Meet our staff and board of directors.
Eileen has a strong background in environmental education, having worked as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as an environmental educator for Audubon New Mexico and the Santa Fe Watershed Association, running her consulting firm “Down to Earth Education”, and as a climate change educator for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.
Eileen is an enthusiastic and supportive member of EEANM and has served on our Board of Directors in the past. She has strong nonprofit experience, having worked as an Educator, Education Director, and even Interim Executive Director.
In the fall of 2016, Eileen became one of New Mexico’s first Certified Environmental Educators. In her spare time, Eileen can be found hiking, cooking, and tending to her dog pack and goat herd. ✉️ Email Eileen.
Laurel Ladwig has over three decades of experience working in informal science settings, beginning her career at the Burke Baker Planetarium at the Houston Museum of Natural Science as a teenager and most recently producing planetarium content about Navajo astronomy for NASA-funded projects with the Indigenous Education Institute. A lifelong birder and nature enthusiast, she became a Texas Master Naturalist in 2000 and has served on the advisory committee for the Bernalillo County Open Space Master Naturalist program since 2010. She serves on the board of the Friends of the Rio Grande Nature Center and is co-chair of the RGNC annual Summer Wings festival and BioBlitz event. She is also an active volunteer at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, doing phenological surveys, graphic design and multimedia production.✉️ Email Laurel
Board of Directors
Our volunteer board sets the course for EEANM and connects us with our community. As advocates for environmental education, they do strategic planning, goal-setting and fundraising. Board members serve for two-year terms. If you are interested in learning more about the board, please contact us.
Colleen has been the Bernalillo County Open Space Coordinator since 2008. She created the Open Space Program, providing resource-based recreation and environmental education opportunities for the public at large. She serves as the President on the Board of Directors for the Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs, a not-for-profit organization that supports Master Naturalist programs throughout the country. She also manages the Bernalillo County Master Naturalist program, which has received state and national recognition.
Colleen received a Bachelor of Science from the Department of Education at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 1999 and a Master’s degree in Environmental Education through UNM’s Master’s International Program. She served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer for three years in the Republic of Philippines. Next, Colleen worked as a research assistant for the World Wildlife Fund and then as the Growing Native Program Director at Potomac Conservancy in the Washington DC area. She finally returned to New Mexico to work for the community in her current capacity with Bernalillo County. ✉️ Email Colleen.
Cindy retired in July 2013 after teaching for 18 years. Her teaching degree was secondary education with a minor in science and a masters in Environmental Education. Her most recent classroom incorporated art and EE, as she taught EcoArt for 4th, 5th and 6th graders for the ABQ BioPark’s summer program.
Cindy joined the EEANM Board in 2012 and has been a supportive member working with the officers, board members and members on promoting the organization. She is a Project Learning Tree workshop teacher trainer. Cindy is also a member of the Sierra Club and enjoys travel and outdoor adventures. ✉️ Email Cindy.
Growing up in Los Alamos, NM, Kelly spent a great deal of time hiking, skiing, playing cello, and volunteering at the nature center. In a great combination of her passions, Kelly has even been spotted playing her cello in the bosque!
Jamie is the Director of Fenton Ranch, Manzano Day School’s residential environmental education facility in the Jemez Mountains. Jamie an expert in youth environmental education, service learning, and wilderness therapy. She also worked as the Training Director at Rocky Mountain Youth Corps(RMYC) in Taos, New Mexico. At RMYC Jamie oversaw the training and professional development of over 100 AmeriCorps members and 20 staff annually, incorporating life skills curriculum and environmental education in a service-learning environment.
Prior to her work at RMYC, Jamie acted as National Conference Organizer for the Association for Experiential Education in Boulder, CO and New Student Coordinator at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center in Estes Park, CO. Jamie’s background in wilderness therapy is rooted in seven years of leading at-risk and adjudicated youth on month-long backpacking trips throughout the country. Jamie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. ✉️ Email Jamie.
Dr. Kenneth Armijo is a research scientist and R&D engineer who holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley with minors in Energy and Resources, and business credentials in Management of Technology from Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. His research spans both United States D.O.E. Solar programs in Photovoltaics and Distributed Energy Technologies, as well as Concentrating Solar Thermal Energy Technologies.
Dr. Armijo’s research and professional interests are in alternative energy technologies and sustainability, as they pertain to innovation, business and policy. He currently holds four patents on a broad range of technologies; has published over thirty journal and conference papers and books, and has had three startup companies in wireless infant/elderly health monitoring systems, solar water heating technologies and in organic sustainable agriculture.
He was also recently recognized in Hispanic Engineer and Information Technology magazine as a “top professional in energy.” He is a proud native New Mexican and received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics from the University of New Mexico. In his free time, he provides business operation support to his family’s organic chile farm in central New Mexico. He credits his success to the upbringing he experienced growing up on this small farm, in a very rural community, as the initial catalyst for his inquisitive nature.
