Want to help?


Volunteers are essential to the success of the Southwest Environmental Center. Whether it is writing letters to the editor, stuffing envelopes, or attending agency meetings, we could not do our work without them.


Upcoming volunteer opportunities

  • Be the SWEC Liaison for our Back By Noon Hikes: Love hiking? SWEC is in need of a volunteer to accompany hikers on guided natural history tours throughout the El Paso/Las Cruces area. Duties would include: collecting donations, ensuring everyone has signed in, carrying first aid kit, passing out and collecting evaluations, and providing general information about SWEC. This volunteer opportunity can be turned into an internship. Please contact Rose Ann at 575-522-5552 or roseann@wildmesquite.org for more information. 

  • Help Table and/or Staff the Center on Saturdays: We need reliable volunteers, familiar with SWEC's work to staff both the center and, occassionally, a table at the Farmer's Market on Saturdays. Please contact Rose Ann at 575-522-5552 or roseann@wildmesquite.org to volunteer.

  • Research Volunteers: SWEC is in need of a few volunteers willing to do research on multiple topics surrounding our work with wildlife. Please contact Rose Ann at 575-522-5552 or roseann@wildmesquite.org for more information.

  • Organizing SWEC's Back Room: From time to time we find that the back room in our office building needs straightening up! Give us a call to set up a time, 575-522-5552.

  • Data-entry: We have a backlog of canvassing data entry that we need help compiling into our new database. This task can be done anytime M-F from 9 am - 6 pm (our normal hours of operation).


    Volunteer spotlight: Kris and Gil Dovalina

    Above: Kris and Gil Dovalina after a long weekend of fence building to restore strong wolf habitat in the Gila National Wilderness. 

    Kris and Gil are transplants from California. They have loved New Mexico for over thirty years and swore that this was going to be their retirement home. In 2009, it happened. Las Cruces had all they wanted in their community: a University, library, bookstores, community theaters, a community band, summer concerts in the park and the Southwest Environmental Center. They have answered the volunteer call in a variety of ways since moving here. They helped local candidates and created awareness for citizens ballot initiatives, they've worked with Habitat for Humanity, and they have been invaluable to SWEC by helping with with "Raft the Rio" as well as activities like protesting the coyote killing contests, supporting the Organ Mountain Desert Peaks National Monument, mending fences in the Gila, and supporting a strong wolf habitat. They fell in love with wolves the first night they heard them howling while camping in the Luna area in 2009, and feel strongly about the successful recovery of the Mexican Gray Wolf in the Southwest. Kris is a retired teacher of twenty-six years and Gil is a retired Parks and Recreation Manager. New Mexico has provided Kris and Gil with a continued source of adventure, from touring the state and investigating its history, to kayaking the rivers and lakes, backpacking in wilderness areas, or just enjoying her daily beauty.
    They deeply care for the wildlife and wild places of the Southwest, and are tireless in their efforts to preserve, and protect the wild and raw beauty of New Mexico. 

    Above: volunteers prepare for a river clean up along the Rio Grande, 2011.