The Pajarito Environmental Education Center is operated by a Board of Directors, staff members, and a corps of devoted volunteers. To contact us, please use the e-mail addresses below or the Contact page.
Education Programs Director
Director of Interpretation
Adventure Programs Manager
Visitor Services Manager
As a young child, every time Christa told her mom she was “bored” her mom would respond “Well then, you can either play outside or do a chore!” When given the choice, she chose to play outside, exploring the woods and creeks near her house. She also spent most weekends and summer vacations at the lake by her grandparents home or on trips to the ocean. The exposure to water as a child led her down a path of environmental biology with a focus on marine life. Christa worked as a marine biologist in New York, Hawaii, and Australia, studying cetaceans, specifically spinner dolphins and humpback whales. In addition to her research background, she created outdoor education programs and coordinated volunteer efforts for marine non-profits. When she moved to New Mexico it was quite an adjustment! She now loves the dry air, breathtaking mesas, canyons, and bright blue skies. Christa has three children and is thrilled to raise them in such a kind, loving, and beautiful community. Christa joined the PEEC staff in June 2016.
Gift Shop and Programs Coordinator
Ashleigh has loved animals for as long as she can remember. Some of her first memories in nature are taking trips with family to Estes Park and Yellowstone. It was while hiking through these beautiful landscapes and seeing the wildlife that lived there that she knew she had found her passion. Ashleigh attended college at Texas A&M University and studied Wildlife Ecology. She also found her love for teaching, minored in education, and student taught in a high school biology class. Prior to graduating, she interned with the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska as an instructor for their outdoor science camp. She enjoys skiing and hiking with her dog, Lincoln. Ashleigh joined the PEEC staff in September 2019.
Play-Based Education Specialist
Field Science Specialist
Board Vice President
Jennifer grew up playing in the woods of Ohio and took particular interest in ponds, creeks, and anywhere she could get her good clothes muddy. She studied biology in college, and later received a master’s degree in molecular biology. She is currently employed as a Lab Operations Manager at the New Mexico Consortium. Since starting as a PEEC volunteer in 2007, she has served in a variety of roles, including animal curator and webmaster. She continues to play in ponds and creeks, and PEEC continues to be a place where she enjoys her interests in aquariums, terrariums, earthworms, and amphibians. Board Member 2007-2015 and rejoined in January 2018.
Growing up in Pojoaque, Linda came to know the Española Valley, Los Alamos, and Santa Fe well. Early years spent hiking, swimming, skiing, and exploring on horseback with her sister and brother gave Linda a deep appreciation of northern New Mexico’s natural and human ecologies, histories, and prehistories. Being a child of an elementary school teacher mother and engineer father taught her the value of life-long learning. As an adult, Linda has continued to enjoy the outdoors with her husband and many friends, backpacking, rafting/canoeing/kayaking, hiking, and skiing while living in Colorado and Utah and since she has returned to northern New Mexico to stay. Board member since October 2018.
Galen Gisler was born under the dark and starry skies of eastern New Mexico and eventually found his way back to his home state. With a Bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy from Yale University and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Cambridge (England), Galen went on to postdoctoral positions at the Leiden University Observatory (Netherlands) and Kitt Peak National Observatory (Arizona). He spent two years at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he met his wife Susan. In 1981 he began a 25-year career at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Galen has been involved in a variety of activities including extragalactic jets, particle beams, plasmas, astronomical transients, adaptive processing, and hydrocode simulations of impact processes and tsunamis. In 2006 he and Susan moved to Norway where Galen held a senior research position at the Center for the Physics of Geological Processes at the University of Oslo. They returned to Los Alamos in late 2012 to enjoy the mountains. Galen and Susan have two children: Andy, an aerospace engineer at ASTRALite in Boulder, and Ellie, an artistic manager at the Caramoor Performing Arts Center in New York. They have one granddaughter, Fiona, who is gradually learning the physics of bipedal locomotion. Board member since October 2019.
Angela Lopez was born in Colorado, however, she has spent most of her life in New Mexico where she has developed a deep appreciation for the Rocky Mountains and desert landscapes. Raised in Pojoaque, she spent long summer days playing in the dirt, watching wildlife on hikes, and exploring new places. Angela attended New Mexico State University and received a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences in Elementary Education (K-6) with an emphasis in Science, endorsements in Bilingual and TESOL Education, and a minor in Spanish. Currently, she is completing her masters in Curriculum and Instruction: Learning Design and Technology. She teaches fourth grade at Barranca Mesa Elementary and enjoys teaching science the most. She has been very fortunate to have PEEC as a learning resource for her students for the past three years. From field trips to the Valles Caldera to learn about erosion and stream ecology to in-class models of aquifers, PEEC has taught her students about nature in such a hands-on and meaningful way! Angela has also helped on the PEEC Education Board and work with nature-loving students as a counselor for PEEC’s summer camps. While teaching and graduate school keep her busy, in her free time she enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, rafting, kayaking, and traveling to National Parks. She looks forward to using her education background and love of nature as a member of the PEEC Board. Board member since October 2018.
Nan Sauer came to Los Alamos in December 1986 as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She and her husband, Jeff, have lived in Los Alamos since that time. Nan is deeply committed to resolving environmental issues and is through her career at LANL and through her personal pursuits focused on environmental education. She is the Senior Director for the Partnerships & Pipeline Office under the Deputy Director for Science, Technology, & Engineering at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Nan has been engaged in a number of Governance Boards for nonprofit organizations. Her most recent position has been as the President and then past President of the Los Alamos Foundation Board. She completed her term in May of 2020. Board member since November 2020.
Hari Viswanathan grew up in Los Alamos, NM moving here in 1978. After graduating high school and attending undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara, obtaining at Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and spending 2 years as Visiting Professor in Germany, he returned to work at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2001. He lives in Los Alamos with his wife Gowri Srinivasan and their son Aditya. He is the Subsurface Flow and Transport Team Leader in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he focuses on increasing energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impacts of fossil fuels and has authored over 80 publications in this research area. Hari enjoys nature and wildlife photography, and living in New Mexico gives him many opportunities to pursue his hobby. He has also traveled all over the world and has had opportunities to visit and photograph many amazing places. Hari has given numerous wildlife photography talks at PEEC and contributed photos to the new Nature Center. He has also participated in PEEC’s efforts to certify Los Alamos as a Community Wildlife Habitat. Hari has also participated in numerous PEEC Earth Days and worked with his mother, Selvi Viswanathan, former board member, on numerous PEEC initiatives. Hari is now excited to apply his experience with securing funding opportunities, strategic planning, the natural world and general knowledge of Los Alamos to PEEC. Board member since October 2015.
Shelly Wiemann is originally from North Dakota but has lived in Duluth and Minneapolis, MN, Santa Fe, and Los Alamos since 2016. As a young person she was active driving snowmobiles, swimming at the Y, golfing, ice skating, and spent her summers on Lake of the Woods in Northern Minnesota/Ontario Canada. These days she is an active hiker, swimmer, and volunteers her time as a Site Steward with the SFNF. Along with her passion for archeology, she enjoys exploring forest roads in her 4wd vehicle and white-water rafting on the Chama River. Shelly graduated from the University of Minnesota with MA and BA degrees in Psychology, summa cum laude. She is a licensed investment manager and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional. She established her private wealth practice with Raymond James, Wiemann Wealth Strategies, in 2020, after several years working at Edward Jones and Northwestern Mutual. Board member since November 2020.