Our Staff

Rowan Converse
Interim Data Manager
Rowan Converse is a proud BEMP student alum and is thrilled to return to the program as a staff member. After briefly leaving New Mexico to earn a degree in Biology from Wesleyan University, she returned to the Land of Enchantment to work in the monitoring and management of a variety of wildlife species in the southwest, including river otters, Mexican spotted owls, tamarisk leaf beetles, and Mexican grey wolves. As a BEMP ecologist, she helps manage the program’s vast datasets and facilitates research using BEMP data. In her spare time, Rowan can typically be found exploring the foothills of the Sandias, writing poetry, making soup, or teaching dogs silly tricks.

 

Amanda Lindell
Amanda Lindell
SHE/HER/HERS
Office and Contract Manager
As a native New Mexican, Amanda fell in love with BEMP in 2017 when she started as BEMP’s part-time Office Manager. Inspired by former Co-Director, Dan Shaw, Amanda quickly developed a deep passion for the bosque, its ecosystem, and community science. Using her BS in Education and 15 years of management experience, Amanda provides contract compliance and administrative support for the BEMP team, partners, data users, and funding entities. Amanda is always available and willing to help if you need anything. In her spare time, she loves being outside with her husband Mike, son Timmy, and dog Champ. Family and friends are a priority in her life.
Cat laying on a shelf
Ara Winter Ph.D.
Data Manager

Ara Winter, Ph.D. is the Data Manager for BEMP. Ara’s spent the past ten years mixing data analysis across different spatial and time scales with extensive fieldwork in New Mexico. In his off time he is a Zen Buddhist priest, enjoys cooking, hiking, climbing, gardening and generally being outside. His current kids are a herd of rescued cats and dogs.

Greg standing on top of a mountain
Greg Dyson
he/him/his
Executive Director

Greg has a 25-year career as an environmental advocate and nonprofit executive director. He has lived and worked in Oregon, Colorado and New Mexico, protecting old growth forests and wildlife habit on public lands. Greg has a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati School of Law, and in the distant past worked as a criminal defense attorney in Portland. He is an avid hiker, spending much of his time in the Zuni Mountains whenever he can get out of the city or walking in the bosque when he is in Albuquerque.

Keara Bixby
Keara Bixby
she/her/hers
Biologist & Lab Manager

Keara Bixby has a degree in Conservation Biology and Sustainability Studies at the University of New Mexico and was formerly BEMP’s Crawford Intern and Tamarisk Leaf Beetle Summer Intern. Growing up in Las Cruces with the Organ Mountains in her backyard, she spent much of her time looking for reptiles and developing an appreciation for wildlife. In her spare time, she loves being outside and circus acrobatics. She is extremely excited to be BEMPin’ it up and learning about what the Bosque has to offer to everyone.

Kim Eichhorst
Kim Eichhorst PhD
BEMP Science Program Director

Dr. Kim Eichhorst is BEMP’s Science and Research Director and serves as a Research Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico (UNM). Kim started research in the bosque in 1995, working with Dr. Cliff Crawford (BEMP’s co-founder), on the interaction between herbivores, cottonwoods, and pollution in urban and rural areas. She has worked for BEMP since the beginning and loves studying the intricacies of bosque ecology. She spends her time hanging out with her kids & critters, being outdoors, doing art, reading, and learning about how everything is connected.

Kim Fike
Kim Fike
she/her/hers
Science Manager

Kim grew up chasing lizards under the cottonwoods and throwing sticks into the Rio Grande. Her love for this incredible riparian forest is deeply woven throughout her recreational and professional life. She originally started working with BEMP in 2010 as an Educator then transitioned to a Lab/Field Technician. In 2015, Kim became the Science Manager after finishing her Masters in Biology at UNM. She manages the data collection and subsequent processes for 11 different datasets across 33 BEMP sites. She loves that there is no end to learning about this ecosystem. Her passions outside of BEMPin include being active in the outdoors as much as possible and spending time with her husband Matt, dog Akilah and cat Foofer.

