University of California Santa Barbara and Smithsonian Institution Scholar
Diana Portugal is the first person from her family to attend college. She has lived most of her life in Santa Barbara, California but is originally from Mexico City, Mexico. Diana spends her Sunday mornings volunteering in the emergency room of the local hospital as well as within the Women’s Free Homeless Clinic in town. Currently, she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biology at Santa Barbara City College where she is a member of the MESA (Mathematics Engineering and Science Achievement) Program and a board member of the SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) Chapter at SBCC. She intends to attend Medical School to persue a career in Forensic Pathology.
Diana was selected to participate in the UCSB-Smithsonian Scholars Program in 2018. Through the program, she became involved in the Santa Cruz Island Fire Ecology Research Project with Drs. Scott Sillett and Mario Pesendorfer from the Migratory Bird Center (Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute). She is excited to be presenting the results of this project during Earth Optimism.