Hector Leal Ibarra
Hector graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2019 with a BS in Earth Sciences with a concentration in environmental geology. Hector is a Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley Latinos in Technology Scholar and a certified geologist-in-training. During his undergraduate career, he contributed to two NSF-supported projects. Under the guidance of analytical labs manager Brian Dreyer and volcanologist Ryan Portner, Hector analyzed rock samples from pacific mid-ocean ridge spreading centers, using hafnium isotopes to better understand their silica-enriched origins. More recently, he became involved in his local community working as a park interpreter. Besides working with schools, his favorite aspect was supporting the American Indian Heritage Celebration, an annual celebration of various indigenous identities consisting of guest speakers and traditional dance performances. Hector is now enrolled at the Bren School and planning to specialize in either water resource management or energy and climate. While the effects of climate change and the allocation of scarce water resources are sure to impact many, it’s indigenous communities that are often not consulted or otherwise ignored. Hector hopes to use his background along with data science and environmental policy knowledge gained from Bren to yield more fair and data-driven outcomes.