The Mosaics Team

Sheylda Diaz-Mendez PhD, Environment for the Americas


Hola! Welcome to the Mosaics in Science Internship Program! I am the Mosaics in Science Program Manager for Environment For The Americas. I’m originally from Puerto Rico and I was raised between military bases in Germany, the US and the Caribbean. My special upbringing shaped my appreciation for the differences in cultures and people.

I have an Animal Science certification from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez, a BS in Biology from the University of Central Florida, and an Environmental Science MSc from Ana G. Mendez University. I obtained my PhD in Environmental Resource Conservation and Management from Ana G. Mendez University, where I have been a lecturer in the Department of Natural Science and Technology since 2006. I’m currently an Associate Professor at the University of Puerto Rico in Utuado (Sustainable Agriculture Department) and Arecibo (Biology Department) campuses.

My favorite pastime is birding, especially water birds! My vocation is education and I strive to provide academic and professional opportunities for diverse youth. I bring to this program my experience with underrepresented students and years of involvement to engage diverse talent to this wonderful program. I hope you have a summer full of wonder and fun!”

Shanelle Thevarajah, Environment for the Americas


Hi, I’m Shanelle! I am the Mosaics in Science Program Lead here at Environment for the Americas.


I earned my B.A.S. from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada in 2019. I studied Zoology and Family & Child Studies because of my passion for scientific communication and involving communities in conservation-related decisions. In May 2021, I earned my M.S. in Environmental Biology from Regis University. My research mainly focused on the social behavior of male Asian elephants at Denver Zoo, and I loved getting to learn more about such incredible animals! In addition, I have also done a lot of work with freshwater fish and invertebrates. In 2021, I completed an internship at the Butterfly Pavilion, where I worked on a long-term citizen science butterfly monitoring program called the Colorado Butterfly Monitoring Network.


I love working with EFTA’s diversity internship programs because I understand how important it is to have the opportunity to get involved in research and field work you are passionate about. I can’t wait to see all the amazing projects you will work on this summer!


In my free time, I love to explore new places with my dog, try out new recipes, and watercolor!


Kiersten Jarvis, National Park Service

Welcome! I am the National Park Service (NPS) Program Manager for Scientists in Parks and Mosaics in Science. 


I graduated from the University of Illinois with a Master’s degree in environmental policy and a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Management from Colorado State University. Over the last 8 years of my NPS career, I have worked in various parks and offices on citizen science projects and youth engagement programs. I am passionate about connecting people to the natural world and sharing how to get involved with conservation efforts in your national parks.


When not working, you will find me in my pollinator garden or exploring new parks.

Chelsea Bitting, National Park Service

Welcome! I am the National Park Service (NPS) Geology/Youth Program Assistant for Scientists in Parks and Mosaics in Science. 


I graduated from Texas Christian University with a both a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Geology/Earth Sciences. I have previously been a Geology intern for Denbury Resources and a Research Technician for the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Since 2019, I have worked as the Program Assistant for Scientists in Parks and Mosaics in Science.