Meet our Leadership Team.
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.
Shannon grew up camping, hiking, and biking with her family in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. After college, she fell in love with the natural beauty of New Mexico while living and working in the Four Corners region. Shannon brings to the role nearly a decade of experience teaching in both classroom and outdoor settings. She also has worked in a variety of nonprofit environmental organizations.
Shannon has a strong commitment to educational equity and is driven by the belief that all children deserve access to authentic, relevant, and fulfilling learning opportunities. She holds a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Education from the University of Washington, and is a licensed elementary educator in New Mexico and Washington. In her free time, Shannon enjoys reading, writing, playing viola, and exploring hiking trails with her husband and hound. ✉ Email Shannon.
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!
She graduated from UNM with a degree in Conservation Biology and is currently a graduate student with the Department of Biology at UNM. In 2017, Kelly was named the “Outstanding Environmental Educator” of the year by EEANM! ✉ Email Kelly.
Gwynneth Carla is a leader in and out of the classroom. Currently, she is a High School Science Teacher (Chemistry and Physics) at Rio Grande High School. 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 and was 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.
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. In 2018, Ryan has been named a North American Association for Environmental Education Community Fellow and we look forward to learning from his fellowship experience. ✉ Email Ryan.
Member at Large
Vanessa has been with the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center since 2017. She has 7 years of classroom teaching experience with many ages, with her primary focus on 6-12thgrades in Science, Mathematics, Technology, and Engineering. Vanessa earned a B.S. in Basic Science with Technical Writing, and in Environmental Engineering, from New Mexico Tech in 2008. She later obtained an alternative teaching license and an M.S. for Teachers focused on Geology in 2010. She has worked at schools in New Mexico and Colorado, and as a summer camp instructor for the NMMNHS. In 2014, Vanessa earned her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Science. She became the Academic Services Director for the statewide virtual school IDEAL-NM, managing 53 teachers, 159 virtual instances, and a virtual school. She has taught a wide variety of science classes formally and informally, and loves to create a connection between all science subjects for students.
Vanessa also has received private funding to take students on field trips, companies to pay for trips, and donations to the schools.
As a Treasurer of NMT’s Expeditionary Association for four years; Vanessa ran and organized backpacking, camping, hiking, and snow camping trips for students. Vanessa is also a member of the National Hispanic Environmental Council as a role model, leading experiments in water testing and ecological diversity.
Vanessa loves to focus on project-based learning, exploratory learning, and in-depth science with students of all ages. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, biking, cross-fit, power-lifting, and hanging out with her dogs.
✉ Email Vanessa.