Laura Pages
Laura Pages
she/her/hers
Educator and Biologist

Laura Pagès Barceló is originally from a tiny town in Catalonia, Spain. She left her country five years ago to study sea turtles in Costa Rica, after which she traveled to Albuquerque to visit a friend for a few weeks, but fell in love with the landscape and never left. She recently graduated with a MSc from the Department of Biology at the University of New Mexico where she used stable isotopes to study sea turtle diet and movement in the Baja California Coast. Joining BEMP has allowed Laura to combine her interest in education and science. When Laura is not studying sea turtles or working with students she enjoys spending time with the people she loves through rock climbing, hiking, and dancing.

Bean Liz's Dog
Liz Gallagher
she/her/hers
Interim Education Manager and Rio Grande Phenology Trail Coordinator and Educator

Hi everyone! I’ve worked with BEMP since August 2017 as the Rio Grande Phenology Trail Coordinator and Educator, and more recently as the Interim BEMP Education Manager! I love working with students, volunteers, and other community partners through BEMP, Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, and the USA-National Phenology Network to learn about and study phenology (seasonal changes in life cycles) in New Mexico. I’m originally from southern NM, and received my BS in Biology from New Mexico Tech and an MA in Sustainable Communities from Northern Arizona University. My passions include: cottonwood trees, taking my dogs on walks in the bosque, going to concerts, crafting DIY projects, and working towards social justice and equitable education.

Matthew walking with a net
Matthew Leister
he/him/his
Entomologist

Matthew is a native New Mexican, he has had a passion for the outdoors, arthropods and all things nature since he was old enough to walk and talk. With his first word being “bug” it’s not surprising he has pursued a career exploring and attempting to understand the unique world of arthropods. This passion has taken Matthew all over the world collecting scientific specimens for museums and describing species new to science. His work with BEMP has not only allowed him to explore these amazing animals locally but given him the opportunity to share this passion with interested people of all ages and walks of life. When he is not BEMPin’ it up, Matthew enjoys spending time fishing, hiking with his family and dogs, drawing and painting but odds are if he’s outdoors you’ll find him hunched over an upturned log exploring the critters scurrying beneath.

Matt Leister
Entomologist

Matt Leister is a graduate student at the University of New Mexico working on spider systematics. Matt has been passionate about spiders and arthropods for as long as he can remember. He is particularly fascinated with the diversity, natural history, and behavior seen in these amazing animals. Matt’s been working with BEMP as the staff entomologist since 2013 and enjoy both field and lab work. When he’s not staring under a microscope, Matt can be found exploring nature, and educating people about arthropods.

Patrick Ryan
Patrick Ryan
Porcupine Whisperer/Bus Driver

Patrick Ryan has been transporting kids from all over for BEMP research in the bosque for over 8 years after moving to New Mexico from the DC area and the Big Island of Hawaii. He has seen the great effects these trips have on so many different people, not just kids! When not hiking the bosque he likes hiking (just about anywhere), painting, playing guitar, learning about astronomy, and studying history.

Sean O'Neill
Sean O’Neill
Biologist

Sean O’Neill was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He graduated from Bosque School and continued his education at the University of New Mexico, obtaining his degree in Biology. BEMP has been influential in shaping Sean’s passion for biology: as a sixth grade student helping to collect data, a two-time high school summer intern, a field assistant during his undergraduate career, and currently as a BEMP biologist. Sean is an avid fan of the outdoors, skiing throughout the winter months while enjoying the summers backpacking and fishing.

Shelby Bazan
Shelby Bazan
she/her/hers
Educator

Shelby Bazan is a native Burqueña and has a great passion for the city, land, and culture. Shelby has a degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology from the University of New Mexico. After her first encounter with BEMP in high school, she is happy to be back working as an educator. In her spare time, she loves crafting, hiking, birding, herping (looking for reptiles/amphibians), and listening to music.