Center for Applied Fire and Ecosystem Science Team


Rachel Loehman
Dr. Rachel Loehman
Director of Ecosystem Sciences
Dr. Loehman is a Research Landscape and Fire Ecologist with the US Geological Survey, specializing in ecosystem and species responses to disturbance (e.g., changing climate and wildfire regimes), long-term human-fire interactions and fire archaeology, and quantitative modeling and prediction of ecosystem, climate, and fire interactions. She focuses on developing science that informs conservation and management of wildlands across a range of biomes, from forests and woodlands of the southwestern US and intermountain west to Alaska’s boreal forests and tundra, with an emphasis on ecosystems where climate changes and uncharacteristic wildfires are rapidly catalyzing transformations. When not working Rachel spends as much time as possible on rivers, mountainsides, and in the snow, and with her family.
Contact Dr. Loehman at
Scott Pokswinski
Director of Fire Science Applications
Scott Pokswinski is the Director of Fire Science Applications at the Center for Applied Fire and Ecosystem Science at NMC. He specializes in adapting cutting edge research to management applications. He managed SERDP research projects for eight years investigating fire ecology and habitat monitoring for The Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center and then the University of Nevada at Reno followed by five years managing research projects at Tall Timbers. His recent work has integrated remote sensing technologies with monitoring and modeling technologies to increase the quality and efficiency of data used by fire and land managers to make management decisions
Contact Dr. Pokswinski at
Grant Snitker
Dr. Grant Snitker
Director of Cultural Resource Sciences
Dr. Snitker is the Director of Cultural Resource Sciences within the Center for Applied Fire and Ecosystem Science at NMC. He is an environmental archaeologist, specializing in charcoal analysis, computational and analytical proxy modeling, and quantitative methods to understand the dynamic relationship between fire, humans, and long-term environmental change. He also works to improve methods and tools in cultural resource management and fire archaeology, including LiDAR data collection and analysis. He works primarily in the Western United States and the Western Mediterranean. When not doing archaeology, he is usually hiking, fly-fishing, ​spending time with friends and family, or ​some combination of ​all three.
Contact Dr. Snitker at
Nancy Karakker
Dr. Nancy Karraker
Director of Applied Conservation
Dr. Karraker is the Director of Applied Conservation at the Center for Applied Fire and Ecosystem Science at NMC. She is a conservation biologist whose research focuses on quantifying the effects of disturbance, including wildfire and forest management, on wildlife populations. Nancy is particularly interested in understanding how disturbance alters the occurrence and population trajectories of vulnerable species and how habitat management, including prescribed burning and restoration, can be applied to stabilize or reverse trends in declining populations. She has conducted research in North and Central America, South Africa, and East and Southeast Asia, but current projects are centered primarily in the U.S. Southwest. Nancy enjoys any outdoor activity, especially if reptiles and amphibians may be encountered.
Contact Nancy Karraker at


Dr. Claudine Gravel-Miguel
Dr. Gravel-Miguel is a Research Scientist for the Center for Applied Fire and Ecosystem Science at NMC. She is a quantitative archaeologist specializing in computational modeling, geospatial analyses and statistical analyses of archaeological data. Her previous work has focused primarily on European prehistoric archaeology, where she learned skills that can now be applied to North American archaeological data. At NMC, she helps create and improve methods to process LiDAR data. When she is not working, Claudine enjoys crafting, hiking with her family, friends and dog Leena, and doing escape rooms.
Alex Masarie
Dr. Alex Masarie
Dr. Masarie is the Model Integration Specialist at the Center for Applied Fire and Ecosystem Science at NMC. He is a mathematical physicist who specializes in Forest Sciences with focus on fire modeling and state-and-transition forest management. He has held post-doc fellow positions as a programmer at Rocky Mountain Research Station (fire suppression focused) and Tall Timbers (prescribed fire focus). A recent transplant to New Mexico, “Dr. Alex” spent the prior 2 years honing GIS 101 curriculum at Front Range Community College in Colorado, which he hopes to someday translate/interpret into a Spanish-language curriculum.
Matt Snider
Matt Snider
Matt is a Research Scientist for the Center for Applied Fire and Ecosystem Science at NMC. He is a wildland fire operations professional with over thirty years experience working in leadership roles for federal and state agencies and non-governmental organizations. Matt’s experience includes serving as the State Fire Management Officer for the Utah Division of Forestry Fire and State Lands and as the State Fire Program Manager for the Georgia and Alabama chapters of The Nature Conservancy. Matt’s work currently involves applying next generation fire models to prescribed fire planning, decision making, and training. Matt lives in Southwest Georgia with his wife Mollie and their 105 pound English Foxhound, Bleu.