The long-term goal of this research is to improve seed quality and in-field performance of carrot cultivars in order to provide consumersa low-cost and nutritious carrot products. This fits within the NIFA objectives of providing all Americans access to safe, nutritious, and secure food supplies.In the short term, I am pursuing both research and professional development goals.The career development goal is to become a well-rounded scientist so I can earn a career position with the USDA-ARS or industry. I identified two main objectives for career development:Improve my data analysis skills by learning the R-tidyverse suite of packages, and learn the basics of Python programming including Pandas and NumPy.Improve my science communication skills by participating in and generating content for non-traditional education programs.The main research goal is to screen diverse carrot germplasm to identify carrot individuals/accessions that have vigorous germination. Specifically, I intend to address three hypotheses:There is beneficial genetic for seed vigor in carrot germplasmLarger seeds will have higher seed vigor and will germinate faster, at a higher percent, in non-stressed and salt-stressed germination conditions.Seed size and seed vigor are heritable traits that can be targeted for germplasm improvement in the USDA carrot breeding program.The hypotheses will be addressed by completing the following objectives.Experiment (Exp 1): Measure seed size variation in a large collection of carrot germplasm. Multiple years, and/or replications will be completed to measure the genetic component underlying the seed size trait.(Exp 2)Following measurements of seed size, measure the germination percentage and rate in a large collection of carrot germplasm. As with seed size, multiple years and/or replications will be completed to estimate the heritability of the seed germination.(Exp 3)In a subset of carrot accessions, grow small and large seeds in the field to determine how field performance may be affected by size-graded seeds.