Southwest Program Director for the Institute for Applied Ecology
Melanie is the Southwest Program Director for the Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) at their Santa Fe office. IAE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving native species and habitats through restoration, research, and education. Melanie has been with IAE since 2001 and has been expanding the scope of the native plant materials programs, building collaborative projects with conservation partners, farmers, and tribes, and implementing large scale habitat restoration and recovery projects for rare plants and butterflies. In 2002 she helped launch the Native Seed Network website that links buyers and sellers of native seed throughout the United States. Currently Melanie is focused on developing collaborative conservation programs for the southwest and is dedicated to growing the Southwest Seed Partnership to improve the supply of native seed for restoration and rehabilitation efforts in NM and AZ. She received her Master of Science degree in Botany from the University of British Columbia (1997) and Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of New Mexico (1992).
Southwest Seed Partnership Coordinator
Maggie is the Southwest Seed Partnership Coordinator at IAE’s New Mexico office. Maggie works with stakeholders to assess needs for native plant materials, manages seed collection crews and creates target species lists, supports native plant growers, and helps with IAE Southwest’s restoration and education programs. Maggie received her M.Sc. in Conservation Biology (2017) from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and her B.A. in Biology from Colby College (2015). As an undergraduate, Maggie worked as a research assistant on botanical projects in the deciduous forests of Maine, cloud forests of Costa Rica, and South African savannas. In 2015, Maggie was a Seeds of Success (SOS) intern for the Bureau of Land Management in Taos, New Mexico, where she developed her interest in native seed collection for restoration. Maggie then pursued graduate work in South Africa; exploring the impact of fire and grazing management on grassland forb communities, and furthering her passion for plant conservation and rangeland management. In her spare time, Maggie enjoys hiking and skiing around New Mexico, running on forest trails, taming her backyard garden, and experimenting in her kitchen.
Bureau of Land Management Plant Conservation Program Specialist
Ella became involved with the Southwest Seed Partnership when she was a Seeds of Success intern in summer 2016. Currently Ella is the field operations manager for the Southwest Seed Partnership, leads the New Mexico Sustainability in Prisons Project, and assists with the Plant Conservation Program for the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management.
Ella received her B.A. in Human Ecology, with an emphasis on botany and conservation biology, from College of the Atlantic (2016). Prior to working in the Southwest, Ella contributed to research projects pertaining to plant ecology and climate change in Maine, California, and Greenland, and she was a restoration intern for the Elwha River Restoration Project (Olympic National Park, WA). Aside from her botany and conservation work, Ella is also passionate about science illustration, you can see a sample of her illustrations here.
Field Crew Lead / Ecological Educator, SW Program
Victoria been with IAE since 2016 as an intern and has had a number of roles since then
including Ecological Educator, Seed Crew Intern, Seed Crew Lead, and working with local tribal communities. She is currently one of the Ecological Educators in the Forest Bound Program and Field Crew Lead for native seed collection for IAE’s Southwest Program.
Victoria is originally from Santo Domingo Pueblo (Kewa) and San Juan Pueblo (Ohkay Owingeh), both located in New Mexico. She received her B.S in Wildlife Science with minors in Biology and Rangeland Science from New Mexico State University; and her M.S in Natural Resource Stewardship from Colorado State University. Without a doubt, she is an outdoorsy wildlife and plant enthusiast, enjoying her time outdoors exploring via hiking, fishing, and botanizing.
Southern NM Seed Crew Lead
Mike is the seed crew leader for the Southwest Seed Partnership headquartered in Las Cruces. He recently graduated from Colorado College with a bachelor’s degree in ecology, and his field trips and extracurricular forays into the desert made him passionate about desert ecosystems and conservation in arid climates. Mike has previously worked in trailwork and wildlands restoration with Rocky Mountain Field Institute, and hopes to pursue restoration and stewardship on the lands he cares about in his career.
Southern New Mexico Seed Crew
Sophie is a part of the Seed Crew in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She is originally from California, but has worked several field jobs across the Western United States. These jobs have developed a strong interest in systematics, floristics, and endemism, which she hopes to pursue in graduate school. She is excited to learn more flora of New Mexico and the desert ecosystem!
National Park Service Seed Crew Lead
Laura is the seed crew intern for the Southwest Seed Partnership in Santa Fe. She grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and studied Environmental Studies and Biology at Oberlin College. Since graduating in 2016, Laura has worked as a seed collector on Long Island for the Conservation Land Management Internship Program, a rare plants fellow for the New England Wildflower Society, and as a data collector for the Great Basin Institute in Wyoming. Laura is passionate about conservation and restoration and she is excited to learn about the unique flora and ecology of the Southwest.