Eric Canales recently completed his Peace Corps service in Puyo, Ecuador, where he conducted horticulture therapy sessions with children and young adults with disabilities and led a project promoting food security among local farmers by establishing community gardens. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, Eric enlisted in the US Air Force and worked for four years as a jet engine mechanic in support of the 71st Rescue Squadron. His passion for service began as a volunteer in Thailand following the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and then in St. Bernard Parish after Hurricane Katrina. He is interested in the intersection between engineering and policy, specifically reinforcing civil infrastructure and promoting capacity-building in populations vulnerable to earthquakes and other natural hazards. Eric graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He is the recipient of a Graduate School’s Deans’ Fellowship.