Closing Ceremony Student Speaker- Diane Portillo


My name is Diane Portillo, an undergraduate student at DePaul University majoring in environmental science with a double minor in geography and GIS. I attended Elgin High School where my passions for the environment and science had broadened. As a small child I was always drawn to the outdoors and had developed a keen curiosity for the environment the more time I spent exploring the natural world. With the help of enthusiastic teachers and professors throughout my life I became fascinated with ocean dynamics and its physical, and biogeochemical components. My interests in planetary science had solidified during my study abroad program in Melbourne, where I had been exposed to newfound knowledge pertaining to the planetary science field. Courses such as astrobiology and quantum physics, and extracurricular activities truly sparked an even more profound enthusiasm for the universe.

My current projects include paleobiological research at DePaul University as well as involvement in constructing a mars rover that will be competing in the University Rover Challenge in the summer of 2018. My post-graduation plans entail graduate school, with the aim of obtaining my PhD in oceanography and planetary science.