Jorge’s passion for the Gulf of Mexico began at an early age. Raised in Veracruz, Mexico, along the Gulf coast, Jorge took his first scuba lesson 21 years ago and instantly became “fascinated in the world beneath the water,” he says. “I’ve always had a close connection to the coast.”
Soon thereafter, he decided to pursue marine science as a career. Jorge earned his bachelor’s in biochemical engineering and aquatic resources, and a master’s in environmental engineering from the Monterrey Technology Institute University. He earned his Ph.D. in marine sciences from Catalonia Polytechnic University in Barcelona, Spain, where he conducted research in the Mediterranean Sea. Prior to joining the Conservancy in January 2010, Jorge worked for Pronatura, an environmental non-profit and Conservancy partner in Mexico, and for the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, where he worked on international marine research for Cuba, Mexico and the U.S.
Since joining the Conservancy in January 2011, Jorge has led the organization’s conservation and sustainability efforts in Texas, and he is also one of 15 people who are part of the National Academy of Science Committee Gulf Oil Spill Study, which was created to study the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on ecosystem services in the Gulf. Their report will be made public in the fall of 2012. To Jorge, restoration in the Gulf of Mexico means that it is able to perform its self-maintaining functions, while providing a healthy stream of benefits to humans.