Get Involved

Do you support what we do and want to get more involved?  Be an intern, volunteer, or donate to the SMNHC.

For more information on interning or volunteering, please contact:

Vanessa Barela

(505) 281-5259


Submissions are closed for the 2019-'20 school year.  

Typical Intern Duties: Lead 4 hour environmental education programs/hikes daily for 20-30 5th grade students at a time, at the SMNHC and sometimes across New Mexico (travel expenses provided); attend events and special programs, work on new educational activities, collect scientific research data, assist with trail maintenance, and other projects as assigned.  

For the past few years, we have been partnering with Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge to hire an intern through Student Conservation Association (  Intern time and duties are split between working at the refuge and for the SMNHC.

Typical Qualifications: Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Studies, Education, Biology, Ecology or other applicable area.  Some prior experience working with children, doing environmental education, and working/recreating in the outdoors.

Our intern receives a stipend, and housing is provided on-site in Cedar Crest, NM.


Our volunteers bring a wide variety of backgrounds and skills with them and have been valuable assets to the SMNHC for as long as the center has been running.  

Volunteers help programs run smoothly, work on projects that enhance our mission, and aid us in getting more things done. 

We have volunteers start off during the fall or spring semester to begin shadowing school groups.

The primary job of volunteers is to go along with 5th grade classes during our Ecology Field Program.  Your job is to make sure everyone stays together, assist students in doing activities, help with complications that may arise, and share your own particular knowledge with the class.

Beyond assisting with programs, you may eventually be able to contribute an additional skill or project if desired, but this is secondary to helping with the school groups.


Projects that our volunteers have contributed to:

-teaching the Ecology Field Program (based on experience/knowledge and after thorough training in the program)

-teaching the Traveling Ecology Field Program on outreach trips around the state

-construction projects and trail maintenance

-leading hikes on public days

-developing new hands-on ecology activities

-creating field guides for the SMNHC (including a wildflower guide that is now a published book!)

-assembling a bear skeleton

-taking photos and videos for publicity

Make a Donation

Many of the projects and teaching equipment that are used on a daily basis were made possible by generous donations from friends of the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center. With a limited budget, most of the SMNHC's funds go into everyday operational costs. To make improvements to the trails and facilities, create new programs, or purchase field equipment, the SMNHC relies on donations and grant funding.

Over the years, donors have helped fund:

-landscaping the Daniel Bush gardens 

-a solar hot water heater 

-building supplies for outdoor classrooms 

-landscape timbers 

-rainwater harvesting barrels 

-scientific field equipment 

Contact our director  to discuss donating to the SMNHC:

Paul Mauermann

(505) 281-5259