinators, pasture management, water quality, soil quality, historical and cultural resources, organic and urban farming. 

We provide leadership for farm management and sustainable agriculture practices, and follow-up or spot-check conservation practices related to crop, pasture, and forest improvements.

Caribbean Field Office Technical Guide screenshot

Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG)

The electronic Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG) is NRCS's primary scientific reference. It contains technical information about practices to conserve soil, water, air, plant, animal and energy resources. The Caribbean Area FOTG has localized data and information specific to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It contains five sections with information about General Resource References (Section I), Natural & Cultural Resources (Section II), Resource Concerns and Planning Criteria (Section III), Conservation Practice Standards & Specifications (Section IV), and Conservation Effects (Section V).

NRCS Caribbean team plants Arachis pintoi farm trial in Yauco, PR, on 26 August 2022.

Arachis pintoi Conservation Covers Farm Trials

NRCS Caribbean and the National Plant Materials Center are conducting Arachis pintoi (perennial peanut) farm trials to evaluate its efficacy as a conservation cover for Puerto Rico's coffee farms.

High Tunnel installed at Finca Gaia in Dorado, Puerto Rico.

Conservación en Acción en el Área del Caribe (Conservation at Work)

Conservation practice postcards in both English & Spanish customized to the Caribbean Area, companions to the Conservation at Work video series.

Mario Rodríguez

State Resource Conservationist

Employee Directory

Ecological Sciences Staff
Name Position Phone Number Email
Francisco Rivera
Agroforestry/ Grassland Management Specialist
Edrick Marrero
State Agronomist
Marinés Colón-González
State Archaeologist
Bárbara Sánchez
State Wildlife Biologist
Natural Resources Specialist