Interim Data Manager
Office and Contract Manager
Ara Winter Ph.D.
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 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.
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 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 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 Pagès Barceló
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.
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 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 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.
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.
Research Scientist Intern
Rich grew up exploring nature from California to Virginia but has called New Mexico and its amazing wild places home for decades. A passion for protecting these places led him back to college, and he became an avid BEMPer while earning his degree in Conservation Biology from the University of New Mexico. Rich is thrilled to be part of a team working to protect the bosque through community science and education of the next generation of environmental stewards. He believes that building a personal connection with nature is the best way to protect it and spends his free time hiking, biking, running and camping. He also loves cooking and the community that sharing food creates.
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 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.
Excited to explore the desert, Zoe joins BEMP having spent her youth immersed in the tidepools and forests of the Pacific Northwest. After witnessing the profundity that is fostered through an appreciation for the natural world, Zoe sought a path that fuses natural curiosity with lifelong learning and children’s laughter. After earning an M.Ed. in Environmental Education, Non-Profit Management and Northwest Natural History, Zoe joins BEMP hoping to blend her love for ecology, phenology, and naturalist illustration. When she’s not working as BEMP’s Education Manager, Zoe is likely deep in thought about bioluminescence, carving spoons, or howling at the moon with her love and their four-legged fur babies.