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Naturalist App Biographies for Spring 2017

Avery Knizek - Project Manager

Avery Knizek is a fourth year Earth Systems Science student. Knizek is the project manager of the Engineering Service Learning Team Naturalist App. Knizek has enjoys being outdoors and is committed to protecting the environment so future generations can also enjoy it. He chooses the Naturalist App because loves being out in the Vernal Pools and wants others to also have the opportunity to be out in such a unique environment. Academically, he is interested in water management in California. When not at school, he is a river guide along the Middle and South Fork of the American River.

Carlos Martinez - Assistant Project Manager

Carlos Martinez is a second year student pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Engineering. Martinez is the assistant project manager of the Engineering Service Learning team, Naturalist App. He also serves as the team leader for the Front End of that team. He joined the team because he has always enjoyed the outdoors and saw an opportunity in combining two of his passions, the outdoors and coding. Since he was a small boy he has enjoyed hunting. Much of his love for nature has been brought on because of his experiences hunting, and noticing the dramatic changes of the landscape around him.

Christine Breckenridge - Team Lead

Christine Breckenridge is a second-year Computer Science and Engineering major. She is the Team Leader for the Back-End sub-team of the Engineering Service Learning team; Naturalist App. Through her role as Team Leader, Breckenridge hopes to strengthen her leadership and collaboration skills. She chose to join the Naturalist App team to learn more about developing apps and to work on a project that would directly benefit the community and local environment. Breckenridge is interested in the way that technology can be implemented to improve peoples’ lives. Currently, she is working towards becoming a full-stack web developer.

Jose Herrera - Team Lead

Biography coming soon!

Elsie Reyes - Communications Officer

Elsie Reyes is a third year Environmental Engineering student. Reyes is the communication officer of the Engineering Service Learning, Naturalist App. She chooses the team because it involves giving information on how to distinguish the beauty of nature. Through this class, she hopes to gain leadership and engineering skills that will help her to fulfill her goals to protect our environment as an Environmental engineer in the future.  Growing up in Philippines and San Francisco, she is exposed to an eco-friendly environment and she wanted to continue this legacy. She loves running and hiking, especially at the Yosemite National Park. She’s a Vegetarian, who enjoys cooking.

Emily Mendez - Intellectual Property Officer

Emily Mendez is a second-year Computer Science and Engineering student. Mendez is the Intellectual Property Officer for the Naturalist App Team. She chose the Naturalist App Team because she hopes to gain experience in working on an app while providing back for the community. She is determined to further help provide information and spread environmental awareness in regards to the Vernal Pools. On her free time, Mendez loves traveling and doing interactive activities with her entire family. As a member of the team, Mendez is excited to cooperate with others and the community.

Kimberly Sandoval - Procurement and Finances Officer

Kimberly Sandoval is a third-year Environmental Engineering student. Sandoval is the procurement and finance officer of the Naturalist App team. She enjoys leaning about new technology and outdoor adventures and so she decided to be part of the Naturalist APP team; which incorporated both the use of technology while learning about the vernal pool and grassland reserve at UC Merced. In her freshmen year at UC Merced Sandoval was part of a different team that likewise combined the use the technology while learning about the environment, the San Joaquin River team. Sandoval devotes some of her free time as a member of the Society of Hispanic engineers and Fiat lux.

Thomas Willey

Thomas Willey is a second year Mechanical Engineering student. He chose the Naturalist App Team because it gave him an opportunity to understand the wide variety of plant and animal species located on vernal pools and grassland reserves. Furthermore, he used his engineering background to help create mobile application that displays this information for easy accessibility. Academically, Willey is interested in mechanical efficiency and plans to intern at PG&E next year to learn, first-hand, what new technology is being utilized for increased productivity. As a self-identified Philomath, Willey spends hours at a time on YouTube obtaining knowledge from quantum physics to “sexy prime” numbers.

Annett Lopez

Annett Lopez is a second year student pursuing her Bachelors in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, Merced. She is a first-generation college student from San Diego, California who hopes to extend her knowledge by attending a graduate school program. Lopez is a member of the Engineering Service Learning team, Naturalist App. She hopes to gain knowledge and experience while also impacting the Merced community. During her free time, Lopez enjoys playing sports and spending time with friends and family.

Itwah Uwadiale

Ituah Uwadiale is a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student. Uwadiale is the team member of the back end of Engineering Service Learning Naturalist App. He chose it because it provided him with a great opportunity to understand how the process of building an app works and the inside world of coding. Academically, Uwadiale is interested in dynamics and fluids and hopes to focus his graduate studies around that topic. He also enjoys playing sports, particularly basketball and football. He loves R&B music and is somewhat convinced that he is the next big R&B sensation to arrive on the music scene.

Edith Padilla

Edith Padilla is a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student. She is part of the Front End of the Naturalist App team. Padilla is very interested in preservation of natural lands as well as sustainability and all efforts towards a green future. Because of these interests, it is fitting that she chose a team dedicated to spreading information about the natural reserves in the San Juaquin Valley. Being a person who is fond of animals, Padilla hopes to gain and spread more knowledge about the animals that are native to and inhabit the San Juaquin Valley.

Gordon Ng

Gordon Ng is a second year student at University of California Merced. His current major is still undeclared but is leaning towards engineering. He chose Naturalist App because it was an opportunity for him to learn more about the environment around him. Ng chose the member position to improve his team work skills. He is new to the Engineering Service Learning class, so he has a lot to learn. Ng loves to be on the computer most of the time looking at cute photos of corgis. He hopes one day he will be able to add a puppy corgi to his family.

John Francis Mijares

Biography coming soon!

Jack Cronin

Biography coming soon!