Introducing Collin and Alyssa – welcome to Guild staff

Written by Collin McElroy, Alyssa Mineau, with additional notes

Photo of Collin McElroyCollin is our new Ecological Monitoring Coordinator. He will primarily be working on the Rio Chama CFLRP, coordinating data collection and data management. Collin was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, and has now lived and worked in every Western State besides Arizona and Idaho. He graduated with a B.S. in Biology with a focus in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Oregon in 2016. He has multiple years of experience conducting avian surveys and conducting plant, forest, and rangeland surveys. He has worked for the U.S. Forest Service and Park Service, in private sector consulting, and for non-profits and he is excited to be back in the non-profit world. 

Collin was drawn to the Guild because of the focus and scope of the work the Guild does. Landscape scale multi-party monitoring and extensive place-based partnerships are daunting and exciting at the same time. He is excited to bring his experience of ecological monitoring to the Rio Chama CFLRP and other projects the Guild is working on. Outside of work, Collin is excited to be in the Santa Fe area because of the birding (very into listing on eBird), the extensive disc golf presence, and the ample exploration possibilities. 

Note from supervisor Cody Dems: Collin brings a depth of monitoring expertise and ecologic curiosity that will be invaluable for measuring, analyzing, questioning, and improving the Guild’s and our collaborative partner’s landscape-scale monitoring efforts. This is no small task, but Collin’s holistic thinking and energetic approach will advance the Guild’s budding and current projects. Please join us in welcoming Collin to the Guild’s Southwest office! 

Photo of Alyssa Mineau

Alyssa recently joined the Guild to serve as the Fireshed Project Coordinator—focusing on restoring and maintaining fire resilient landscapes across the Southwest. Her passion for natural resources began in her youth, as her family spent their summers traversing across the western National Parks, from Lava Beds to Glacier to Canyonlands. She earned a degree in Biology (A.S.) and Natural Resources (A.A.), and worked as a wildlife technician for the Forest Service. While working on her undergraduate degree, she assisted researchers across several departments, with studies ranging from plant spatial ecology to isotope dendrochronology. After earning a degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation (B.S.), Alyssa shifted her focus to Forestry—as her home county was scorched by the North Complex Fire and Dixie Fire in California. Her graduate research focused on working collaboratively with private landowners to manage invasive species in the West Gulf Region, earning her a degree in Forest Resources (M.S.).

Within the Guild, Alyssa is excited for the opportunity to continue to work with private landowners through the Fireshed Ambassador Program, as well as undertaking on-the-ground projects to make a meaningful impact to the regional forest health and fire resiliency. She was drawn to the Guild for their balanced approach to forest management—one that prioritizes management strategies that are inclusive, equitable, and effective. She hopes to bring an interdisciplinary, multi-lens approach to solving these complex management challenges throughout the Southwest.

A note from supervisor Gabe Kohler: In her first month of work with the Guild, Alyssa has already demonstrated a nuanced understanding of the issues we face in the Santa Fe Fireshed related to the balance between public safety and ecological forestry in the wildland urban interface. Her experience working with private landowners, attention to detail, and uncompromising dedication to equity and inclusion are a great resource to the Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition and to the Guild as a whole.