Executive Director

Roberta Salazar

Passion for her cultural roots and natural heritage in New Mexico, combined with a professional understanding of nature, inspired Roberta to found Rivers & Birds after a 17-year career as a wildlife biologist for the federal government.

"Celebrating Earth with others through outdoor experiences in nature, we honor life in a way that is joyful, meaningful, and connects to the spirit of all life. Teaching the interconnection of living systems is key to sustainability.”


Educational iNstructor

Suzie Benton

Suzie has an associate’s degree in early childhood education. During the summer, she is a professional river guide, while she works at Taos Ski Valley all year. She can be found outdoors on most days. 

I believe that education about our watersheds, our planet, ourselves, and how all life interacts is one of the most important gifts that we can give to future generations.”


Educational Instructor

Becka Porter

Becka graduated from Western State Colorado University with a BS in Geology. She has taught with Rivers & Birds since 2005. She is also delighted to be homeschooling her son and working as a mediator with the Taos Magistrate Court mediation program.

"When I become aware of how my actions impact the world around me, I am better able to make choices that serve and reflect my values of interconnectedness and compassion. It’s wonderful to be planting the seeds of compassion and interconnectedness through the many programs put on by Rivers and Birds."


design and Marketing

Jesse Furr

As a lifelong lover of nature, Jesse is thrilled to be working towards environmental sustainability by helping show the community all of the great work Rivers & Birds does through graphic design and filmmaking. As an illustrator and printmaker with a degree from UNM, he is helping to enhance Rivers & Birds’ class workbooks and learning materials as a way to ensure that we teach the next generation of Earth Stewards for years to come.

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Mapping and technical support

James Porter

With a B.S. in Geology and a GIS certificate, James is pursuing a M.S. degree in Geographic Information Systems. Every spare moment he can take, James takes off into nature with his son Jasper and wife Becca. James is the GIS Specialist for Taos Ski Valley. 

"I apply GIS to support natural systems to conserve, protect, preserve, and educate. Rivers & Birds is a powerful organization that's had great successes and I am pleased to use my skills to support their efforts to honor our Earth."