Alan is a Rural Sociologist with a background in Sustainable Community Development and Natural Resources Law and Policy. He has a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in Sociology and Spanish, an M.S. from the University of Washington in Forest Management, a J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law in Natural Resources and Environmental Law, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University in Development Sociology. He has worked with the Peace Corps, the National Park Service, the National Audubon Society, and has taught Sociology and Community Development at several universities. Alan has worked at the FWRI since 2015, serving as Collaboration Program Manager and Assistant Director.
Budget & Finance Manager
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Originally from California, Cesar moved to Las Vegas in 2008 on a Cross Country Scholarship for New Mexico Highlands University. While attending Highlands he completed a BA and MBA in Finance. At the same time he was able to work in many positions throughout Las Vegas and the University, bringing much experience to his position at NMFWRI.
Monitoring Program Manager
Kathryn's background includes working in various capacities in developed and wildland riparian and upland areas with the Hermit’s Peak Watershed Alliance, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, the United World College Wilderness Program, the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, the Sapello-Rociada Volunteer Fire Company, and the University of Wyoming. Her current projects at the NMFWRI include riparian monitoring of invasive phreatophyte treatments with the Greater Rio Grande Watershed Alliance, vegetation monitoring with the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge, and fire monitoring plots across the state with the field crew.
GIS Program Manager
Over the last 12 years, Patti Dappen has been working as a GIS Specialist at the New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute located in Las Vegas, NM. During this time, she has worked on projects ranging from object-oriented land cover classification using eCognition, using LiDAR for Forest monitoring assessments, and developing web mapping applications. She currently holds a FAA Remote Pilot License (UAS), and expects her future work will include conservation monitoring and mapping with drone technologies. Patti holds a Master’s of Applied Geography Degree (MAG) from New Mexico State University. She is currently adjunct faculty at New Mexico Highlands University and has taught NMHU’s Remote Sensing and Analysis class using ArcPro. She has is currently on the NMGIC board.
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Katie has worked as a GIS Specialist at the New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute for 5 years. During this time she has worked on various projects including the New Mexico Opportunity Map and Vegetation Treatment geodatabase, developing online WebApps, developing and conducting geospatial training courses, and conducting monitoring and mapping with drones. She currently holds a FAA Remote Pilot License (UAS). Katie's background includes watershed planning and restoration for the Hermit's Peak Watershed Alliance. She has a BA in Geography from Humboldt State University and an MS in Environment and Development from King’s College London.
Special Programs Manager
Joe Zebrowski, is the Special Programs Manager at the New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute. His main focus is on programs that apply geospatial technology to current restoration and conservation challenges. He also facilitates collaborative conservation groups such as the Mountainair Ranger District Collaborative and the Estancia Basin Watershed Health Restoration and Monitoring Program. Joe’s research and applications interests center on the use of geospatial technologies in the support of collaborative conservation and watershed management. Landscape-scale restoration is particular interest. Joe received a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Sciences in Geography, both from Texas A&M University.
Education and Outreach Coordinator
Natalia has a background working for Tribal Nations in developing programing for air quality monitoring and education and monitoring of water resources at the watershed scale. She previously worked for the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) Environmental Education Outreach Program (EEOP), where she worked with Tribal youth and families to encourage meaningful engagement with the sciences and inspire the next generation of environmental leaders. As a researcher at Northern Arizona University she developed a hydrologic model for the Canyon de Chelly watershed for tracking soil moisture in an effort to support land managers and community agricultural practices. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Redlands and her M.S. in Environmental Science & Policy from Northern Arizona University.
Conservation & Restoration Ed. Prog. Mgr. / Conservation Science Center @ HU
Shantini builds capacity of New Mexican youth to lead the conservation of local landscapes through the Conservation Science Center @ Highlands University. She develops place-based outdoor learning programs to build a pipeline in STEM disciplines, which combined with mentorship, leadership development and resilience strategies, encourages persistence among students of color in STEM. She has been working in northern New Mexico since 2012, and has experience in protected land management, habitat restoration, disease ecology, and community engagement. She holds an MS in Life Sciences with a concentration in Biology from New Mexico Highlands University, a BS in Zoology from Southern Illinois University, and a BA in Mass Media from Mount Union College. She serves as a board member with the High Plains Grasslands Alliance and Hermit’s Peak Watershed Alliance, an outreach committee member with Albuquerque Wildlife Federation and a fellow with Environmental Education New Mexico.
Hailing from the woodlands of Ohio, Corey attended the University of Delaware where he earned a BS and MA in cognitive science before spending three and a half years working as a data engineer in Boise. After spending the summer working with the Idaho Conservation Corps, he is particularly interested in work related to restoration and wildfire mitigation and is excited to apply his technical expertise to the work at NMFWRI. In his free time Corey enjoys climbing large rocks, skiing in the backcountry, long trail runs, and cooking.
Public Information Specialist
Staci is the Institute's public information specialist. Her focus is helping NMFWRI staff and collaborators explain their vital research and projects through multimedia stories. Staci was a longtime environment and community reporter with the daily Santa Fe New Mexican and a former editor of the Taos News. Staci grew up in the Navajo Nation. She has a BS in Agriculture and an MA in Journalism, both from the University of Arizona. She launched a Spanish/English newspaper and distributed it on both sides of the Sonora/Arizona border as part of her Masters project. She lives in Sapello, New Mexico and is a member of the Sapello Rociada San Ignacio Volunteer Fire Company.
Crew Logistics Support / Assistant Manager
Carmen graduated in Forestry and has a minor in Spanish from New Mexico Highlands University. Some background job experience includes working for a greenhouse and nursery in Colorado and the Denver Zoological Foundation stationed in Watrous, NM at the Rio Mora Wildlife Refuge Area. At the Wildlife Refuge, she gained many conservation and restoration skills like building one rock dams to slow down water. Now she works for NMFWRI and has a blast out in the woods collecting field data.
Monitoring and Data Technician
Elliese earned her Bachelor's of Science in environmental science and toxicology with honors from Western Washington University in the spring of 2020. While attending WWU, she spent a semester in Ifrane, Morocco at Al Akhawayn University where she studied Arabic, economic development, and women's studies, and conducted research for her Honors thesis on water rights issues in Morocco. At WWU, she worked at the Institute for Watershed Studies, where she was a laboratory assistant, and at the office of Environmental Health and Safety, where she managed hazardous waste. Elliese's professional goals are still being developed, but she plans to attend graduate school in the next few years to earn her master's degree in Environmental Science. Her main interests are water quality issues and community health, and community engagement as it relates to science and policy. She loves hiking, running, rock climbing, traveling, and challenging herself outdoors.
In 2018, Desirre completed her Associates of Science Degree at Luna Community College with honors and transferred to NMHU to pursue a BS in Forestry with a concentration in Forest Management. Desiree is originally from Sapello, NM but lived in Santa Fe, NM for 10 years before moving back to Las Vegas. In 2020, she was awarded the CREST scholarship. Desirre joined the NMFWRI summer field crew in May 2021 and she plans to graduate with my BS in Fall of 2022.