Featured Volunteer: Shelley Brown

Shelley Brown, this month’s featured volunteer, can be found feeding the birds in our wildlife observation area and docenting the front desk. She’s here every week and is approaching 300 hours of service. We hope you enjoy reading about Shelley.

S.B.: Picture: This is Reese, she is a nine year old border collie/heeler mix. We got her from the SF shelter when she was a year and a half. She loves Agility, Rally and Fenzi, but mostly fetch and catch with the tennis ball.

PEEC: Tell us about yourself.

S.B.: I grew up spending summers at our family’s lake home in northern Minnesota. It was there that I developed a deep appreciation of nature: fishing and swimming, tromping through the woods, gardening, rockhounding, and caring for pet chipmunks.

PEEC: How did you end up in New Mexico?

S.B.: In my twenties, I moved to Austin, TX and pursued a degree in medical laboratory technology and environmental science. Being a Texan, the natural choice in summer is to vacation in New Mexico. After visiting countless times with friends and family, I vowed to eventually make this state my home. I moved here partly to be with my partner and because I got a job offer from Christus as a medical technologist.

My partner and I now live on two acres in El Rancho complete with a dog training/agility area. We have three dogs and are about to adopt another one. They are border collie mixes, two of them train in Agility, Rally and Fenzi.

We are fortunate to walk out our front door and be surrounded by beauty.

PEEC: You fell in love with New Mexico? 

S.B.: YesNew Mexico has the bluest of blue skies, The ever-changing cloud formations and amazing sunsets that are unparalleled, they take my breath away.

PEEC: How did you get involved with PEEC?

S.B.: I love hiking, biking, gardening, and rock and fossil hunting. This interest has carried on throughout my entire life and is why I was drawn to volunteering with PEEC. I walked into the nature center and loved it. The facility, the people and the mission- Enriching people’s lives by strengthening their connections to our canyons, mesas, mountains, and skies. I knew immediately that I would like volunteering at the nature center.

Protecting and sustaining nature is something PEEC does so well. Their talks and seminars on water conservation, recycling, gardening with native plants, and becoming an active community member are invaluable. 

PEEC: What are your jobs at PEEC, what do you do?

S.B.: Each Friday I work as a docent at the front desk. I welcome guests, answer questions, and handle sales in the gift shop. I also help fill all the bird feeders surrounding the nature center.

PEEC: Why do you think it’s important to volunteer?

S.B.: I think it’s vital to get children and young adults involved in experiencing the natural elements at an early age. PEEC does a wonderful job of this with their workshops, programs, planetarium presentations, and hiking groups, helping to make this experience available to people of all ages. I volunteer to help PEEC succeed at getting more children and adults outside, connecting with nature.

PEEC: What do you enjoy most about the Pajarito Plateau?

S.B.: I love hiking, biking, and skiing in Los Alamos.

Article by Christa Tyson, PEEC Visitor Services Manager