Meet the Staff
Steven J. Cary
NRI Founder & Research Director
Steve Cary was born and educated in Wisconsin where he received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geography from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with emphasis in river geomorphology. After arriving in New Mexico in 1980, Steve worked for 18 years helping to protect the State's rivers and aquifers as a water resource specialist and manager with the New Mexico Environment Department and then Deputy Director of the state's Office of Natural Resources Trustee. In 1999, Steve became New Mexico State Park's Natural Resource Planner and Chief Naturalist until recent retirement. While working for NM State Parks, he co-created the Park's interpretation and education programs which included natural resource inventories and interpretive presentations. He also created the "Reach for the Stars" astronomy program while working for NM State Parks.Butterfly Walk- Gila River Festival 2010. Photo by Kendra Milligan
Steve is passionate about butterflies and, in his spar time over nearly 30 years, studied and photographed them with many resulting scientific reports and popular articles. Steve has become New Mexico's unofficial "Butterfly Guy" and frequently gives butterfly walks and lectures.
NRI Contract Coordinator
John Pfeil was born on a dairy farm in South-Central Wisconsin. In addition to farming chores, he and his brothers spent a good deal of time hunting, fishing and gardening to supplement family needs. The family farm played a large role in his love for the great outdoors, including natural resource management. He attended the University of Wisconsin and received a B.S. in Geology/Geophysics and History in 1976. In the early 1980's, he attended graduate school in the Water Resource Management program at UW.
John has lived and worked in northern New Mexico for nearly 30 years, 27 of those years he has worked for a number of private and government organizations whose focus is the management and protection of natural resources. John retired from the Mining and Minerals Division of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department where he was responsible for the development of several publications related to New Mexico’s extractive minerals industry.
While having a diverse scientific background, John has organizational skill to match his German name! But, at the end of the day, John is a real “people” person. He really enjoys interacting with and coordinating with individuals and groups. John is involved in the project coordination of NRI efforts.
Hiking in CO.
Photo by Steve Cary
Linda S. DeLay, GISP
NRI Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing Specialist
Linda DeLay is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing Specialist. Her background includes 13 years experience in field ecology with emphasis in behavioral and conservation ecology. Arthropods, birds, reptiles, mammals and plant communities have been the focus of her past research. Topics included pollination, seed-dispersal, foraging behavior, social behavior, and biodiversity monitoring. Over the years, her work has addressed the intersection of conservation and natural resource management needs in tropical locales, in several regions of the United States and locally in New Mexico.
Tools of her trade include Global Positioning Systems (GPS) collection, geodatabase construction, web mapping, cartography, GIS modeling and spatial analyses, image analyses, vegetation mapping and change detection.
Butterfly Walk- Gila River Festival 2010. Photo by Kendra Milligan
NRI Education Director
Randy Merker has been a science and math educator for 20 years, working as a classroom teacher, a non-formal educator, and an instructional coach. He has led pre-school children in summer science exploration, has been a 6th grade classroom teacher, has taught middle school and high school science, has been a master teacher with Santa Fe Public School’s Los Amigos program and with the Breakthrough Santa Fe program, has been a math and science coach at Ruamrudee International School in Thailand, and most recently has supported elementary school teachers in teaching math and science in his work with the NM Math and Science Academy. He developed science resource centers and professional development workshops for elementary schools and teachers alike. He has presented at international conferences on differentiation of math programs and inquiry in science programs. He developed and implemented a program for teaching primary grade math using English and an inquiry approach for Thai teachers. Other endeavors include starting a non-profit organization to provide non-formal educational opportunities for students (butterfly counts, stream monitoring, riparian restoration). Randy has also worked as an environmental health scientist in the United States and as an exploration geologist in the Middle East. Randy holds a Master’s Degree in Geology, a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, and Teaching Certificates in Elementary and Secondary Education. He was raised in Santa Fe and is a graduate of Santa Fe High School, as well as the University of New Mexico. Photos by Paige Prescott
School field trip in Thailand