He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science, becoming the first in his family to earn an advanced degree. He was contemplating a career as a veterinarian, but then he got introduced to the wildlife field by volunteering with the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University when he was a sophomore. That’s where he met Dr. Louis Harveson, who ended up hiring him as one of BRI’s first wildlife technicians.

“Dr. Harveson was one of my first career mentors, and he really took an interest in me. I loved the field experience I got as a technician, and it sparked my interest in the wildlife field. Now, I’m passionate about it.”

In 2014, he was hired at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) as a seasonal wildlife technician. About the same time, Dr. Harveson roped him into grad school. TPWD wildlife biologists kept their eye on him, and when a permanent position opened up in 2016, he was encouraged to apply. He was thrilled to accept a full-time position with TPWD as a district biologist in December 2016. Since then, he has juggled a full-time job with his grad school studies and his thesis project.

“My research project evaluated water use and seasonal ranges of desert bighorn and aoudad in the Sierra Vieja Mountains, Presidio County. I defended my thesis earlier this year and I graduated in May 2021.”