David Riera is currently a doctoral student at Florida International University and served as the Latino Heritage Intern at Everglades National Park in 2019.
As a 3rd year Ph.D. student in the Department of Teaching and Learning, he leverages his passion for research, conservation, and education to be an advocate for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEAM. He holds five collegiate degrees and ten professional certifications (from veterinary technician to open water deep-sea diving) in various STEAM and industrial disciplines, which he utilized in partnership with scientific societal leadership to increase the presence and participation of underserved students/emergent professionals through actions and initiatives. He is a First Generation Afro-Hispanic college graduate and a United States Marine Combat Veteran.
David is driven to raise public awareness through environmental and agricultural education, through his work tackling various social and environmental justice issues (i.e. environmental racism, urban degreening, food desertification) and is committed to the management, distribution, and preservation of traditional cultural knowledge and inquiry-based research.
During his 2019 LHIP experience he serves alongside a national cohort of emergent experts, created the foundation for a novel interpretive program at Everglade National Park centered around agriculture and our environment, as well as learn and grow from talented and dedicated park professionals from South Florida and in Washington D.C. David believes That park champions and environmental stewards are not just born randomly or made overnight.
We are Chosen, selected by both our internal drive to burn brightly and our commitment to sharing that light of knowledge, warmth, and empathy with others across spaces and places we wish to protect.