After participating in research focused on the negative effects that invasive, non-native plants maintain on the native population in his hometown of Watsonville, CA, Rene decided to continue education after high school to equip himself to resolve these issues. Pursing an Environmental Studies B.A. and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology B.S. at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Rene built himself around the role of becoming a researcher that can accurately and efficiently communicate current environmental problems to the local communities. His involvements ranged from working within environmental organizations, community outreach programs, and participating in biological research. In his last year before graduating in 2018, Rene interned at the Santa Cruz County where he experienced the full intersection of how scientific studies can translate to policy making. Within this program, Rene's interest lies within habitat conservation and continuing the work of transforming scientific studies into environmental policies.
Rene graduated in September 2019.