Erika Duran

Erika Duran

New York, NY, US



I am a graduate from the University of Florida with a Masters in Architecture. My academic training is unique since I have a B.S. in Horticultural Sciences from the same institution.

During my architecture degree I focused on integrating plant science with design through the use of food production systems within the urban context. My interdisciplinary background and interest in sustainable design has enabled me to work with companies such as BrightFarms Systems to design rooftop hydroponic greenhouses here in New York City.

I also worked at the Walt Disney Company as a Horticultural Sciences intern designing their hydroponic gardens and exhibits.  At Disney’s Epcot Center I managed their temperate and tropical hydroponic greenhouses. I was in charge of seeding, planting and irrigating the hydroponic exhibits.  I also worked with IPM strategies since the use of chemicals was strictly forbidden.  Additionally, I was in charge of guiding backstage tours of the exhibits and teaching guests of all ages and from all over the world about plants and hydroponics.

While obtaining my Master’s Degree I worked at Talieson Group, a financial consulting and real estate company.  Talieson Group focuses on helping national and international companies establish their corporate structure and does tax and real estate consulting. As Office Manager, I dealt directly with clients and assisted them in keeping their accounts up to date with Quickbooks, filing tax forms, and applying for permits. I also guided businesses that were new to the United States in areas such as finding the correct location based on market information and contacting institutions that would help further establish them locally.

I am fluent in Portuguese and have extensively travelled throughout Brazil's metropolitan and economic centers such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Curitiba. I studied Agronomy at the Federal University of Viçosa for one year during my undergraduate degree. For the past two years I have traveled to Brazil as a Graduate Teaching Assistant with the UF College of Design Construction and Planning to teach urban planning, and translate for architects and urban planners. I am also fluent in Spanish and have conversational French skills. I would like to utilize these skills to further enhance the development of projects in areas with these populations.




WSP, New York, NY, US, Sustainability Project Manager

Sep 2016 - current

Green Drinks NYC, New York, NY, US, Graphic Design Associate

Creation of marketing materials for Sustainable Social Networking Group. Establishing contact with local vendors and institutions to create promotional materials that were suited to event location. Leading team meetings to establish creative direction of projects.

Aug 2011 - current

Dagher Engineering, New York , Sustainability Consultant

Mar 2012 - Sep 2017

Talieson Advisory, Miami Florida, Office Manager

Analyzed business and financial strategies and proposed improvements for more efficient use of company resources.Contacted business leads to obtain local and international clients. Created and maintained strong business relationships with various banking institutions in order to facilitate efficient service to clients. Guided international clients through the process of transitioning their business to the United States. Managed investment real estate properties for international clients.
Provided clients with multi-field consulting. Assisted client businesses with development and growth help. Assisted accounting and real estate clients with research process, applications, and code enforcement. Processed bookkeeping for clients using Intuit Easy Acct. and Quickbooks. Created and implemented tracking spreadsheets to maintain client accounts up to date. Managed Accounts Payables and Accounts Receivables. Filed Sales Tax, Payroll Tax, processed W-2 forms. Assisted in filing Corporate and personal Tax Returns. Interviewed and trained employees in data entry.
Data entry, filing, clerical tasks.

Oct 2006 - Aug 2011

University of Florida, Curitiba, BR, Urban and Regional Planning Graduate Teaching Assistant and Trip Coordinator

Assisted in creating and teaching curriculum for urban planning students to evaluate urban planning initiatives in metropolitan areas throughout Brazil.Organized group travel throughout Brazil. Planned and executed promotional events for program. Coordinated group participation in International Conference of Innovative Cities 2011. Logistically planned student field research and site analysis of project sites. Proposed design and policy solutions for urban problems within selected areas. Designed, edited, and published book and promotional materials for program. Coordinated between faculty and students from Brazilian and American educational institutions. Simultaneous translation of lectures, seminars, and tours from Portuguese to English. Translation of printed materials from Portuguese to English. Documentation of site visits and program activities.

May 2011 - Jun 2011

BrightFarms Systems, New York , Architecture Associate

Assisted in the design and system integration for the innovative use of rooftop food production systems in New York City. Researched and analyzed potential sites for proposal of rooftop hydroponic greenhouses. Generated design proposals and presentations for projects. Worked with team members from environmental engineering, public policy, and agro-ecology. Researched and contacted government organizations to address public needs and underserved populations. Drafted and proposed rooftop greenhouse project to Hunts Point Produce Terminal Market.

May 2009 - Jul 2009

The Walt Disney Company, Orlando, FL, US, Horticultural Sciences Intern

Guided tours with guests of all ages and from around the world while explaining greenhouse hydroponic systems and fielding questions. Performed tours in English, Spanish, and Portuguese
Managed greenhouses containing crops from temperate and tropical climates. Designed layout of plant varieties for viewing by thousands of people. Designed and Installed irrigation systems for hydroponic greenhouses. Identified pests and disease problems and suggested organic solutions.
Created informational literature to solve pest problems.

Dec 2005 - Jun 2006


University of Florida, Gainesville Florida, MArch, Architecture

Design Studios 1-6, Graduate Thesis Studio, Materials and Methods I, II, Environmental Technology, History of Architecture I,II, and III, Structures I and II, American Women in Architecture Seminar, Urban Planning in South America, Independent Research in systems of sustainability in South America, Independent Research on Food Desserts in the Urban Context, Masters Research Thesis on Urban Agriculture

Aug 2007 - May 2011

Vicenza Institute of Architecture, Vicenza, IT, MArch, Architecture

Graduate Studio III, Research Methods, Thesis Preparation, Conversational Italian, Lighting and Design Simulation

Aug 2010 - Jan 2011

Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, BR, Bachelors, Horticultural Sciences

Soil science, Soil Management, Forest Ecology, Homeopathy, Independent Research on Sustainable Farming Practices Medicinal Plant Internship: Researched and studied medicinal plants and their historic cultivation and use. Visited local impoverished communities and provided information on home garden maintenance and the use of medicinal plants. Maintained growing space, drying rooms, and assisted in community education programs.

Aug 2004 - May 2005

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, US, Bachelors, Horticultural Science

Botany, Plant Pathology, Forest Ecology, Soils, Plant Propagation, Statistics, Plant Identification, French III, Latin, Entomology, Growing Fruit for Fun and Profit, General Horticulture, Biochemistry

Aug 2001 - May 2005

Areas of Specialization