Mark has over thirty years of professional experience working with social-profit nongovernmental organizations in leadership positions, including over twenty years as executive director. Before joining New Mexico Wild, Mark’s activities focused on anti-poverty and social justice work, with an emphasis on developing permanent affordable housing for persons experiencing homelessness. Mark’s projects earned national recognition for modeling award winning sustainable “green” design. Mark subsequently led a national project team providing technical assistance and training to communities on community development. He has served on numerous national, regional, and local boards of directors.
Mark has demonstrated success in strategic planning, organizational development, management, and fundraising and is adept at partnerships and coalition building. Since coming to New Mexico Wild in 2013, Mark has been proud to lead a team that has helped secure numerous new protections for New Mexico’s land, waters, and wildlife. Mark earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from Illinois State University. Mark fell in love with New Mexico in 1977 and moved here permanently in 1993. He resides in Albuquerque with his wife, Jenny Metzler, and his two sons, Levin and Jack. He believes passionately that we have a responsibility to permanently protect land, not only for future generations to experience and enjoy, but for its own sake.
Conservation GIS Specialist
Akashia was enchanted by the magic of western landscapes in high school when she traveled from the Midwest to backpack in the Colorado Rockies and the Grand Canyon. She went on to earn a B.A. in Biology from The Colorado College and a M.S. in Geography, specializing in Geographic Information Sciences, from The University of New Mexico. Her studies focused on the remote sensing of native plant species in southwest desert landscapes. Professionally, she has worked with the National Park Service, the Native American Water Rights Settlement Project, and in both public and private sector GIS roles. She serves as a volunteer GIS specialist for The Yerba Mansa Project, a bosque restoration effort in Albuquerque.
Calling New Mexico home for 24 years, Akashia has loved raising her family in a state with abundant beautiful and wild places. She loves hiking, camping, backpacking, exploring outside with her husband and kids, and always looks forward to the next wilderness adventure. Akashia has a lifelong passion for using her skills and experience to support conservation efforts, and she is so happy to join the NM Wild team as the Conservation GIS Specialist.
As a native New Mexican, Sara developed a reverence for nature young; her earliest memory is one of stepping barefoot on a prickly pear cactus in the backyard of her parents’ Cedar Crest home. She went on to spend time in places with notably fewer cacti, including Oregon, and Alaska, where she studied Psychology at the University of Alaska.
Sara’s professional background includes the legal and healthcare fields, most recently establishing a communications and marketing department for a behavioral healthcare organization serving rural communities across New Mexico. She is passionate about public land conservation, stewardship, and increasing equitable access to the outdoors. With a strong belief in the expansive power of visual storytelling, Sara is excited to help New Mexico Wild connect with a broader audience in her role as Communications Coordinator.
Marissa was born and raised in Albuquerque. From a young age, she spent tons of time exploring new trails with her dogs and grew a strong love and appreciation for animals and the outdoors. Her work with organizations like Wildlife Rescue Inc. and the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program (BEMP) also inspired her to pursue a career in wildlife conservation. She is currently in her senior year at UNM pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in conservation and a minor in sustainability. In her free time, she loves hiking, running, and photography.
Bjorn grew up in Seattle, Washington and spent his childhood and young adult years frequenting public lands across the West. Experiences in remote settings – often in designated wilderness – instilled in him a passion for wild places and environmental issues. These passions led Bjorn to obtain B.A and M.S. degrees in environmental studies and science from Yale University, as well as a graduate certificate in wilderness management from the University of Montana.
In the initial chapter of his career, Bjorn spent 13 years working with the U.S. Forest Service, with positions focused on the management of recreation, wilderness, wild & scenic rivers, commercial uses and infrastructure, archaeology, and minerals in Washington DC, Washington State, California, and New Mexico.
Bjorn and his wife, Amy, moved permanently to New Mexico in 2015, and in his spare time Bjorn enjoys cooking, gardening, mountain biking, gravel grinding, backpacking, and kayaking. Bjorn is thrilled and honored to bring the knowledge, skills, and experience gained from his previous work to furthering New Mexico Wild’s efforts to protect wildlands, water, and wildlife.
Mollie grew up in North Dakota as an indoor child. She started to venture outside to urban green spaces when she moved to Minnesota to attend Macalester College where she received her BA in History and German Studies. After college, she began to discover the magic of wilderness and has been making up for lost time ever since, spending her free time exploring canyons, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and peaks.
