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Intern Spotlight: Mario Coronado (Student Career)

Tags: internships

This summer we’re introducing interns from URISE, RESESS, Student Career, and Geo-Launchpad programs to highlight their research projects and how EarthScope programs further their career goals.

Mario Coronado is a Student Career intern that recently graduated from California State University, Monterey Bay studying environmental science with an emphasis on ecology. Mario is originally from Sonoma, California, but he is spending the summer in Boulder, Colorado for the duration of his internship. For his senior capstone project, Mario planted acorns to combat the declining Valley Oak population in Carmel Valley, California; the project had huge impacts on local populations, and he found that acorn burial was a cost effective method of oak restoration.. Mario originally heard about EarthScope through his department at Cal State Monterey Bay, and he immediately decided to apply. 

This summer, Mario will be creating a road map of how the NOTA network was built, how components are chosen for each site depending on that location’s environment, how the data is stored, and the applications for users. During his fieldwork, Mario will be looking for areas within the process that can be improved based on his experience. 


  • What’s been your favorite part of the internship so far?

The traveling has been really cool, but actually working with my hands and seeing the whole process from start to finish has been awesome. The preparation is really important too, so learning all the steps that it takes to prepare and actually learning which tools you need and how to use the tools is really helpful. The first day I had to disassemble a huge construction bench and reassemble it in another place: it feels really good to do purposeful things, and to know I can actually do them. 

  • What have you gained from your relationship with your mentor?

Elizabeth has been awesome. She focuses on borehole strainmeters, which are [among] the more precise and complex units they have. She’s been teaching me about the science behind them, specifically how they use the technology and different websites to monitor the current data flows. Learning how they manage all of it has been really cool, and she’s been a really awesome teacher.

  • How does this internship fit with your career goals?

The fundamentals of this job are pretty transferable for any science-based field, and it’s really good to have a background in geology and geophysics. I’m really interested in water, and you have to have a good background in rocks and geology for that. I’d like to go back to grad school within five years, but I don’t know what I want to do yet. This internship is helping me to determine what I want to focus on in the future.

Apart from his interests in ecology and geoscience, Mario enjoys hiking, playing guitar, playing games, and hanging out with friends. He enjoys cooking, though he does not claim to be particularly good at it. Mario played rugby in college, and he has always enjoyed the community in team sports. Upon the conclusion of his internship, Mario plans to move back to Monterey Bay and find a natural resources job in the area. He also enjoys working in the restaurant industry, and he hopes to get a restaurant job, as well.