Limaris (Lima) Soto, National Park Service  

Welcome to the National Park Service and the Mosaics in Science Diversity Internship Program! I am happy that you are joining us as an intern this summer. Your role is critical in fulfilling the National Park Service (NPS) mission and I hope that you will find your work rewarding, challenging, meaningful, and lots of fun!

My name is Limaris “Lima” Soto and I am the NPS Program Manager for the Mosaics in Science Diversity Internship Program. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Puerto Rico and my Master’s degree in Geology from the University of South Florida. I have over 15 years of experience working as a geologist in caves/karst science, but my scientific interests include hydrogeology, geophysics, education and outreach, and youth programs.

In 2013, I became a volunteer and later a Geoscientists-in-the-Parks intern with the Geologic Resources Division working with National Cave and Karst Program, where I oversaw the creation of the Junior Ranger Cave Scientists Program. In 2014, I began assisting with the Geoscientists-in-the-Parks and Mosaics in Science Internship Programs.

I am excited that you will be joining the NPS team and hope that you have a fun and successful internship with the NPS. We really appreciate your interest in the National Park Service and your assistance protecting and preserving the outstanding natural resources in our national parks. Most of the communication you will receive this summer will be from EFTA, but I want you to know that I am available anytime to answer any questions you have about the program, the NPS, or science careers. I can be reached at [email protected]

Cathleen Yung, National Park Service

Hi everyone! We are so glad you are joining Mosaics in Science. My name is Cathleen Yung and I am the National Park Service’s program assistant for Mosaics. In 2019 I graduated from Saint Louis University where I received a BS in Geology and assisted in ecological research on Eastern Missouri’s freshwater macro-invertebrate species.

Before joining Mosaics, I worked as a Direct Hire Authority – Resource Assistance fellow for two GIS and geology projects with the Bureau of Land Management in Vale, Oregon and Riverside, California, respectively. I also have experience with youth programming; in 2018 I established and managed a chapter of the non-profit “Gateway to the Great Outdoors,” which is a STEM and sustainability enrichment program that works within urban school districts. 
I have a multicultural heritage and have always felt passionate about diversity and representation, especially within the natural sciences. I consider the memories I have from my scientific experiences to be some of the most meaningful and defining of my life, and I believe that all people should have equal access to those experiences as well. 

As a society we have a lot of work to do, but it is my hope that with help from programs like Mosaics, one day the scientific community can provide equal opportunities for all people. Thank you for electing to be a part of our program, we are so excited to see what you will accomplish!

Sheylda Diaz PhD, Environment for the Americas

¡Hola! Welcome to the Mosaics in Science Internship Program! My name is Sheylda Díaz Méndez, I am the Mosaics in Science Coordinator for Environment For The Americas. I am originally from Puerto Rico but I was raised between military bases in Germany, the US and the Caribbean. My special upbringing shaped my appreciation and my love 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 a MS in Environmental Science from the Ana G. Mendez University. I also obtained my PhD in Environmental Resource and Management from the Ana G. Mendez University, where I am a lecturer in the Department of Natural Science and Technology since 2006.

In addition to assisting with coordination of Mosaics in Science, I also coordinate World Migratory Bird day in the Caribbean region. My favorite pastime is birdwatching, especially shorebirds! My true vocation is education. This is why I strive to achieve opportunities for diverse youth and provide inclusive and diverse professional and academic environments. I offer my experience with underrepresented students and years of involvement to enhance engagement of diverse talent to this wonderful program. I hope you have a learning experience full of wonder and fun this summer!

Barbara Pazos, Environment For The Americas

Hi! My name is Barbara and I was born and raised in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. I moved to Florida when I was 15 years old and currently live in the beautiful state of Colorado. I have always been passionate about the natural world and its conservation. I obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Environmental Studies at Florida International University, where I also taught Ecology of South Florida for two years. And my Master’s thesis investigated the conservation and management of community forests in Oaxaca, Mexico. 

After completing my graduate studies, I served in the Peace Corps, working as a Community Environmental Conservation Specialist in Los Santos, Panama. I strongly believe that education, community participation, and developing sustainable relationships are key components to any conservation effort. I am very excited to work with Mosaics in Science, as a similar diversity program started me on my current path, and I love it! I look forward to sharing experiences with all the interns and doing everything I can to make sure you all have a great summer and your internships are a success! Welcome, everyone! =)  

Stephen Poblete, Environment For The Americas

Hello everyone, my name is Stephen Poblete and I am from Oxon Hill, Maryland! I graduated from the University of Maryland in 2016 with a degree in Sociology and soon moved to Sacramento, California as a member of Americorps NCCC co XXIII . From there, I traveled around the Pacific region completing different volunteer projects including habitat restoration projects in the Mojave Desert and Fire Management in northern California.

After completing a year of service, I found the Celebras Las Aves Internship through Environment For The Americas teaching migratory bird programming in South East, D.C. Those years of volunteering allowed me to learn that I value our environment and helping others gain valuable experience in our public spaces. Now I help with many internships for EFTA, but you can find me working with the Mosaics in Science team. I live in Richmond, VA with my wife. I also enjoy reading, hiking, and Nascar!