Quantina Martine has been with Audubon for two and a half years after working as a hydrologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Since joining Audubon, she has worked on a pilot project in the Middle Rio Grande that involves rehabilitating irrigation return drains, called 'outfalls', to benefit the Rio Grande Silvery Minnow, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, and the Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
Quantina is passionate about collaborating and sharing her work on the water issues in the Middle Rio Grande and how climate change has impacted the bosque (forest habitat on the floodplains of streams and rivers). The riparian (riverside) habitat along the Rio Grande is rich with a variety species ranging from the birds that use the corridor during migration season and others that are here year-round. Over the last two years the outfall pilot project has managed to create a backwater channel for the RGSM--the Los Chavez outfall--upgraded the water control structure at the New Belen outfall, and is currently working on submitting compliance documents for the San Francisco outfall.
Outside of the Middle Rio Grande, Quantina has been putting together a pilot project to bring awareness to the water issues on the Ramah Navajo Reservation. The Navajo Reservation is where she spent her youth with her grandparents learning about her culture and traditions. There she spent her evenings watching Biizhii (Navajo for the Common Nighthawk, Chordeiles minor) hunt for food. The bird has been a favorite of hers because it brings back great memories. A grant from the McCune Foundation was awarded to fund the pilot project for this year and Quantina hopes to bring light to the water issues and how we can all help small communities tackle climate change.
You can find Quantina along the river collecting water data, flying a drone at a project site, or birding around New Mexico. Recently, Quantina has challenged herself to bird more and to learn the bird names in her Diné language. You can view some of her projects at the Isleta Reach Hub and watch this beautiful video of Quantina and partners talking about their conservation work on the Middle Rio Grande.