• Institute for STEM Education Team

  • Executive Director

    Michelle Hall

    Michelle Hall

    Executive Director

    Michelle is a geophysicist and science educator who has worked in industry, academia, and government. Her company promotes science and technology literacy. While studying for her Ph.D. and then as a faculty member, she felt there was a big gap between what undergraduates were learning in their courses and the real world of the workplace. Book learning did not prepare one for the workplace. So she developed the first GIS-based curriculum that taught fundamental concepts in geosciences by analyzing data, rather than reading about them. Her SAGUARO curriculum has been used in over 135 colleges and universities. That project sealed her interest in a career pursuing geoscience education and the art of translating science into accessible forms. When not working she enjoys running, reading, and cooking.

  • Director

    Michael Mayhew

    Michael Mayhew


    Following early career phases in academia and at NASA, Mike spent many years as a program manager in geophysics, and later geoscience education at the National Science Foundation. His chief interest is in fostering public understanding of science. He travels regularly to New Mexico from his home in Ocean City, Maryland.

  • Tammy K. Bravo

    Tammy K. Bravo

    Research Scientist

    Tammy is a geophysicist, programmer, and educator. She has worked in seismology outreach for the last 10 years.

  • Scott Walker

    Scott Walker

    Research Scientist

    Scott started working with GIS in 1991 with the state of Arizona, and earned his M.A. in Geography from Northern Arizona University in 1996. After a two-year stint as a GIS coordinator at Point Reyes National Seashore in California, he moved back to Arizona to develop GIS-based educational curricula on topics in the earth and environmental sciences at the University of Arizona. A GIS teaching position at NAU, and a library position at Oregon State University came next, with Scott joining the Harvard Map Collection in the fall of 2006 as their digital cartography / GIS specialist.

  • RJ Montaño

    RJ Montaño

    Marketing and Communications Specialist

    A native to New Mexico, RJ brings his creativity and originality to the Institute. RJ spent the past eight years working with ESPN Radio, where he learned the value of effective marketing and communications. He is developing and fostering a strong marketing strategy promoting the institute and all its programs. “I’m very excited to join the team and thrilled with what we are doing here, and am ready to help build a connection with the people we serve.” In his free time, you’ll find RJ watching the New Mexico Lobos or LA Dodgers and spending time with his wife Suzi and dog Miles. Twitter: @RJMontano33

  • Kate Cleveland

    Kate Cleveland

    Program Enrichment Coordinator/Los Alamos Site Coordinator

    Fostering her love of scientific outreach has been one of Kate’s long-time goals. She comes to the team with a background in Molecular Toxicology and Nanotoxicology, so she understands that scientists are not taught to speak to a lay audience. In her role as Los Alamos Teen Science Café Site Coordinator, she is helping scientist communicate more effectivly with teens. She is also helping teens cultivate their leadership skills for the future. Kate also contributes to the Teen Science Café Network by bringing together members to share ideas and grow their programs. Kate often gets outside with her husband Matt and their two daughters to fish, camp, ski, or hike. She is also an avid football fan (Go Beavers!) and loves to cook, read, and entertain.

  • Sara Fyke

    Sara Fyke

    Teen Science Café Network Coordinator

    Sara has seen first-hand what amazing things can be achieved by a group of individuals who are truly committed and passionate about what they do. In 2003 she began by mobilizing people to volunteer and fundraise millions of dollars for the Weekend To End Breast Cancer and then the Canadian Cancer Society, then focused her own love of lifelong learning on the field of quality education, re-training as a Pre-K-12 educator. Now in Los Alamos, New Mexico she is Coordinator for the growing network of amazing individuals spearheading Teen Science Cafés across the USA. She wants to bring on board even more people passionate about STEM and education in order to ignite in young people a deep, long-lasting interest in how STEM affects them and the world. In Sara’s spare time she does a lot of wrestling on the floor with her two preschooler sons and gets her endorphin fix trail running, swimming, rock-climbing and skiing.