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Get Involved

Do you support what we do and want to get more involved? Apply to be an intern, volunteer, or donate to the SMNHC.

Volunteer Daniel teaching in front of a whiteboard at an outdoor classroom.


Intern Hannah Perry doing a City Nature Challenge activity with 5th grade students.Lead 4 hour environmental education programs/hikes daily for 20-30 5th grade students at a time, at the SMNHC and sometimes across New Mexico (travel expenses provided). Attend events and special programs to lead activities and provide information about the SMNHC. Work on developing new educational activities/lessons, collect scientific research data, assist with trail maintenance, and other projects as assigned.

Recently, we have been partnering with Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge to hire an intern through Student Conservation Association (  Intern time and duties were split between working for the refuge and us.

Typical Intern Qualifications

Received or working on a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies, Education, Biology, Ecology or other applicable area.  Some prior experience working with children, doing environmental education, and working/recreating in the outdoors. Interest and excitement in teaching environmental education programs. Ability to hike our trails and spend hours outdoors in variable weather.

Our intern receives a living stipend and housing in a casita (small house) on-site in the mountains in Cedar Crest, NM.

Volunteer with the SMNHC!

Volunteer Michael Cox standing working with a group of students seated on the ground to do water testing of groundwater.

Our volunteers bring a wide variety of backgrounds and skills with them and have been valuable assets to the SMNHC for as long as the Center has been running.

We try to have volunteers start at the beginning of the fall or spring semester, to begin shadowing school groups and learn how our program operates. To volunteer with us, you need to be available to come on weekdays, from morning to early to mid afternoon.

The primary job of volunteers is to go along with 5th grade classes during our Ecology Field Program.  Your job is to make sure everyone stays together, assist students in doing activities, help with complications that may arise, and share your own particular knowledge and interests as you'd like with the class.

Volunteers often come to us through the Bernalillo County Master Naturalist program, or by contacting us directly. Email  to inquire about becoming an SMNHC volunteer.

Volunteer Projects

Volunteer Marty with a complete bear skeleton he reassembled.

Beyond assisting with programs, volunteers may eventually be able to contribute an additional skill or project if desired, secondarily to working with school groups.

Work and projects our volunteers have contributed to:

  • Teaching the Ecology Field Program themselves (based on experience/knowledge and after thorough training in the program)
  • Teaching the Traveling Ecology Field Program on outreach trips around the state
  • Construction projects and trail maintenance
  • Leading hikes on public days
  • Developing new ecology activities
  • Creating field guides for the SMNHC (including a wildflower guide that is now a published book!)
  • Building indoor or outdoor exhibits (bear skeleton, geology wall, benches)
  • Taking photos and creating videos

Make a Donation

Many of the projects and teaching equipment that are used on a daily basis were made possible by generous donations to the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center. With a limited budget, most of the SMNHC's funds go into everyday operational costs. To make improvements to the trails and facilities, create new programs, or purchase field equipment, the SMNHC relies on donations and grant funding.

Contact Director Paul Mauermann to discuss donating to the SMNHC by email at  or by phone at (505) 281-5259 x1.

Over the years, donors have helped fund:

  • Bird blind structure with benches amongst trees.Landscaping the Daniel Bush gardens 
  • A solar hot water heater 
  • Building supplies for outdoor classrooms 
  • Landscape timbers 
  • Rainwater harvesting barrels 
  • Scientific field equipment 
  •  A memorial bench
This page was last updated on: August 16, 2021.