Humberto Venancio

Austin, Texas

"Science and faith rely on each other and answer each other's biggest questions."

I was born and raised in Austin, Texas. This is where I have attended every stage of my education thus far and discovered my faith. I am now a General Geology major undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin. I'm currently pursuing my degree while simultaneously dabbling in research concerning the relationships between modern birds and extinct dinosaurs as I walk along a path of paleontology I believe God has set before me.

My Pathway

At a very young age, I was exposed to dinosaurs and would become a toddler junior paleontologist. I remember doing everything from playing with toys to leading digs and expeditions in the sandbox on the playground. I never outgrew this love and that passion has driven me every step of the way.

I was also raised Catholic. From a young age, I was taken to Mass and Sunday School. It was in middle school when I first started to fall in love with my faith. At the same time, I was at a private school where my loyalty to science was challenged. In high school, my faith deepened futher but it was also challenged more than ever. Could I believe in something without proof to back it?

The surprising thing is...

I now fully support both science and faith. I've never had to compromise my Catholic faith and scientific knowledge. Together, the two define who I am and my outlook on the world. I believe that without a creator, the coincidences and mysteries of science would forever remain unexplained. It's because of my faith that I have a greater appreciation for the natural world and a responsibility to learn more about it in order to take better care of this gift.


Despite this internal schism between science and faith, I found a way to resolve the issue after lots of thought, research, and prayer. It could have been easier to simply choose a side but instead I swam in the gray. I encourage anyone who struggles between two choices to have the courage to examine if the situation isn't as simple as it seems.

As a child, I also didn't know if pursuing paleontology would be a very practical option. I recall being fearful that as I grew up I would be forced to seek a career that I hated merely for the paycheck. It's my hope for anyone reading this that they will pursue their passion. Just because a line of work isn't known for being a moneymaker does not mean that that's the case.

Contact Me!

Reach out to learn more about the geosciences, about how to become a geoscientist, or to talk about your own story.