Green Labs Assistant and Outreach Coordinator
CU Green Labs

Leoncio is a first-generation Latino from Anaheim, California. Growing up, his parents exposed him to Latinx culture and cuisine, and he was making sopas de fideo and tostadas de chile rojo before he even knew how to tie his shoes. Inadvertently, his parents were raising him to be an environmentalist via simple, yet impactful, recycling strategies that they would implement in the kitchen. From storing leftover salsas and frijoles in old butter containers to having an infamous plastic bag drawer, his family practiced simple and affordable techniques that helped in limiting household waste. His curiosity with the environment led him to the University of California, Berkeley where he received his bachelor’s in environmental earth science. While at Berkeley, he quickly became enthusiastic in learning more about the physical and chemical properties that define climate change and how anthropogenic pollutants may be destructive to environments, especially low-income BIPOC communities. 

Outside of his studies, he was a board member in various professional development clubs on campus geared towards advocating for the academic success of historically excluded students. He also worked for a nonprofit in the San Francisco Bay Area teaching biology and math to high school students in English and Spanish, as well as teaching Latinx parents about FAFSA, scholarships and other financial aid resources.

Post undergrad, he worked for a private chemical testing facility where he utilized high pressure liquid chromatography, cavity ring down spectroscopy and wet chemistry techniques to analyze food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics substances.  It was this lab experience that spiked his interest in green chemistry, lab safety and lab sustainability. He went on to receive his master’s in climate science from UC Berkeley where he focused on learning more about the chemical properties that bind interacting climate systems using field/lab instrumentation, climate models and observations to define anthropogenically induced climate change. 

He now joins CU Boulder as a Green Labs Program Assistant, where he hopes to work with campus leaders in driving sustainable lab practices to further aid CU Boulder’s commitment to sustainable solutions.