Meet the Board:
Dave Rightley, Board Chair: Dave has been on the Board of Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance since 2018. He is one of the owners of Cross Canyon Engineering located in Cortez. He has technical understanding of the Empire Electric and Kinder-Morgan systems within and adjacent to CANM. Dave has hiked around Canyons of the Ancients National Monument for over 30 years and desires to maintain the cultural and scenic values of the outstanding National Monument here through public education and outreach.
Don Hoffheins, Board Vice-Chair: After 42 years of land management experience; over 25 years with USDA Forest Service and over 16 years with USDI Bureau of Land Management, Don retired in 2018. He began his career in 1976 for the Forest Service and worked on Forests in New Mexico, Arizona, three in Colorado and one in Oregon. Don started as a soil scientist and gradually moved into natural resource planning focused on recreation, lands and timber management. In 1996 he moved to Oregon as Ski Area Planner, and in 2001, transferred to the Bureau of Land Management as an Environmental Coordinator/Planner. After many years of supervision and management with the BLM in Oregon, his last move brought him to southeast Utah as a Field Manager which included working on the newly designated Bears Ears National Monument. Besides SCCA, Don has served on the Board or completed support projects with the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce, San Juan Mountains Association, Klamath Trails Committee, and Mancos Trails Group.
Caroline Brown, Board Secretary: Caroline retired in 2010 as a contractor with the Forest Service and National Park Service. She was the founder and director of Friends of Native Cultures, a volunteer non-profit organization that sponsored Native American events at archaeological sites, primarily Chaco Culture National Historic Park and Chimney Rock National Monument. She also worked with Utah State Parks at Edge of Cedars State Park and Anasazi State Park. For several years Caroline was a seasonal Environmental Educator and Volunteer Coordinator at Navajo State Park in Colorado. In addition to serving on the SCCA Board of Directors, Caroline is also the current PAAC Coordinator for the Hisatsinom Chapter of Colorado Archaeological Society and a site steward for SCCA. She is married to fellow SCCA board member Tom Ferrell.
Marcie Ryan, Board Treasurer: Marcie previously served as Treasurer when SCCA was originally formed, and has an in-depth understanding of the mission and Treasurer’s duties. Marcie is recently retired from a variety of occupations. With a formal education in geology, she discovered the “archaeology community” when she moved here in 2005. She worked for over 10 years at Woods Canyon Archaeological Consultants in Cortez as their bookkeeper, office manager, and geologist/paleontologist, doing archaeological survey and field work as well. Most recently, she was the co-owner of Ryans’ Custom Products Engraving and Awards, as successful business for over 28 years. She served as an educator and front desk volunteer at Canyons of the Ancients Museum and Visitors’ Center for seven years, and currently volunteers on the Hisatsinom Survey crew, enthusiastically helping to record new archaeological sites on private land. She looks forward to helping SCCA achieve their goals and increase their membership. Marcie loves to travel, camping, dogs, and making jewelry. She has been married to husband Jerry for almost 30 years.
Chris Barns, Board Member: Chris retired in 2015 as the Bureau of Land Management Representative at the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, where he taught wilderness stewardship to federal mangers from all over the country. While at Carhart he wrote and directed the film American Values: American Wilderness, widely aired on PBS, and was the lead author of the Bureau’s Wilderness and Wilderness Study Area policies. Prior to his work at the Carhart Center, Chris was the lead of the Wilderness, Recreation, and Paleontology programs for the Bureau’s Farmington Office in New Mexico. Since retiring, he has written numerous legal and technical articles on proper stewardship and the future direction of the National Wilderness Preservation System, and conducted a wilderness review for Mesa Verde National Park. Chris is married to the animal rights activist Kathleen Stachowski, whom he met in the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness.
Tom Ferrell, Board Member: Tom worked as a Park Ranger for the National Park Service in national monuments in Arizona that are archaeological sites such as Walnut Canyon, Wupatki and Montezuma Well. Based in Flagstaff he was active in the Arizona Archaeological Society and served as the president of the Northern Arizona Chapter. After retiring from the NPS he moved to SW Colorado and became the Interpretive Program Director for Chimney Rock National Monument. In these positions he worked closely with volunteers on numerous natural and cultural resource projects and long term monitoring. He believes these volunteer organizations are vital to the land managers of these special places. Tom currently works part time at Dolores Public Lands as a contractor for the Forest Service and is also a site steward for SCCA. He is married to fellow SCCA board member Caroline Brown.
Meet the Staff:
Diane McBride, Associate Director: Diane has been intimately involved in SCCA since its inception. She is delighted to have the opportunity to work with this exceptional Board of Directors and, especially, the Executive Director as SCCA moves forward in assisting Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and the Visitor Center and Museum with their many good works in protecting this fragile landscape for future generations. As an educator for many years, she initially taught dance and drama while performing professionally, then taught elementary school for 15 years. She directed the education programs at the Anasazi Heritage Center for 10 years and has managed the Cultural Site Stewardship Program for Canyons of the Ancients National Monument since 2010. You can always find her with her husband and best friend Bob and their two doggie-kids as they hike the public lands of the Southwest or record cultural resources for private landowners. This masterful landscape has drawn many of us here and, together, we will work to protect it.
Shaine Gans, Executive Director: After studying cultural anthropology at Wesleyan University and working on archaeology projects in southern Oregon and Israel, Shaine journeyed to the Southwest for the first time over 25 years ago. Drawn here initially by a curiosity to see ancient cliff dwellings and rock art firsthand, she found a great reason to stay when offered an opportunity to work first as a curation and interpretation intern and then as a contractor at what is now the Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center and Museum. Inspired to pursue a career in museum work she briefly left the Southwest to obtain a master’s degree in museology from the University of Washington. Unable to keep herself away from the Four Corners, she returned to southwestern Colorado to work for more than 6 years as an educator at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. During this time, she and her husband built a straw-bale, adobe house on the mesa just outside of Dolores. With the addition of two children, roots in this area deepened. She and her family love to adventure as much as possible by exploring the canyons of southern Colorado and Utah, floating down our local rivers in their big orange raft, or hiking trails through our beautiful San Juan National Forest. When given a moment for self-preservation you might find Shaine trail running or practicing yoga with friends. She is grateful for the abundance of public lands in her backyard. Most of all, she is committed to extending opportunities for the public to experience these incredible places and inspiring the next generation to become passionate stewards of this area’s unique natural and cultural resources.