Professionally, Mollie has worked in informal education and program management at museums and educational institutions. She's excited to user her experience to support New Mexico Wild's work to protect and restore wildlands.
Northern New Mexico Grassroots Organizer
Gila Grassroots Organizer
Luke grew up in Maryland where a 200 acre forest across the street from his childhood home and yearly family camping trips instilled in him a lifelong love for the natural world and its undeveloped corners. That love grew on the banks of the St. Mary’s River, where he studied philosophy and environmental studies at St. Mary’s College. There, he led a student effort to restore a natural history area, worked in the campus farm, led a windsurfing club, and established a campus apiary—experiences that taught him the deeper relationships with land and water that are possible when we get together as a community.
Conservation work has brought Luke all over the country. He’s led field work in the remote canyons of Grand Staircase-Escalante, worked for the NPS in Yellowstone, and most recently, managed the volunteer program for Wild Arizona. He eventually made his way to Silver City, NM, which he’s proud to call home.
Luke is passionate about the protection of wild places and the empowerment of communities, and believes the key to each lies in the other. When he’s not working, you can find Luke exploring the Gila with a backpack, a fly rod, or canyoneering rope.
Rivers and Waters Program Associate
Aidan grew up in Colorado’s semiarid foothills during unprecedented drought. Western waters and wildlands have since taken a central role in their life, drawing them to a B.A. in Ecology at the University of Colorado in Boulder, a Ph.D. in Hydrology at the University of Nedava in Reno, and environmental science communication roles in Grand Canyon National Park and the San Juan Mountains. They are an expert on the effects of forest change and land management on the function of mountainous western watersheds.
Aidan was drawn to Northern New Mexico by the region’s diverse and dynamic communities, lands, and waters. They enjoy building kinship with these watersheds through hiking, long-distance running, skiing, art, and foraging. They are excited to bring their technical hydrology knowledge and dedication to protecting wild lands and waters to New Mexico Wild.
Cibola Wilderness Ranger
Katie has held a fascination for the natural world since a young child. Growing up near the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, Katie was able to expand on that fascination through trail running, backpacking, and climbing. While on a road trip through the western states in college, she was blown away by the grandeur and isolation of the southwestern landscape. Katie then decided to pursue her Masters degree in Plant and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University. The wilderness has become a place of solitude and comfort for Katie. She often recreates in wilderness areas and enjoys identifying plants, understanding the various ecosystems, and pushing her physical limits through sport. Katie is thrilled to give back to the wilderness areas she enjoys so much by joining New Mexico Wild as a Wilderness Ranger.
Northern New Mexico Traditional Communities Communicator
Captain Muenzberg ( y Tinajero de Barreras y Lucero Godoy ) is a long time New Mexican, like numerous generations of American Miners, Muleteers, Merchants, Machinists, and Mariners before him. Darrin is proud of his Hispano, Chicano, and Coyote heritage in the region. While “following the work” as his forebears have for centuries, he has remained anchored in his ancestral village of La Bajada, where he lives with wife Eva, and son Baern Candelario.
The traditional lifeways of the Caja del Rio , La Majada, El Camino Real, and Santa Fe River acequia culture, have sustained the families of La Bajada since the 17th century. Stewardship, and respect for the revelation of nature, lie at the heart of those community beliefs. Darrin’s worldview was formed by his Great-Grandmother, and influenced by his interactions and relationships with people while trading in the ports of the Eastern Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula, Persian Gulf, Balochistan, South Asia, East Asia, Central America, and South America.
Darrin seeks to apply the lessons he has been taught in his travels, to his work toward sustaining traditional New Mexican culture as a model for survival through a challenging environmental future. He has served as Chairman of the La Bajada Traditional Village Committee since 2006. He was a founding member of the Santa Fe River Traditional Communities Collaborative in 2011, and was elected as a Commissioner of the La Bajada Community Ditch & Mutual Domestic Water Association in 2013. "La Lucha Sigue!"
A lifelong visitor to New Mexico, Devon moved to Albuquerque with her husband Jason in the spring of 2021 to be closer to the wild beauty of this totally unique state. You can catch them zealously hiking, camping, and rafting their way around New Mexico.
