Growing up in Hialeah, Florida and serving in the Marine Corps in the U.S. and Iraq kept David Riera close to nature throughout his early life. He earned an Associate of Science degree in Biotechnology from Miami-Dade College and two Bachelor of Science degrees in Environmental Studies and Marine Biology from FIU. As part of his graduate research, he worked with Dr. Amir Khoddamzadeh to develop a method to conserve endangered wetland orchid species using a plant biotechnological approach and was awarded his Master of Science in Environmental Studies in the Spring of 2017. David has given back to the community by establishing a summer research outreach program mentoring at-risk high school students which works to pass on practical research skills. He is a Student Member to the Board of Directors for the Society of Wetland Scientists and serves as the current President of both the MANRRS club as well as the new South Florida Beekeeping Association at FIU. He fervently believes that the path to conserving and restoring our natural capital can be achieved by cultivating the next generation of advocates, innovators, and educators. David currently serves as the Agroecology Program Farm Education and Outreach Coordinator acting as the agribusiness community outreach officer across Florida as well as host for training and educational workshops. In the fall, he will be starting a PhD program in Curriculum and Instruction with a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) focus under the FIU College of Education.