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
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.
(505) 426-2009 email@example.com
Marla Martinez was born and raised in Las Vegas, NM, graduating from Robertson High School. Immediately after, she started her career with the City of Las Vegas Fire Department as an Administrative Assistant. She then was promoted to Financial Specialist with the City of Las Vegas Police Department where she managed substantial budgets. After 25 years of service she retired. She was hired in February 2020 at New Mexico Highland University as the Administrative Assistant with the ARMAS Center under the grant STEMfast. She assisted Faculty, Staff, and students with daily activities and managed the budget for the department. After working with NMHU for over two years, she was hired with the New Mexico Forestry and Watershed Restoration Institute as an Administrative Assistant. She likes to spend time with family and especially her grandkids. She likes to hike, sew, cook, and enjoy the outdoors.
Public Information Specialist
(505) 426-2080 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 an FAA Remote Pilot License (UAS) and expects her future work will include conservation monitoring and mapping with drone technologies. Patti holds a Master 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.
(505) 454-3586 email@example.com
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.
Dana has been in the geographic field for over a decade, earning her BS in Geology and Environmental Science and her MS in Geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), as well as teaching GIS at the college level. She has worked as a GIS specialist for federal and state governments, private consultants, and academic institutions with work roles spanning from imagery science to human geography. She is excited to use and develop her skills at NMFWRI. Although a Michigander at heart, Dana grew up in the Middle East and Europe and continues to travel and explore new cities whenever she can.
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.
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.
Education and Outreach Coordinator
(505) 454-3225 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Education and Outreach Program Assistant
Melendez started his career in Forestry by having a dream and goal to be a Renaissance man - educated, physically strong, and willing to serve his country. Melendez graduated from Robertson High School in 2013 and attended NM Highlands University. While in college, Melendez worked with the U.S. Forest Service in 2013, 2015 and 2017 as a timber technician. Melendez also worked in carpentry, vehicle mechanics, restaurants, animal husbandry, welding, ranching, wood harvesting, rock laying, bailing hay, and drawing – in short, a Renaissance man. Melendez graduated in 2018 with a B.S in Forestry and a Minor in Wildland Fire. Since the summer of 2018, Melendez has worked with the New Mexico Forest and Watershed as a monitoring technician/ supervisor and now the Education and Outreach Program Assistant. Melendez loves being outdoors, joking, laughing, hanging out with loved ones, and being creative in what he does at work. He is strong in his beliefs, which brought him a gift of strength to be the man he is today.
GIS Community and Collaboration Technician
Eleanore is a graduate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, holding a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She is serving with AmeriCorps VISTA as our Community and Collaboration Technician. Utilizing her GIS skills and passion for environmental collaboration. Following her service she is hoping to earn a Masters in Atmospheric Science. Originally from Northern Idaho, Eleanore loves to ski, rock climb, and hike. You can catch her and her border collie around hiking Santa Fe.
Monitoring Program Manager
Kathryn Mahan is an ecologist with a M.S. in Natural Resources Management. She has a particular interest in long-term ecological monitoring programs and building capacity for adaptive management at all levels. Before she joined NMFWRI in 2014, she worked as an outdoor educator for the United World College Wilderness Program and the University of Wyoming, a biotechnician for the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, and an independent natural resources consultant with organizations such as Hermit’s Peak Watershed Alliance and New Mexico Wilderness Alliance. Her other passions include wilderness and emergency medicine, volunteer firefighting, backpacking, being outside, writing, and growing vegetables.
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.
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.
Alex grew up in the Hudson Valley and graduated from Walsh University with a degree in Environmental Science and three years of division 2 lacrosse. Afterwards he looked towards internships and seasonal jobs to travel the country and explore new ecosystems. He enjoys spending time on his mountain bike and exploring trails with his dog Tito. In previous positions he has driven swamp buggies to field sites, held burn lines on the water truck and has seen whales migrating while removing French Broom.
Meredith graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2017 with a B.S. in Environmental & Sustainability Studies. Her introduction to the world of ecological restoration began while she was working as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at the Ecological Restoration Institute in Flagstaff, Arizona. Meredith has spent several field seasons throughout northern Arizona and New Mexico leading monitoring crews. Prior to joining the NMFWRI team, Meredith spent two years in the southern Appalachian mountains leading backpacking trips on the iconic Appalachian Trail, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Pisgah National Forest. In December 2021, she finished her first thru hike on the Arizona Trail, traversing 800 miles from the Utah to Mexico border. Her favorite pastimes include making art, identifying plants, reading, and crawfish boils.
Carolina grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and earned a B.S. in Biology & Environmental Science from the College of William and Mary. Following graduation, she worked three seasons at Bandelier National Monument doing wildlife surveys, fire effects monitoring, and restoration projects. She received a M.S. in Biology from the University of New Mexico in 2022, completing a thesis on forest regeneration after repeated prescribed fire. In her free time, Carolina likes to backpack, grow plants, and do creative projects.
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.
Student Intern/Special Programs
Rosa grew up in Constanza, Dominican Republic. She earned a Bachelor in Agricultural Sciences from Zamorano University in Honduras. During her studies, she had the opportunity to work at the University of Florida as an intern in their Entomology program. After graduation, she worked for almost one year in the Application Technologies program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Between 2019 and 2021, she worked in the Dominican Republic as a Research and Development Manager for a cocoa agroforestry project. This experience triggered her interest to work in sustainable projects that support people and their livelihoods, inspiring her to apply for a master’s degree program with a focus on Environmental Science and Management at New Mexico Highlands University, which she started in the spring of 2022. She enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, and cultural exchange. Between 2014 and 2017, she traveled around Central America, in 2018 around the United States, and in 2021 she traveled to South America as a backpacker for 3 months.
Zoe grew up in Minnesota camping and hiking in all 75 state parks. She moved west studying biology at University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Montana State University in Bozeman and is now a student at New Mexico Highlands University. Zoe was a data analyst in the MSU Paleoecology lab, researching wildfire frequency and past ecosystems in the Americas. She has an interest in animal and wildlands conservation. Zoe looks forward to being a part of watershed and forest conservation by joining NMFWRI through an Internship while finishing her Bachelor of Science degree.
Anabella is from Las Vegas, NM and graduated in Spring, 2022 with her Bachelor of Science in Biology from NMHU. She has been involved in several internships and programs throughout her bachelor's degree, gaining valuable experiences for her interests in wildlife and conservation, including a couple of summers at the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge and the NMHU Conservation Science Center. She was a cross country and track athlete at NMHU for the past four years. She is starting her M.S. in Biology at NMHU this Fall and will base her research project on the Northern Leopard Frog.
Irshad grew up in Lahore, Pakistan. He has completed his master's in biotechnology from South Asian University New Delhi, India. He has been involved in several internships and programs throughout his bachelor's and master's degrees, gaining valuable experience for his interest in medical sciences. He started another master's in biology at NMHU in Spring, 2022 and will base his research project on heavy toxic metals.
Zachary grew up in Las Vegas, NM and graduated from New Mexico Highlands University with a Bachelor of Science in biology in 2020. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in biology. He plans to start a career in the biomedical research field but has always enjoyed the conservation side of biology. He enjoys spending time fishing and adventuring in the outdoors.