Board of Directors

Kenneth Cole, Albuquerque, Chair

Ken is a retired International Official with extensive experience in negotiating financial and technical support for community based economic and social development undertakings. As a lawyer (Berkeley Law) and an avid bird watcher, Ken has traveled all over the world and observed the benefits of healthy habitats and the problems caused by the degradation of natural resources. Ken has been involved in protection of dryland habitat for 15 years and worked to get the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification ratified.

Todd Schulke, Silver City, Deputy Chairperson

Todd is a co-founder and senior staff member of the Center for Biological Diversity. He holds an environmental studies degree from the Evergreen State College. He has been working to protect and restore forests and rivers in the Southwest for over 20 years. He has been on the board of directors of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance since its inception and is also on the board of the Center for Biological Diversity, the Gila Conservation Coalition – dedicated to protecting the Gila River and Gila WoodNet, a community-based forestry group advocating ecologically sound forest restoration. He sits on the Western Governor’s Forest Health Advisory Committee and the Arizona Governor’s Forest Health Council. He also served on Senator Bingaman’s Collaborative Forest Restoration Program Advisory Panel and the Roadless Area Conservation National Advisory Committee, the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program federal advisory committee and the New Mexico Forest & Watershed Health Planning Committee.

Nancy Morton, MS, RN, CCRN, Albuquerque, Secretary

Nancy is a nurse and teaches at the University of New Mexico. She’s been a volunteer wilderness activist for more than 30 years. She was a founding board member of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance. Nancy’s favorite wildland activities are hiking and river running.

Hamish Thomson, Albuquerque, Treasurer

Hamish is a professional CPA, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) and works as a forensic accountant at the State Attorney General’s Office. Hamish enjoys hiking and has spent much of his spare time exploring the wild landscapes of New Mexico. He has participated in wolf howling surveys to prepare for the reintroduction of wolves and has been a member of NMWild since 1997.

Joe Alcock, Albuquerque

Joe is the director of the emergency department at the VA in Albuquerque and is an associate professor of emergency medicine at the UNM Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Alcock received his MD from UCLA and moved to Albuquerque in 1997 to complete his residency at the University of New Mexico. Besides practicing medicine, Joe’s passions include exploring and protecting wildlands and teaching. He combines both in his role as co-director of the UNM School of Medicine’s Wilderness Medicine Program. Joe also is an adjunct professor of Biology and teaches undergraduates about evolution in health and disease.

Rick Aster, Ph.D., Socorro

Dr. Rick Aster holds degrees in earth sciences, geophysics, and electrical engineering, and is department head and professor of geophysics in the Department of Geosciences at Colorado State University. He is a past president of the Seismological Society of America, and has research and teaching interests that include earthquake and volcano seismology, including a number of projects in the western United States and Antarctica. Rick is a charter member of NM Wild who served on the board from 1997-2002 and rejoined in 2009.

Michael Berman, Silver City

Michael has wandered, photographed and advocated for the wild lands few people visit along the US/Mexico border for 30 years. He has managed to walk into all the BLM wilderness study areas in New Mexico. Michael’s photographic work is esteemed in the contemporary art world. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowhip in 2008 for his work Grasslands, which is about the endangered Chihuahuan Desert grasslands in New Mexico, Texas and the northern border of Mexico. Michael is a founder and serves on the board of the Gila Resources Information Project.

Claire Cote, Questa

Born and raised north of Questa, at the foot of the Latir Wilderness Area in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Claire spent her childhood exploring these mountains. Claire has degrees in Fine Art and Cultural Anthropology from the University of New Mexico and a Masters in Art and Ecology from Dartington College of Arts in Devon, England. Claire is the outreach coordinator and assistant program director for Rivers & Birds, an environmental education organization, and serves on the board of directors for Localogy. She recently started the arts initiative, LEAP – Land, Experience and Art of Place.

Dave Foreman, Albuquerque

Wearing one hat or another, Dave has worked on shielding wilderness in New Mexico since 1971. As a founder of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and past board member, he offers extensive experience and knowledge of wilderness to NM Wild members, staff and board members. Dave is currently the Executive Director of The Rewilding Institute and is the author of half a dozen books, including Rewilding North America, and was picked by Audubon Magazine as one of the 100 Conservation Heroes of the Twentieth Century.

Carol Johnson, Glorieta

Nature and wild places have influenced Johnson all her life. She has hiked and backpacked throughout the Southwest for 35+ years, developing a love of quiet, wild places, watersheds and wildlife. Johnson’s relationship as a volunteer with NM Wild began in 2009, when we began working to further protect the Pecos Wilderness by incorporating adjacent Inventoried Roadless Acres. Her involvement includes outreach to county commissions in four counties, city governments, businesses, pueblos, equestrian groups, environmental groups, and many other stakeholders. Johnson is also a board member of the Upper Pecos Watershed Association, a co-leader of the Great Old Broads for Wilderness Sangre de Cristo group, and is a member of the New Mexico OHV Advisory Board, representing hikers, equestrians and other quiet recreationists on public lands. As a community activist, Johnson worked extensively on the Santa Fe National Forest Travel Management Plan, fighting to limit motorized travel and protect the quiet forest.

Roberta Salazar-Henry, Las Cruces

Salazar-Henry is a lifelong New Mexico resident with family ties that go back to the 1600s. She currently resides in Las Cruces where she is active with many local organizations. Recently she served on the staff of the state Senate and previously worked twenty-five years with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF), including six years as assistant director. For many years at NMDGF she was federal grant liaison with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service responsible for the administration of all wildlife and habitat projects associated with the Sportfish and Wildlife Restoration Programs and grant funding for endangered species research and recovery. Among her many commitments, she is an active member of the Wild Turkey Sportsmen Association, Southwest Consolidated Sportsmen, a member of Audubon and current vice-chair for the Southwest Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the Habitat Stamp Program. She is involved in the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks initiative to establish a national monument in Dona Ana County. She notes that when she moved to Las Cruces 10 years ago she was very disappointed “to learn that much of the 10 million acres of federally managed public land in southwest New Mexico remains in limbo for permanent protection. In addition, most people coming to this area do not know of the many hidden treasures that exist in this desert landscape.”

David Soules, Las Cruces

David is a lifelong resident of southern New Mexico. He has been an active participant in numerous outdoor volunteer projects, including wildlife water catchments and livestock exclosures, various cleanup and tree planting initiatives, wildlife surveys, and trap and transplant efforts for desert bighorn sheep. David is an engineer and manager by trade, but his passion lies with protecting the outdoors.

Bob Tafanelli, Ph.D., Las Cruces

Dr. Tafanelli holds multiple degrees in biology. His history of environmental activism stretches back to the 1960’s when he helped found the Oklahoma Chapter of the Sierra Club. In the 1980’s he formed and headed the Coalition of Conservation Organizations in Las Cruces, a coalition of 50 individual and group members that later evolved into the Southwest Environmental Center. He served for several years on the NM Game and Fish Dept Habitat Stamp Program Citizen’s Advisory Committee and is currently Conservation Committee Chair of the Mesilla Valley Audubon Society. He was a founding board member of NM Wild.