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Our Staff and Volunteers

The SMNHC staff is a dedicated group of professionals with many years of diverse experiences in both traditional and non-traditional education and ecological settings.

Paul Mauermann 

Paul has been with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science since 2000 and has served as the SMNHC manager since 2004. 

Paul is originally from the Philadelphia area and moved to New Mexico in 1995. Paul has a degree in History and American Studies from the University of Delaware. Paul began his informal education career with the National Park Service where he worked at Independence National Historical Park and Carlsbad Caverns National Park. 

Besides teaching the Ecology Field Program at the Center, Paul is responsible for most administrative and planning tasks.

Paul can be contacted for information on volunteering, donations, and general information regarding the SMNHC at paul.mauermann@state.nm.us

Chris Modelski

Chris is a Michigan native that made the move to the warmer winters of New Mexico. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a degree in Environmental Studies. He moved to New Mexico in 1999 and has worked at the Center since 2003. 

Chris teaches the Ecology Field Program at the Center.  Furthermore, he manages many of our science and conservation efforts, plans our public programs, schedules the SMNHC Traveling Ecology Field Program, creates and maintains exhibits, and assists with facility and trail maintenance.

Chris is the person to contact for scheduling non-APS schools, outreach programs, and public programs at chris.modelski@state.nm.us

Steven Henley

APS Resource Teacher Steven Henley joined the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center in 2013. 

Originally from Southern California, Steven moved to New Mexico with his family in 2003. He earned a B.F.A. in Metalsmithing from California State University- Long Beach and began teaching elementary school in 2001. Steven has taught first, third and fourth grades as a general education teacher, and his greatest impact on student learning was made as the fourth grade science and social studies teacher at Tierra Antigua Elementary in Albuquerque. 

There, his students engaged in hands-on projects and learning focused on inquiry, investigation  and discovery. Though not formally trained in the natural sciences, Steven has spent the last twelve years experiencing and studying the landscape, geology, flora and fauna of our state.

Steven can be contacted at henley_s@aps.edu

Elizabeth Segura

Elizabeth joined the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center in 2013 as our clerk.  

She moved to New Mexico with her family as a child and grew up in Albuquerque’s South Valley, where she learned to garden and care for animals.  She attended Rio Grande High School and afterward took courses in Business Administration at CNM.  In 2005, she joined the Albuquerque Public Schools where she worked as a clerk under the Career & Technical Education Dept.  

Elizabeth has since worked in an office setting, but she enjoys the opportunity to be outdoors and explore the mountains and trails here.  Though she has no teaching experience, she strives to learn all she can at the SMNHC. 


Elizabeth can be reached by email at  segura_e@aps.edu

Toby Archuleta
Toby is our maintenance and custodial person since 2013. 

Toby was born and raised in Albuquerque.  He graduated from Valley High School and joined the U.S. Navy in 1981.  He was stationed in Long Beach, CA and served onboard the U.S.S. Ogden.  After serving in the Navy, Toby moved back to New Mexico and worked for Wal-Mart as a support manager and then as an assistant manager.  Toby brings many useful skills and abilities to the SMNHC.



Fiana Shapiro

Fiana joined the SMNHC in 2014 as an instructor for the Ecology Field Program.

Fiana is originally from the Chicago area and holds a degree in Environmental Studies from Northeastern Illinois University.  She has been working as an environmental interpreter, educator, and wildlife researcher for national parks, state agencies, universities, and non-profits all over the country since 2007.  

Fiana teaches at the center and on outreaches around the state.  She also helps manage scientific research projects at the center and is in charge of the website and social media.

Fiana can be contacted at fiana.shapiro@state.nm.us

Susanna Sprague Harris

Susanna is an APS Resource Teacher who instructs our Ecology Field Program.  She joined the center in 2015.

Susanna is a New Mexico Native who lives with her family and pets in the East Mountains. She received her Master’s Degree in Recreation with an emphasis in Environmental Education from UNM.  She has been a classroom teacher for the last ten years.  

Most recently Susanna taught at Roosevelt A. Montoya School in Tijeras.  She enjoyed getting her students outside and learning more about her mountain community.  She worked with quality local programs such as Talking Talons, RiverXchange, ABQ Water Utility Authority, Tijeras Creek Restoration, Bernalillo County Open Space, and the SMNHC to enhance learning in her classroom.  She will continue her love of  “Leave No Child Inside” with the Center’s knowledgeable staff and volunteers.  

