Ricardo was born and raised in Los Angeles with roots tracing back to Guatemala and Mexico. Despite growing up in an urban environment, he always pondered life and work in the outdoors. In college, Ricardo connected his awe for nature with educational endeavors in an introductory geology course. From there, he went on to obtain both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology from California State University, Los Angeles and Western Washington University, respectively. In summer of 2017, Ricardo served as a National Park Service (NPS) Mosaics in Science (MIS) intern at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in central Colorado. After completing the program, Ricardo earned a Direct Hire Authority -Resource Assistant Internship (DHA-RAI) certificate and was able to secure a permanent position as an interpretive park ranger at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Nearing two years of service at Petrified Forest, Ricardo’s efforts of engaging and connecting diverse communities to the park has seen a significant increase in school field trips from both public and Bureau of Indian Education schools in ‘local’ rural communities and regional Indian reservations. Ricardo also conducts community outreach efforts via the NPS, Environment for the Americas, and Latino Outdoors. In summer of 2018, Ricardo mentored and supervised his own MIS intern, Sebastian Alvarez, who assisted with community outreach, educational programming, and developed interpretive wayside content for the park.