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The SMNHC Staff

The SMNHC staff is a dedicated group of professionals with over 100 years of experience in both traditional and non-traditional education 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. He 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 is the manager of the SMNHC and can be contacted for information on volunteering, donations, and general information regarding the SMNHC. 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. As well as teaching the ecology field program at the Center, Chris is involved with the recent conservation efforts at the Center, planning and organizing of our public program series, organizing the SMNHC outreach programs, creating and maintaining exhibits and facility and trail maintenance.

Chris is responsible for scheduling Traveling Ecology Field Programs and public programs. chris.modelski@state.nm.us

Vince Case

Vince Case is an APS Resource Teacher housed at the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center. Vince earned his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Delaware and his M.A. in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies from UNM. Vince began his teaching career in 1994 on the Navajo Nation in Thoreau. From 2000-2010 he taught at School on Wheels Alternative High School in Albuquerque where he worked to implement an experiential curriculum that integrated literacy, citizenship, and field based science education. Vince acted as a board member and treasurer of EEANM for 4 years. In 2009, the New Mexico Academy of Sciences recognized Vince as an “Outstanding Science Teacher” and he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching from the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy.

Vince can be contacted for more information on scheduling APS school groups.  case@aps.edu


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. While Steven has taught first, third and fourth grades as a general education teacher, 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 learned through hands-on projects and learning focused on inquiry, investigation  and discovery. Though not formally trained in the natural sciences, he 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 the 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.  She has since worked in an office setting, but she enjoys the opportunity to be outdoors, learn the trails, and explore the mountains here.  Though she has no teaching experience, she strives to learn all she can at the SMNHC. 


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


Toby Archuleta
Toby is our maintenance and custodial person here at the SMNHC. Toby was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM.  He graduated from Valley high school and joined the US Navy in 1981.  He was stationed in Long Beach, CA and served onboard the USS Ogden.  After serving in the Navy, he moved back to NM and worked for Wal-Mart as a support manager and then as an assistant manager.  Toby brings many skills and abilities to the SMNHC.



Fiana Shapiro

Fiana joins the SMNHC in 2014 as an educator.  She is originally from the Chicago area and holds a degree in Environmental Studies from Northeastern Illinois University.  She has worked as a seasonal interpreter, wildlife field technician, and environmental educator for national parks, state departments, universities, and non-profits around the U.S. since 2007.  Fiana teaches the ecology field program here at the center and on outreaches.  She is also in charge of carrying out scientific research projects and maintaining the website and social media accounts.

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

Volunteers at SMNHC:

Daniel Bush

Daniel Bush has been a volunteer for the SMNHC for over 10 years. He is a New Mexico native and loves to hike and work with kids. He enjoys camping, hiking, and visiting train museums. Over the years, Daniel has helped SMNHC staff with various trail projects as well as helping to teach  our Outreach program. Over the years, Daniel has become an integral part of the staff here at the Center and we appreciate all of his efforts!


Larry Littlefield

Larry Littlefield 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 at SMNHC because it provides the opportunity to be outdoors and to work with elementary school level education in ecosystems. He also volunteers weekly with the US Forest Service in a variety of tasks including trail maintenance, removing dead trees and reducing fuel loads (fire management). 

Kelly Dix

In the summer of 2010 Kelly Dix, joined the SMNHC.  She began working with us on our dendrochronology project and 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 onto the next generation.  

Michael Cox

Michael started with the SMNHC as a Bernalillo County Master Naturalist volunteer, but liked it so much he stayed!  Michael is a former attorney who is helping us research the history of the Center.

Dave Weaver

Dave has been a volunteer at the Center since 2011.  Dave was an anthropologist and has helped with many SMNHC projects - from trail maintenance and construction to our skunk decomposition project.  He also volunteers with the US Forest Service.

Marty Peterson

Marty also began with the Center through a project with the Bernalillo County Master Naturalist.  Marty lends a hand in variety of projects around the Center year-round.  His previous experience leading boy scouts has prepared him for adventures at the SMNHC.