Susanna can be reached at harris_sus@aps.edu.  

Bethany Dunn

Bethany is working with the SMNHC for Fall of 2015 as an environmental educator.
Bethany is originally from Tennessee, but since leaving she can't seem to stay put. In the past five years, she has received her Bachelors degree from Bucknell University in Art History and Environmental Studies and applied her education while working all over the United States as a park ranger, environmental educator, research assistant, and youth counselor.  Her favorite thing about the SMNHC is that everyday she gets to go for a walk in the woods and explore the wonders of New Mexico with students.

Our Volunteers

Daniel Bush

Daniel has been a volunteer at the SMNHC for longer than anyone else has been here. He is a New Mexico native and loves to work with kids. Daniel enjoys camping, hiking, and visiting train museums. He has helped SMNHC staff with various trail projects and teaches our ecology field program and outreach programs. Over the years, Daniel has become an integral part of the staff here at the Center and we appreciate all of his many efforts.


Larry Littlefield

Larry has been a SMNHC Volunteer over 5 years. A retired Professor of Plant Pathology, he taught graduate and undergraduate courses in plant pathology and mycology for 20 years each at North Dakota State and Oklahoma State Universities. His research work focused primarily on light and electron microscopy of fungal infections of agronomic and horticultural plants.

Larry likes volunteering because it provides the opportunity to be outdoors and work with elementary school students in ecosystems. He also volunteers weekly with the U.S. Forest Service in a variety of tasks including trail maintenance, removing dead trees and reducing fuel loads (fire management). 

Kelly Dix

Kelly joined the SMNHC in the summer of 2010, when she began working with us on our dendrochronology project and teaching the Ecology Field Program.  Kelly is a retired toxicologist who moved to New Mexico from North Carolina ten years ago.  She has volunteered with the NM Wilderness Alliance, but began volunteering at SMNHC to combine her interest in education and passion for wilderness.  She wants to pass an appreciation for wilderness on to the next generation.  

Marty Peterson
Marty began volunteering with the Center through a project with the Bernalillo County Master Naturalist program in 2011.  Marty lends a hand in a variety of projects around the Center year-round.  In 2014, he articulated a skeleton of a black bear whose carcass was found on our property.   His previous outdoor experiences, including leading Boy Scouts, have prepared him well for adventures at the SMNHC.

Dave Weaver

Dave has been a volunteer at the Center since 2011.  He is a retired physical anthropologist who started his career in Arizona and New Mexico as an archaeologist and has worked all over the world while a Professor of Anthropology and Comparative Medicine at Wake Forest University.  

Dave has worked on various projects at the SMNHC, including trail maintenance, construction, cleaning and preparing animal skeletons, and public presentations.  He particularly enjoys going out with the school groups and assisting with public events.  Dave has spent years as a U.S. Forest Service volunteer and volunteers at Animal Humane in Albuquerque as well. 

Michael Cox

Michael came to us through the Bernalillo County Open Space Master Naturalist Program in 2012.   He is a native New Mexican who grew up hiking in the Sandias and now enjoys introducing children to the mountain. He teaches  our ecology field program and outreach programs and also helps out with the Sandia Mountain Bear Collaborative.  Michael researched and wrote a history of the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center, which can also be found under the "About" tab on this website.   

im Patrick

Jim joined SMNHC as a Trail Volunteer in the fall of 2014.  He became acquainted with us through the Bernalillo County Master Naturalist Program, and enjoys assisting staff members in providing elementary students with a better understanding of our forest ecosystem.

A native of Arizona, Jim is a retired U.S Naval Flight Officer, with a variety of operational and staff assignments in California, Utah, Nebraska, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, and Hawaii, as well as Japan and the British Indian Ocean Territories.  He enjoys most outdoor activities, including backpacking, hiking, cycling, birding, swimming, and geocaching.

Sue Keil

Sue became a volunteer in the fall of 2014 as her volunteer project with Bernalillo County Master Naturalist Program.  Since returning to New Mexico in 2006, she has actively sought ways of learning more about the state.  The opportunity to volunteer and share her knowledge with the students who visit the SMNHC is becoming her new passion!
Sue grew up in Vermont, as part of the 5th generation on a farm.  There, she developed an interest in conservation, the environment, plants, animals, and other natural things.  She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Vermont and spent many years as a Human Resources Director in various industries.