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Our Staff

The SMNHC staff is a dedicated group of professionals with many years of diverse 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 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. 

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 the person to contact for scheduling Traveling Ecology Field Programs and public programs at 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 at 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 were engaged by 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 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.  She has since worked in an office setting, but she enjoys the opportunity to be outdoors and explore the mountains and the 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 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 joined the SMNHC in 2014.  She is originally from the Chicago area and holds a degree in Environmental Studies from Northeastern Illinois University.  Fiana has been working as an environmental interpreter, educator, and wildlife researcher for national parks, state agencies, and other organizations around the country since 2007.  

Fiana teaches the ecology field program here and on outreaches around the state.  She is also in charge of carrying out scientific research projects at the center and maintaining the website and social media accounts.

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










Our Volunteers



Daniel Bush

Daniel Bush has been a volunteer for the SMNHC for longer than anyone. 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 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

Kelly joined the SMNHC in the summer of 2010, when 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 on to the next generation.  








Marty Peterson
Marty began 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 a variety of 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 other public contact.  He 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.   





















Jim Patrick

Jim joined SMNHC as a Trail Volunteer in the fall of 2014.  He became acquainted with SMNHC 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.