Armando Quintero has been chosen as the new executive director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute (SNRI) at the University of California, Merced.
Quintero has served as director of development for SNRI — UC Merced’s first research institute — and other campus programs since 2008, developing partnerships with corporate, foundation and individual supporters. His work has also included development for student services such as the Yosemite Leadership Program.
In his new role, he will work to enhance research conducted by SNRI-affiliated faculty members, who focus on using the region as a natural laboratory to address knowledge gaps in resource management.
“I am delighted Armando is taking this leadership role,” SNRI Faculty Director Professor Roger Bales said. “His work with SNRI will be critical for faculty members and regional stakeholders — such as electric providers, land managers and water agencies — to bring our research to bear on a sustainable future for the Sierra Nevada and the Central Valley.”
As executive director, Quintero will continue cultivating relationships to support the research being conducted by SNRI’s more than 35 affiliated researchers and various programs, such as the Center for Climate Communication.
He’ll also directly support the research, including the new multicampus UC Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative, designed to build a strategic base of water knowledge to help California and the nation achieve a water-secure future.
“From my days as a park ranger, I’m very familiar with the watersheds the SNRI researchers work in,” Quintero said. “Their work on snowpack and groundwater couldn’t be more important, especially at this point in California’s history.”
He looks forward to engaging faculty members with community leaders and organizations with particular interests in research being conducted through SNRI, and finding research opportunities for faculty members and graduate students.
Water isn’t the only research focus at SNRI, it is a specialty for Quintero. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed him to the California Water Commission through 2019, citing his general expertise related to the control, storage and beneficial use of water.
Quintero serves on the Marin Municipal Water Board and has worked for the National Park Service as a park ranger at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Point Reyes National Seashore, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and the John Muir National Historic Site.
Quintero said he’s honored by his selection as the new SNRI executive director.
“It is an extraordinary privilege to be working with researchers whose work is focused on sustainable solutions for the world,” he said.