All eyes on Miguel Cisneros

Miguel Cisneros (Download Image)

Miguel Cisneros

Miguel Cisneros is a first-generation Mexican American whose journey in life has taken him to explore and navigate the unknown fearlessly.

Growing up, Cisneros was an only child who welcomed new adventures. His interest in exploring new experiences and places is something he continues to do to this day. 

Cisneros’ parents migrated from Mexico to the United States for a better life. His family had strong ties to agriculture and settled in Oxnard, California, the strawberry capital of the world. He attributes his itch for pursuing new treks to his supportive family.

“When I was in high school, I became a runner,” Cisneros said. “I spent a lot of time running most of the Santa Monica Mountains. I roamed the outdoors and that’s what ultimately got me interested in the earth sciences, learning about landscapes and how things form on Earth’s surface.”

Cisneros’ curiosity continued to take him to new adventures and opportunities; once again, exploring the unknown.

“I have ventured all over the place before coming back to California,” Cisneros said. “From doing my masters and Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin to moving to Europe for a postdoc opportunity with an adviser that mentored me; it’s what eventually led me to the Lab.”

Cisneros has been involved with mentoring programs throughout his life. He found it once again when arriving at the Lab in January 2022. In less than two years, he converted from postdoc to staff scientist in the Lab’s Physical and Life Sciences (PLS) Directorate and is a member of the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division where he gets to apply chemistry to nuclear forensics problems. He has been welcomed by a supportive team that challenges him to explore different scientific and leadership interests.

“The nice thing about working here is that there is a wide range of projects you’re exposed to,” Cisneros said. “Coming together brings stronger solutions through teamwork. I appreciate that the Lab brings people together from different disciplines and backgrounds to find scientific solutions together.”

Today, Cisneros is part of a supportive team within the Lab’s PLS directorate. Off hours, Cisneros plays volleyball, which has become one of his main hobbies with colleagues. Cisneros is not hesitant to try new things like salsa dancing through one of the Lab’s many networking groups. He also is learning new languages, including Italian and German. And when he needs his exercise, he still runs and discovers new places outdoors.

“Life has taken me to different places," he said, "but I learned that when you have support systems, whether at work or being part of a Hispanic family like mine, it is those experiences with your community that takes you further in life.”