About New Mexico Conservation Science

The Nature Conservancy's mission is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

TNC's New Mexico Conservation Science Program supports this mission through collaboration with public & private agencies and institutions on ecological monitoring, research, conservation planning, and adaptive management.

TNC New Mexico Conservation Science staff photo

New Mexico Conservation Staff

Dave Gori, Director of Science (joined TNC 1997)

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  • PhD, 1983, Ecology& Evolutionary Biology, University Arizona

Dave currently leads the Conservation Science program for the New Mexico chapter of The Nature Conservancy, working on conservation area planning efforts, developing monitoring plans, and providing the science background to guide and prioritize New Mexico’s conservation action.

Dave received his doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona studying parental care and infanticide in blackbirds.  His next stop was the Burke Museum, University of Washington, where he continued his studies on the sex lives of birds and plants. Alarmed by the global loss of habitats and species and wanting to do something tangible, he returned to the sunny Southwest to work as a conservation scientist with The Nature Conservancy in Arizona, a post he held for 17 years.  He joined the New Mexico Chapter in September 2007.  When not working, Dave spends his time hiking, bird-watching, traveling and teaching courses at the University of Arizona.  He currently co-teaches a field ecology course for science teachers and college students in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Robert M. Findling, Director of Land Protection & Stewardship (joined TNC 1999)

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  • BENVD,1974, Environmental Design, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Registered Landscape Architect in New Mexico

Robert M. Findling is the Director of Land Protection and Stewardship for The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico. Responsibilities include land protection, stewardship, legislative and governmental affairs, project management and land protection activities. Projects he has managed for the Conservancy include; acquisition and development of Bear Mountain Lodge, Santa Fe Canyon Preserve, Milnesand Prairie Preserve and the enactment of the New Mexico Land Conservation Incentives Act.

He was the Director of Design and Development for New Mexico State Parks for over twenty years prior to his employment by TNC in 1999 and was responsible for planning, design, construction management and legislative activities for the state park system.  Robert is a graduate of the University of Colorado (Bachelors Degree in Environmental Design, 1974) and is a registered landscape architect.

Anne Bradley, Fire and Forests Program Manager (joined TNC 2004)

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  • MS, 1984, Botany, University of Montana
  • BA, 1977, Biology, Colorado College

Anne manages the fire and forest program for the New Mexico Chapter.  She has a professional background in botany, fire ecology, land management planning and natural resources policy.

Laura Falk McCarthy, Director of Government Relations (joined TNC 2005)

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  • MFM, 1987, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University
  • BA, 1983, Bowdoin College, Government and Legal Studies

Laura McCarthy is our New Mexico Director of Government and Agency Relations.  Laura comes to the New Mexico chapter from the Conservancy’s Global Fire Team. Laura joined The Nature Conservancy in 2005 as the first fire policy director for the fire team.

Her national policy work has included appropriations for wildland fire management, fire and forest restoration programs and policy, market-based strategies to finance restoration treatments, and communications about fire’s ecological role. Her accomplishments include developing a legislative strategy for TNC that resulted in the Forest Landscape Restoration Act, a bill that was introduced in the 110th Congress. Laura’s prior experience includes 12 years with the USDA Forest Service in Idaho, California, Vermont and New Hampshire as a wildland firefighter, timber manager and forest planner. She also spent two years working for the New Hampshire State Forester where she co-edited “The Biodiversity of New Hampshire” and 8 years with the New Mexico-based Forest Guild.

Martha Schumann, Southwest NM Field Representative (joined TNC 2006)

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  • MS, 1999, Forest Ecosystem Science, University of Maine at Orono.
  • BA, 1995, Biology, Amherst College

Martha considers herself a naturalized native of New Mexico, having developed strong ties to both the landscape and the conservation community - and a particular fondness for the Gila.  Martha enjoys hiking around the floodplains of the Gila and Mimbres Rivers.  Trained as a forest ecologist, Martha has immersed herself in learning about Southwest rivers, preferably while swimming or rafting. When not working, Martha runs on trails with her striped and spotted dog Tessa, bicycles, tries to escape into the Gila for long back packing trips, gardens, and bakes.

Steve Bassett, Conservation Information Manager (joined TNC 2011)

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  • BA, 2010, Geography, University of Oregon

Steve manages the GIS and other databases for the Conservation Science Program in New Mexico. He also conducts spatial analysis, assists with land protection activities, and maintains the nmconservation.org website. Steve has a bachelor degree in Geography from the University of Oregon and has worked as a cartographer and GIS analyst for several non-profits and government agencies, most recently for the National Park Service in Yellowstone.

Dale Lyons, Director of Freshwater Programs (joined TNC 2013)

  • M.S. 1998 Montana State University, Disturbed Land Rehabilitation
  • B.S. 1994 Montana State University, Soil and Environmental Science

Dale joined The Nature Conservancy in 2013 and leads the New Mexico Chapter’s efforts to conserve and restore freshwater resources statewide. His primary focus includes protecting the Gila River’s natural flows, San Juan River endangered species recovery and habitat restoration, and establishing a water-user funded program to protect storage, delivery and quality of Rio Grande water through landscape-scale forest restoration treatments in tributary forested watersheds. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Dale spent 6 years as a water resource manager for the City of Santa Fe’s water utility, where he developed a rate-payer supported watershed investment program to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and protect the Santa Fe River and municipal infrastructure.


The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico
212 E. Marcy St
Santa Fe, NM 87501 USA

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