Devon grew up in Dallas. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Northern Colorado, she lived in Denver and worked for the Harm Reduction Action Center in homeless outreach. She is thrilled to finally be “home” in New Mexico, and is so inspired by the work New Mexico Wild does to protect our state’s precious ecological and cultural heritage.
Rio Chama Community Science
Gila Wilderness Ranger/Gila Grassroots Organizer
Vicente comes to New Mexico Wild after a 33-year career with the US Forest Service. He brings a wide range land management experience including wildlife biology, wildland firefighting, land management (timber/rangeland/recreation/fire management) expertise, wilderness management and trail maintenance experience, endangered species impact analysis in relation to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA). The last eight years of his career he worked as the FS Liaison to the Mexican Wolf Recovery effort.
“My career with the FS has all been in the SW. The Gila Wilderness has always been my favorite place to work and recreate. I am thrilled to be able to focus my land management expertise, experience and passion in the Gila with New Mexico Wild”.
Sally fell in love with nature and all things wild at an early age. She moved to New Mexico with her family in 1989. Prior to law school, Sally studied biology at the University of New Mexico, where she focused on biodiversity, conservation, and ecology. Sally obtained a law degree in 2009 from the University of New Mexico, completing the Natural Resources Law Certificate Program and serving as editor-in-chief of the Natural Resources Journal. Prior to joining the staff at New Mexico Wild, Sally served in several capacities at the New Mexico Supreme Court, including law clerk to Chief Justice Charles W. Daniels, Senior Counsel, and Deputy Clerk of Court. She has also clerked in federal district court for Senior District Court Judge James A. Parker and has worked as Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City of Santa Fe, where she focused on land use and property law. Sally spends her free time exploring the outdoors with her husband Danny, hiking, backpacking, and exploring the beautiful landscapes and communities of our beautiful state and beyond.
Wilderness Stewardship and Outreach Manager
Fundraising and Marketing Advisor
Rivers and Waters Program Director
Tricia Snyder claims El Paso, TX as home and credits growing up along the often-dry banks of the Rio Grande as the catalyst for her interest in water resources. She received a BS in Geography, with a focus on the human-environment connection, from New Mexico State University and started her career in Las Cruces working to protect and restore the southwest borderlands. She moved to central Washington to pursue a MS in Cultural and Environmental Resource Management, completing her thesis on the Upper Klamath Basin. She worked in community-based salmon recovery in the Yakima Basin before returning to New Mexico to fulfill a career goal of working on her home river, the Rio Grande. She joined New Mexico Wild in 2022 as the organization's first staff person dedicated to water policy and is excited to bring her passion for climate resilient water systems that center equity for all the plant, wildlife, and human communities that depend on them.
Friends of Rio Grande del Norte Coordinator
Getting into the family business at an early age (his father, Taylor, literally wrote the book on Fly Fishing New Mexico, as did his uncle Jackson for Colorado), Nick was guiding fisherman before he was old enough to drive them to the river. By the age of 17, Nick was a member of the U.S. fly fishing team that took second place in the World Championships in Wales. In 2004 Nick, along with his wife Chrissy, opened the Taos Fly Shop. The shop has grown from its humble beginnings and is now Northern NM’s premier Fly Shop. In 2012, Nick, along with longtime friend and fellow guide Ivan Valdez, purchased The Reel Life, a fly shop and guide service in Santa Fe.
Nick has also done considerable volunteer work for conservation groups like Trout Unlimited and the Wildlife Federation. In recent years, Nick was the driving force behind the Red River Habitat improvement project, which raised nearly 1 million dollars for habitat restoration on the Lower Red River.
If not at work, Nick is usually camping, hunting of fishing in the woods somewhere with his wife Chrissy and their two children, Taylor and Christian.
Southern New Mexico Grassroots Organizer
As in avid outdoorsman, BJ has spent his life exploring this great state that he calls home. Spending the past 10 years in education, BJ has done his part to show students that there is much more to learn outside the traditional 4 walls of a classroom. This has led BJ to a career that allows him to help ensure that future generations are able to share the same opportunities he has been fortunate enough to have.
Any spare time BJ has is spent exploring what New Mexico has to offer, hunting, fishing, doing volunteer work with agencies advocating for our lands and wildlife, or simply floating a river with family and friends.
Northern Conservation Director
Northern New Mexico Organizer