Who We Are

Our seasoned professional educators offer countless benefits to classroom teachers – a full knowledge of teachers’ professional responsibilities, multiple strategies for inquiry science content, integration with other appropriate subjects, as well as classroom management techniques which are key in providing rich inquiry science programming. 

Workshop Staff/Consultants

Olivia CarrilOlivia Carril lives in Santa Fe, where she has been teaching middle school science at the Santa Fe Girls’ School for six years. When not teaching, she pursues research on native bees, and rare plants, in New Mexico. Olivia received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Utah State University in biology, with an emphasis on biogeography. She received her Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where she studied a bee that only visits cactus and globemallow flowers. She has published two books on North America’s wild bees: The Bees in Your Backyard, a Guide to North America’s Bees, and The Common Bees of Eastern North America.  Olivia loves talking about science and helping people of all ages to understand intimidating concepts through hands-on experiments and trial and error.

Diane Garber began her career as an elementary and special education teacher in New Haven, Connecticut. She became the Early Childhood Supervisor and Director of Curriculum Pre-K-12 in that district. Diane was named Research Affiliate at Yale Child Study Center with Dr. James Comer’s School Development Program, supporting national school reform efforts. Retiring from Cheshire, Connecticut as Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services, Diane resumed her career as an elementary principal in Santa Fe, and Burlingame, California. Diane earned her B.S. & M.S. in Early Childhood Education from Southern Connecticut State University, an M.S. in Special Education from Fairfield University, and completed a doctoral program at the University of Connecticut. Diane was recently named SFSI Board President.

Julie HastyJulie Hasty has a passion for educating and guiding youth toward a deeper understanding of their natural environment, local water sources, and what it means to manage their local watershed. Having grown up in Santa Fe and lived most of her years in the Southwest, she has always enjoyed the outdoors and the beauty the Southwest offers. She received a BS in biology with a focus on ecology from the University of New Mexico and most recently facilitated water education for the University of Arizona, AZ Project WET, before returning to her sorely missed hometown. In her downtime she loves to run, hike, ski, and travel with her family. She is excited to be working with the Santa Fe community through SFWA to better understand the watershed and water challenges.

Mollie ParsonsMollie Parsons has been a passionate educator and curriculum designer for 20 years. After earning an undergraduate degree from Brown University, she went on to receive Masters’ Degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education and Boston College in education. She has taught in public and private schools as well as museums and other nonprofits. Mollie has received numerous honors for her work in interpretation, education, and collective impact work.

Katie WeeksKatie Weeks (she/her) is the Director of Community Education for Audubon Southwest, based at the Randall Davey Audubon Center in Santa Fe. With over a decade of experience in teaching, environmental, and informal science education, she is a strong proponent for hands-on learning both inside the classroom and out in the natural world. Since joining Audubon in 2017, she has worked with hundreds of teachers to design curricula and use birds as a way to learn about conservation and science. Katie also centers equity, diversity, and inclusion in her educational practice and strategy. She currently serves on the executive team of the Santa Fe Community Educators Network. Katie has a B.A. from Kalamazoo College and an M.S. in Environmental Education from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

Susan McIntosh, Executive Director, received a BA in Elementary Education/Psychology at the University of Denver and an MA in Human Development at Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena, CA. Susan’s career includes teaching for more than 40 years in Pre-K -6 as an Early Childhood educator and Enrichment teacher in both public and private schools Los Angeles, CA and Santa Fe, NM. Susan holds a NM Level 3 Instructional Leader License in New Mexico and a California Standard Teaching License and taught for Santa Fe Public Schools for 27 years and received the Golden Apple Award in 2004. Susan was a co-founder/director for the Santa Fe Children’s Museum in 1985-1989 and remained on the Museum board from 1989-2001, where she holds an Emeritus position.




Board of Directors

Diane Garber, President
Susan Benjamin
Pamela Dresher
Helen Fabel
Mary Howard
Katherine Neer
Joan Shandler

Emeritus Board members

Anne Weaver, PhD (emeritus Board President)
Victor Cook, PhD (emeritus Board President)
Diane Catron
Dona Durham, PhD
Robert A. Eisenstein, PhD
Philip Goldstone, PhD
Tara Henderson
Chari Kauffman
William Keller, PhD
Ahlum Scarola
Patrick ‘Rick’ Scott, PhD
Kurt Steinhaus, Ed
Angela Walker

Advisory Board

Olivia Messinger Carril
Erin Gaddis
Tom Goolsby
Christy Krenek
Mollie Parsons

Executive Director

Susan McIntosh, M.A

History/SFSI Beginnings

Inspired by programs in Mesa, Arizona and at the National Science Resources Center (NSRC) in Washington, D.C, SFSI Director Susan McIntosh has worked tirelessly to bring science education reform to Santa Fe since the early 1990’s. As a longtime educator with the Santa Fe Public Schools and a co-founder of the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, Susan’s goals and objectives have persevered through countless administrative changes in the Santa Fe Community.

Incorporating SFSI in 2001, with John Silver and Phil Smith, SFSI was created with the mission of “nurturing the art of doing science and promoting scientific literacy.” Susan’s keen understanding of the SF community led her to tweak the national model – which puts a science coach at every elementary school – and propose a more financially manageable model that uses the untapped and very capable strength of seasoned professional educators (aka retired teachers) who work hourly to mentor teachers in the classroom and develop state-of-the-art professional development. This expertise offers countless benefits to classroom teachers who, by training, are generalists who are expected to teach to very rigorous standards without adequate annual professional development or even release time for workshops. SFSI mentors have the full knowledge of the elementary classroom teachers’ professional responsibilities. Their expertise and knowledge base enable them to provide teachers with multiple strategies for inquiry science content, integration with other appropriate subjects, as well as classroom management techniques which are key in providing rich inquiry science programming. 

Remembering Mollie Toll

Mollie TollSFSI is grateful for the years Mollie spent working as a mentor on our staff with students at Salazar and Gonzales Elementary schools. Mollie brought so much knowledge and heart to her work. She was an inspiration for teachers and students. 

“Mollie was always kind and thoughtful of others, especially children.I remember Mollie in her role as the science coach for the staff at Salazar Elementary, supporting the teachers to be comfortable within this discipline and encouraging them to be models for discovery through experimentation and close observation, validating their student’s abilities in these very ways.” — Linda Hinckley, March 2023

Remembering Bill Keller

The Santa Fe Science Initiative was honored to have had Bill Keller as a board member for the past 12 years. He was so attuned to the board process, so very committed to teachers, our efforts to support them, and so involved in our mission of ‘nurturing the art of doing science and promoting scientific literacy’.

We all will miss his great humor, sincerity and generosity. We are grateful for all the time he gave us.