Featured Volunteer: Terry Beery

Recognizing Terry Beery, A PEEC Volunteer

By Christa Tyson, PEEC Volunteer Coordinator

Terry and her husband moved to Los Alamos last June.  They came to the area to visit their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren who live here.   They instantly fell in love with beauty of the area.  Terry was born and raised in New Jersey, with a career that led her to Oxford, Ohio in 1972.  Los Alamos seems to be a nice change of pace for Terry and her husband of 49 years, Dennis.  Growing roots in Los Alamos, Terry chimes, “the area is stunningly beautiful.  I never imagined that I would be privileged to live some place so amazing.  I marvel at the scenery and my good fortune every day.”  Terry started volunteering with PEEC soon after she moved to the area. We hope you enjoy reading about Terry.  We are lucky to have her as a dedicated and versatile volunteer.   

PEEC: What is your background?

T.B.: I worked as a nurse in one capacity or another for my whole career. I have been a bedside critical care nurse, a nursing faculty member, a Certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, a research scientist studying the genetics of clinically significant arrhythmias, Director of the Center for Education Research at the University of Cincinnati (where I worked for 18 years), and Director of the Institute for Clinical Inquiry at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Now I’m semi-retired! I retired from University of Cincinnati College of Nursing (UCCON) in August of 2015. I teach online courses for their nurse practitioner program. I am also developing two online courses on the science of wellness and self-care for the UCCON. I will be teaching the first one in the fall. In addition, I am working on the second edition of a Genetics textbook I wrote with a colleague.

PEEC: Tell us a bit about your family. 

T.B.: We have two daughters, Heather, who works at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN and Megan who lives here and works for a private health-related laboratory in Los Alamos. They each have two daughters (Rocky, Dylan are Heather’s daughters, Ursa, and Jade are Megan’s daughters). I also have a great grandson named Leo, who is 8 months old! Rocky is his Mom.

PEEC: How did you get involved with PEEC?

T.B.: I had visited with my daughter’s family and I knew it was a place that I would like to volunteer. I thought, “Yes!! This place. I want to be part of this place.”

PEEC: What type of volunteer work do you do at PEEC?

T.B.: I am a docent and have helped with a number of educational activities. I particularly enjoyed helping with Park Flight last fall (taking 6th grade students to learn about bird banding in Bandelier). I’ve also helped with the weekly Nature Play Time program and really enjoy spending time outside with the kiddos! I am looking forward to helping Jessie Dixon with the new Forest Explorers program for 5-8 year olds. I think this should be a blast!

PEEC: What do you enjoy about being a PEEC volunteer?

T.B.: I love the mission of PEEC and the staff and other volunteers are wonderful. It is really a healthy place to be. I love sharing my docent shift with my friend Christine. Guests always ask if we are sisters. I’ve gotten into the habit of explaining that we are not related (even though she would make a great sister), we met and became friends through PEECs volunteer program.  During our shift the critter care volunteers come to feed and care for the animals. I have learned so much from them and the visitors love to see the animals in action! Severus, our bull snake gets fed on Mondays while I’m docenting. It’s a fun place to be. There’s lots going on.

PEEC: In your opinion, what’s the most important work PEEC does?

T.B.: PEEC provides a gateway to the wonders of the wild world. There are so many amazing programs for people of all ages. The Passport to the Pajarito Plateau program is a real favorite and many people have said that it has gotten them on trails they did not know about. As a person who is pretty new to the area it has introduced me to what is available in our beautiful county. The feeling at PEEC is, “Oh, this is fun. Let’s all share what we know about this amazing nature thing.”

I’ve been impressed with the high level and diversity of expertise in this town and the willingness to share information. I love the gentle walks with Sue Watts (a natural educator) and picking the brains of real experts like Chick Keller and Bob Walker, all of whom are PEEC volunteers. PEEC is truly a treasure. Oh, and the planetarium shows are so cool!

PEEC: Do you/have you volunteered anywhere else?

T.P.: I volunteered for a political party before the election. I also volunteer for the Los Alamos Museum of Art, which is still in its planning phase and I work with the Social Justice Committee at the Unitarian Church.

PEEC: What outdoor hobbies do you enjoy?

T.B.: At this point in my life, just hiking. I am starting to learn about birding and the folks on the PEEC birders list have been so helpful.

PEEC: Best outdoor experience in LA or WR?

T.B.: Hard to say. I will always love walking through Acid Canyon. It was my first hike here and because it is near my daughter’s house I have done it lots. Then there is Opera on the Rocks at Bandelier!

PEEC: How does PEEC improve your life?

T.B.: PEEC has introduced me to such great people and they’ve inspired me to try new things I thought I would never be able to do (Blue Dot Trail!). The staff makes me smile. They are so dedicated, caring, and knowledgeable!

PEEC: Best or funny memory working at PEEC?

T.B.: Well, there was the time that I had to explain whip tail lizard reproduction to a (maybe) 9 year old very inquisitive boy.

PEEC: If you could be a local animal, which would you pick and why?

T.B.: Hmm… I am very fond of bears and love lizards. I suppose I would be a raven. I love to watch them soar and croak at each other. They have attitude! I would love to have a raven’s eye view of the canyons.

If you are interested in learning more about PEEC and the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road visit peecnture.org. To learn more about volunteering, ask to speak with Christa Tyson, Volunteer Coordinator, or send her an email.