Mary was born in Mexico and grew up in sunny Southern California. Growing up, she loved spending time outdoors and learning about animals. Mary completed her B.S. in Biological Sciences, with honors, at UC Irvine where she engaged in research studying the behavioral ecology of zebra finches and parakeets. She then completed her Ph.D. in Animal Behavior at UC Davis studying the social behavior of zoo elephants.
During graduate school, Mary developed a passion for informal science and environmental education. Mary has given educational talks and developed and lead hands-on science/environmental activities for young students at the Powerhouse Science Center, the Sacramento Zoo, UC Davis’ Picnic Day, and for the Kids into Discovering Science Program at UC Davis.
Mary joined the Sierra Nevada Journeys team as a volunteer in the Fall of 2016. As a member of Sierra Nevada Journeys, Mary is eager to bring her skills and background as a research scientist to not only increase scientific and environmental literacy in her students but to instill in them a love for life-long learning.
In her spare time, Mary enjoys hiking, photography, hip hop dancing, and spending time with her husband and their two cats, River and Luna.