The MAR Leadership Program is operated by a 4 people who are committed to nature conservation, each with different backgrounds and skills. This team is familiar with the environmental problems facing the Mesoamerican Reef System (MAR) and has the contacts and networks on local, regional, and international levels that allow the program to operate successfully.
Maria Eugenia Arreola is the Director of the MAR Leadership Program. She has more than 15 years of experience designing and coordinating capacity-building programs in environmental topics. Prior to joining FMCN, she worked for 8 years in the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)), of which 5 years were spent in UNEP’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (in Mexico City), and 3 years at UNEP’s Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. In UNEP, Maria Eugenia coordinated the development of integrated environmental assessments (GEO) in 8 countries and more than 25 cities in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)and participated in the development of virtual training tools which allowed her to travel and get to know the LAC region as well as various countries in Africa. Maria Eugenia received her BS in International Relations from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and holds a master’s degree in Environmental Management Systems. She also studied diploma courses in different topics: environmental law, new learning technologies, and climate change. She currently collaborates with the Kanan Kay Alliance as Capacity-Building Strategy Coordinator for Alliance partners.
Thalia Medina earned her bachelor’s degree in Institutional Management at Universidad Panamericana, and she has a multidisciplinary background that has allowed her to develop in both public and private institutions. She has collaborated with IMPULSA JA Worldwide, organizing and coordinating educational programs for children and youth. She developed and implemented the Kids in the Kitchen program for Junior League Mexico. In the public sector, she optimized the Administrative Resources and Services Administration of External Consultation at the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, as well as monitoring and measuring productivity of doctors and residents. At the National Institute of Pediatrics, she designed the Hygienic Management and Microbiology Program in the food and dining area. She has experience developing operational plans, critical paths and doing cost and inventory control. She is the executive assistant of FMCN’s CEO and simultaneously fills the role of administrative assistant for the MAR Leadership Program. We prize Thalia’s ability to solve problems so that the program runs smoothly, as well as her attention to detail.
Elisa López García is the Project Officer at the MAR Leadership Program . She studied her career in oceanography at the University of Vigo , Spain and at the Arctic University of Norway , Norway, and she got a MSc in Marine Sciences and Limnology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
After some years travelling and enrrolled in oceanographic campaigns , Elisa has spent the last four years teaching and researching the Mesoamerican Reef. She went through academic institutions, private organizations and NGOs. During her MSc in coral ecophysiology, she made an academic stay at The Symbiosis Ecology and Evolution Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University. She worked for The School for Field Studies (SFS) in the Turks and Caicos islands and Global Vision International (GVI) in Mahahual , Mexico . Before joining FMCN she was volunteer coordinator at the the Coastal Ecosystems Program of the Akumal Ecological Center (CEA). Elisa is a specialist in reef monitoring, has extensive experience in management and training groups of volunteers and students and is a certified Dive Master.
Alejandra Íñigo takes photographs; manages the social networks and webpage for the MAR Leadership Program. Since she was young, Alejandra has been curious about the world around her and passionate about learning. Because of this, she has had academic and work experiences of all types. Alejandra has been a chef at an Italian restaurant in Toronto; worked as an assistant to the director of marketing at Latinstock Mexico, a stock photography and publicity company; written Digital Learning content for the SEP; and finally, given her enterprising character, co-founded the company Glia Learning Center, where she currently helps with the management of communication strategies. Alejandra drew from her studies of arts and sciences at the University of Manitoba and her experience giving private classes since she was 17 years old to found Glia. This summer, Alejandra will be interning at the CINVESTAV Department of Cellular Biology, a step towards her dream of completing a doctorate in Neuroscience. Alejandra’s passion is to share knowledge and learning, so her work with the MAR Leadership team has been very rewarding.