Membership Meetings

Sandia Ranger Station, Tijeras, NM

General membership meetings normally are held at 7:00 pm on the first Tuesday of each month from April to October in the conference room at the Sandia Ranger Station in Tijeras. (No meetings are held November through March.) Meetings include brief reports from the FOSM President, Projects Chair, and Treasurer followed by an informative presentation on a subject pertinent to our mission

The FOSM Vice-President is responsible for arranging speakers for these meetings.

Summaries of previous meetings are available via the dropdown menu above or by clicking on a link at the bottom of this page. Due to the COVID pandemic, no meetings were held in 2020, and all meetings in 2021 and 2022 were held by Zoom. In-person meetings resumed in 2023.

Oue meetings in 2024 will be held in the Sandia Ranger Station conference room, and the roster of speakers is presented below. Results from the weighted-choice poll conducted of members of the board of directors in January 2022 continue to be used in choosing speakers, several of whom are fellow FOSM members this year.

  • April 2, 2024 – Sandia Ranger District update and priorities, Crystal Powell and Amanda Rael
  • May 7, 2024 – Talking Talons, John Ross
  • June 4, 2024 – Albatross Counting on Midway Island, Pauline Ho
  • July 2, 2024 – Climate and Weather, Kerry Jones
  • August 6, 2024 – NM Forestry Division, Lawrence Crane
  • September 3, 2024 – NM Cross Country Ski Club, Sam Beard
  • October 1, 2024 – FOSM year-end update and election results, Mike Madden; Sandia Ranger District History, Jeff Young

Hybrid membership meetings were a challenging and perhaps worthy experiment; however, they required a lot of work, were fraught with technical problems, and created a distraction for in-person participants—all for a small on-line audience. Our 2024 meetings will be in-person only.


Deputy District Ranger Amanda Ginithan (formerly Rael), Recreation Staff Officer Julie Padilla, and Wilderness and Trails Program Manager Canyon Young presented an update on Sandia Ranger District priorities, programs, and projects in 2024.

Amanda Ginithan is the Deputy District Ranger on the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands, Sandia Ranger District in Tijeras, NM. As a graduate from New Mexico State University, she received her degree in Wildlife Science. Amanda began her Forest Service career in 2007 as a STEP Wildlife and Fisheries technician on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and then a converted SCEP Wildlife Biologist on the Cibola. Additionally, she has served as the Education Coordinator for the Respect the Rio Program on the Santa Fe National Forest. Amanda aids the fire community by functioning as a Public Information Officer and assists various IMTs during the fire season. Amanda was born and raised in Clint, TX and has two wonderful sons. In her free time, Amanda enjoys volleyball, home improvement projects, music concerts, food, and exploring new places.

Julie Padilla is a life-time resident of Albuquerque and began her career with the Forest Service in the Southwestern Regional Office in 2017 working in the Office of Communications and Engagement. She moved to the Cibola Supervisors office to support Public Affairs and Recreation Management prior to coming to the Sandia Ranger District as the Recreation Manager. Julie earned a degree in Conservation Biology from the University of New Mexico and is passionate about connecting people to the land, developing partnerships and encouraging a new generation of land stewards. Outside of work Julie enjoys spending time with her kids, traveling and spending time in nature.

Links to presentations (PDF files):


We heard from interim Executive Director John Ross about Talking Talons Youth Leadership with emphasis on their new focus on developing the next generation of climate change leaders.

Many of us have had the pleasure of working with bright young people in the TTYL program on various projects during past summers. This was our change to learn more about the organization and its programs.

Program abstract – John will be making a presentation about Talking Talons’ current program focus on finding and supporting youth Climate Change leaders. Specifically, John will discuss the Junior Youth Conservation Corps pilot program to be implemented in Fall 2024.

Speaker Bio – John has served in the nonprofit sector since 1976. He has seen the industry from many angles: he has worked with United Way, served in a wide range of agency leadership positions and chaired and/or participated in numerous community collaborations. However, being a part of Talking Talons Youth Leadership with its focus on supporting and mentoring young people who will be our Climate Change Leaders is the highlight of John’s career. John and his wife Janie love to travel, hug on their five grandchildren, hike and hang out in their garden.

Links to presentations (PDF files):


FOSM member Pauline Ho educated and entertained us with a colorful summary of the weeks she and Rick spent counting albatrosses on Midway Island.

Program abstract – Midway Island has an interesting combination of military artifacts and wildlife. We spent Dec 2022 and part of Jan 2023 on Midway Island as volunteers for the annual Albatross Census. Midway is a very important nesting site for albatrosses; the annual counts provide long-term population data for these birds. A team of 12 people walks transects on the island(s) to count all the Laysan and Black-footed albatross nests. Each nest with an egg represents two adult birds, plus there are juvenile birds hanging around practicing their mating dances. This adds up to well over a million birds on a 2.4 square mile island.

Speaker – Pauline Ho is a physical chemist by training who retired from Sandia National Labs in November 2011. She now spends her time traveling, hiking and camping with her husband, Rick Buss, who retired from Sandia 4 years before she did.

Link to presentation (pdf file): General presentation

Pauline’s Photos

Pauline’s Video Clips


Prior-year meetings: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016