GWNET brings you the 6th instalment of the “Meet the Women in the SICA Energy Transition” series which celebrates the work and achievements of the women who are part of the Women in the SICA Energy Transition Mentoring Programme. This programme is made up of 38 mentee-mentor tandems, with mentees from 7 countries. Meet SICA mentee, Australia Ramírez García, Head of the Hydrogeological Studies Division at the Servicio Geológico Nacional in the Dominican Republic.
1) Tell us a little about yourself. What do you love most about what you do?
I’m a Civil Engineer with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Geology and Geological Resources and a PhD student in the Technology and Modeling Program in Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena, Spain, where I’m developing the topic “Origin of the natural chemical composition, contamination and limit values (thresholds) of the aquifer of the Azua Plain, Dominican Republic”.
I work at the National Geological Survey (SGN), as head of the hydrogeological studies division and at the Pedro Henríquez Ureña National University as a teacher. In the SGN we develop research projects, and within these projects we are carrying out a regional project “Identification of Geothermal Energy Deposits in Central America for Community Development (Local)”, implemented by the Federal Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR).
I like being able to develop research that contributes to the benefit of the country, the scientific community and other regions, and to be able to transmit the results of the research to both the scientific community and the general public, using appropriate language for each group.
2) What were your goals when you started working in the energy sector? How have these evolved?
With the regional project “Identification of Geothermal Energy Deposits in Central America for Community Development (Local)”, I have begun to work on geothermal energy.
As part of my objectives, I aim to understand how we can take advantage of this type of renewable energy that comes from within the earth and how this resource can be used in favour of the community and the country. It is worth mentioning that through the BGR we have received different training sessions specific to the geothermal project.
3) What are the opportunities for sustainable energy in your country?
In the Dominican Republic, sustainable energies, specifically, photovoltaic solar energy (PV) and wind energy are being widely used in the southern part of the country. Additionally, the country has low enthalpy hydrothermal vents, which can also be considered to supply small communities with energy.
Among the challenges I have faced is during my participation in the project “Identification of Geothermal Energy Reservoirs in Central America for Community Development (local) ‘Reservoirs II'”, specifically focused on the development of the identification and characterization of geothermal resources and the potential for their use and of hydrothermal manifestations and their direct uses.
In this project, we have the opportunity to work together with the Guayabal municipality’s mayor’s office. Thanks to our Heavenly Father and the guidance received by the BGR on the issues of this project and the work team of the SGN, I am overcoming this challenge, for which I have had to use dedication and responsibility.
In 5 years I would like to be dedicated to the development of research projects related to the use of geothermal energy, renewable energy and energy efficiency. I want to pass on this knowledge to students so that they can develop capacities in renewable energy.
This mentoring programme will help me increase my knowledge of renewable energy, specifically geothermal energy; and will allow me to understand the experience of other countries and women dedicated to geothermal energy in the SICA region.
6) What advice would you give to women hoping to join the sustainable energy sector?
For women who wish to join the energy sector, I advise them to take part in training on energy in order to take advantage of the opportunities that this sector will provide. In addition, I would advise women to work with dedication and empowerment for the benefit of their countries and for current and future generations.
Make contributions in favour of geoscientific knowledge in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency and the use of geothermal energy. Accept the opportunities to develop in an area where the presence of women is not yet highly valued due to the social stereotypes that we live.
Read more about GWNET’s mentoring programmes here.