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Gwynneth Carla is a leader in and out of the classroom. She has served as class sponsor, department head, data analysis team leader, and building leadership team member at Tohatchi HS, which is one of the Gallup-McKinley County Schools (GMCS) schools in the Navajo Reservation. She also worked, though briefly, as one of the GMCS district’s technology support teachers . Currently, she has been appointed as the testing coordinator and one of the two technology coordinators for Middle College HS in Gallup.
Since 2012, she has become a Google Apps enthusiast. And she has been advocating for utilizing technology in various aspects of classroom teaching.
Gwynneth Carla holds a masters degree in Secondary Teaching (with TESOL Endorsement) and a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education (Major in Natural Science). Embracing the core values of innovation and growth, Gwynneth has become passionate about integrating the 4 C’s (Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity) for the 21st Century with a S.T.E.M.-based instruction for teaching science content. Her passion eventually led to her involvement and participation in the University of New Mexico’s Research Experience for Teachers (RET) for two consecutive summers of 2013 and 2014. The RET program gave Gwynneth the opportunity to work directly with a scientist and some student researchers at Sandia Lab. On November 10-11, 2014, she felt honored to represent the state of New Mexico at the American Vacuum Society (AVS) Science Educators Workshop in Baltimore, Maryland. ✉️ Email Gwynneth.
Rick Cole is a native New Mexican who grew up on Bosque Honey Farm in Valencia County where he graduated from Los Lunas High School before earning a BS in Telecommunications from Oral Roberts University and a Masters in Science Teaching from New Mexico Tech. As co-owner of the 5,000-hive honey farm, Rick collaborated with many government agencies and a host of ranchers and farmers in establishing cooperative protocol for the many facets of honey production. And as an entrepreneur operating in nature for more than five decades, he is continually learning aspects of botany, entomology, microbiology and geology in harmonizing honey production with adjacent agricultural practices and the rhythms of nature.
As a three-year journalist for the Tulsa Daily World, Rick learned to craft words in telling the story of diverse individuals, especially high school students, who were his primary subject during the school year. This stimulating interaction with youth and learning prompted Rick to obtain additional education and licensure so that he could become a teacher.
Thus, began a 21-year career with Los Lunas Schools teaching various components of science, language arts and the media, including certification in Advanced Placement Environmental Science and Biology. He also coordinated the school science fair, newspaper, TV station and sports promotion during his tenure, earning district teacher of the year honors in 2003.
Since retirement from teaching in 2014, Rick has worked for NM MESA to create and manage STEM education events, which allows him the opportunity to network with numerous professionals in many disciplines, including environmental science.
He is also the husband of Theresa, father of four children, grandfather of five and delights in learning, running, cycling, hiking, hunting, fishing and skiing. ✉️ Email Rick.
Molly is the Education Coordinator for Friends of the Whitfield (Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area). She is a retired elementary teacher, who was honored as the 2005 K-12 Teacher of the Year Award by the North American Association of Environmental Education. As a teacher of Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade students, Molly integrated all areas of curriculum around the local bosque and its role in the community. She also sponsored the school’s Environmental Club for 15 years.
Molly has served in a variety of roles including environmental educator, facilitator for professional development, grant writer, presenter for community groups, volunteer/coordinator with several NGOs and public agencies, recruiter and trainer of volunteers. Molly developed and implemented environmental education programs for Belen and Los Lunas schools at Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area, managing and scheduling programs and budget, including writing grants. Molly planned, implemented, and evaluated the Dusty Roadrunner Reduce, Reuse, Recycle program in rural NM elementary schools. She has facilitated workshops for Project Wild, Project Wet, Project Learning Tree, and Leopold Education Project. She served as a mentor for teachers for the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring program. Molly co-led the UNM Math and Science Teachers Academy for four summers and has taught environmental education classes. As a curator, Molly developed education programs for the public and the local schools, including tours of museum and trunk exhibits. Molly received her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and two Master’s in Elementary Education focused on environmental education and reading. ✉️ Email Molly.
Ryan graduated from the University of Georgia in 2012 with a dual degree in Wildlife Biology and Forest Management, then again in 2014 with a Masters of Natural Resources in Environmental Education. While in Georgia, he worked with several elementary schools to make Environmental Education more accessible to teachers and more teacher friendly to encourage a greater use of tools such as Project WET and WILD in classrooms. Ryan also delivered quality EE programs to K-8th students as an Environmental Education Specialist at a local nature center, and worked with high school students as junior naturalists to develop their public speaking skills and conservation spirit. Since moving to New Mexico and working for the Asombro Institute, he has been an integral part of developing several K-12 programs that focus on connecting what students learn in the classroom to the Chihuahuan Desert that surrounds them, and spreading the message of environmental education to students all over southern New Mexico. ✉️ Email Ryan.