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Careers in Science

Mario Rebolledo-Vieyra
Hydrogeologist

How did you choose your present profession?
My father was a high school biology teacher, so I grew up surrounded by science. Usually my Christmas presents were either a chemistry set or a toy microscope. Then I read Jules Verne and Emilio Salgari, and it was a natural choice.

What were your biggest motivators?
The outdoors, I knew I wouldn't be happy working full time in an office, I needed to be out on the ocean, or the desert, or the forest. Then I discovered the satisfaction of asking myself questions and try to find an answer "investigating," either asking other persons or reading about the subject.

Who are your greatest mentors or heroes?
Definitely my mom and dad.

Was there a pivotal event in your life that helped you decide on your career path?
I wouldn't be able to point out a single event; it was rather a series of events: reading something, watching some documentary on TV, listening to my dad's friends (geologists and biologists).

What has been the biggest surprise in your life as a scientist?
Discovering myself doing something that I dreamt of doing when I was a kid (being on an oceanographic cruise on the North Atlantic or conducting and airborne survey over the Yucatan Peninsula, digging out a dinosaur in the Baja California Peninsula, etc.)

What would you recommend for students wanting to pursue a similar career? - Don't be scared of math or physics. With a little bit of discipline, you'll master it, and above all, be faithful to yourself—if you want it, go for it!

What do you like best about your profession?
The opportunity to travel abroad, to exotic places that I didn't even dream to visit, to do what I love the most: my job.

What would you say has been your greatest achievement?
Being in charge of a major scientific project when still a Ph.D. student.

Are you optimistic for the future of the planet and if so why?
We don't have a choice, but to be optimistic. That is the only way we can really do something for our planet.

What are your greatest fears for the future of the planet?
As I stated before, the greatest fear is that people might say; "There's nothing I can do". There is always something that you can do: plant a tree, don't use your car as often, recycle, save water etc..

What’s the one message you would like the next generation of scientists to hear?
I will quote Einstein on this: “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value."

Visit Rebolledo-Vieyra's bio page »

 


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