Contact Us Spring 2018

staff photo spring 2018

Refuge Location and mailing address: 7851 Second St. SW Albuquerque, NM 87105 Phone Number: 505-248-6667

Photo Caption: Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge staff stand in front of the first wetland under construction.  From left to right: Ariel Elliott, Teresa Skiba, Toby Valdes, Katie McVey, Joe Mackey, Melanie Dabovich, Hannah Redwood, Jennifer Owen-White. 

  • Jennifer Owen-White: Refuge Manager

    Wow, I don't even know what to say here...  As the Refuge Manager I am ultimately in charge of all aspects of the refuge planning, development and operation. My job has changed dramatically in the past couple years as I have moved from a 1 person refuge staff to an incredible 8 person refuge team. The biggest part of my job is to support my staff in accomplishing projects that get us closer to our shared vision for Valle de Oro NWR.  What I love about my job- I love the variety in my job. I get to do a little bit of everything and each day or even each hour is different. I also really love watching this refuge grow up before my eyes and seeing all the people, especially community members, partners and our staff, who love and support it. 

    Phone 505-933-2708, Email:


  • Antonio "Toby" Valdes: Partnership, Volunteer, and Youth Corps Coordinator

    I work to build and mountain strong relationships between Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge and its diverse network of partners. I also recruit and process new volunteers and coordinate projects for our various youth corps. I see my position as a wonderful opportunity to share conservation and love of the outdoors with new people! Fun fact: The best part of my job is working with youth. I’m energized when young people get inspired to help the Earth! 

    Phone: 505-401-0789, Email:

  • Ariel Elliott: Wildlife Biologist

    As the Biologist for Valle de Oro NWR, I am the lead for the biological program at the refuge. My duty is to conduct biological surveys on the refuge, manage and plan habitats, and oversee restoration efforts.  Therefore, I am the main point of contact for biological/habitat projects, citizen science, research, and/or biological information on the refuge so that biological activities done on the refuge relate back to the refuge’s missions and visions and help inform refuge management.  

    Phone: 505-933-4924, Email: 

  • Hannah Redwood: Park Ranger

    As a park ranger, I work closely with refuge staff and partners to deliver a variety of educational curriculums, table at partner events, help plan and coordinate refuge events and manage contests such as the Junior Duck Stamp Contest and our Annual Photography contest. Fun Fact: I started my work here at Valle de Oro as a member of a Rocky Mountain Youth Corps crew. I then became an intern through the Student Conservation Association helping with education programming, and now I am a Park Ranger. I am grateful that I have had so many amazing learning experiences here at the refuge and I enjoy watching it grow and develop. I enjoy gardening, playing the baritone and my favorite animal is a goat.

    Phone: 505-507-8822, Email:

  • Joseph Mackey: Maintenance Worker

    I am responsible for making the refuge a safe and welcoming place to visit. I maintain the facilities on the refuge and also maintain the equipment utilized on the refuge. I have the privilege to work and train youth as they work with the staff. I am very excited to be in the position of watching and participating in the growth of Valle de Oro NWR

    Phone: 505-401-6308, Email:

  • Katie McVey: Deputy Refuge Manager

    As the Deputy, I run the day to day operations on the Refuge.  Serve as a resource for staff, volunteers, interns, partners and visitors.  I joined the Fish and Wildlife Service as an Student Conservation Association intern in 2009.  Since then I have been fortunate to go duck banding on airboats, meet the Secretary of the Interior, help people enjoy nature, restore grassland and wetland habitat, work with amazing volunteers and partners and learn so much along the way.  I am happy to help make a positive difference here at Valle de Oro NWR. 

    Phone: 505-401-5861, Email:

  • Melanie Dabovich: Administrative Officer

    Hello! I am Melanie Dabovich, Administrative Officer for Valle de Oro NWR. My position is shared with Sevilleta NWR near Socorro, NM. I take care of the business and administrative functions at the refuge, such as budget tracking, purchasing, contracts, agreements, property and financial procedures. I also greet visitors at the Visitors Center house at the refuge and answer calls from the public. I’ve been with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for almost 9 years, working previously in the programs of External Affairs, Science Applications and Fish and Aquatic Resources. My background is in journalism and public relations, and my family has lived in Albuquerque’s South Valley for generations. As a life-long angler and outdoorswoman in New Mexico, I am thrilled to share my passion for conservation with others and to give my young daughter an exposure to and appreciation of the natural world. 

    Phone: 505-401-0884, Email:

  • Teresa Skiba: Education Specialist

    I am the education and visitor service lead at the Valle de Oro NWR.  I work with staff, interns, volunteers and partners to develop and deliver a variety of education and interpretation opportunities on and off site of the Refuge. I grew up in the South Valley and love the opportunity to give back to the community I grew up in.  I love bird watching, gardening with my family, mushroom hunting and my little heeler pup Freckles. 

    Phone: 505-933-3230, Email: