Nature & Nature-Inspired Science

Join Friends of Bosque del Apache on Wednesday, June 26 from 6:30-8:30 pm at SALA events center in Los Alamos. Come learn about the many things there are to see and do year-round at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, a “Refuge for All Seasons”! We’ll also highlight several exciting research projects occurring at the refuge and the important partnership between Friends and New Mexico Tech in Socorro. During the last hour, Dr. Mostafa Hassanalian will share his inspiring work in the fields of biomimicry, robotics and beyond, as well as the research topic opportunities at Bosque del Apache. He’ll have many of his recent inventions with him to share with you. 

  • 6:30-7 PM:  Reception with appetizers in the main SALA lobby
  • 7-7:25 PM:  Short presentation about the refuge and Friends
  • 7:25-8:30:   Presentation by Dr. Mostafa Hassanalian followed by demos and Q&A


Dr. Mostafa Hassanalian, Ph.D. 

Dr. Mostafa Hassanalian is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Dean’s Research Scholar at New Mexico Tech. He earned his Ph.D. and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from New Mexico State University in July 2018 and December 2016, respectively. His main research interests are in the fields of autonomous systems, bioinspiration and biomimetics, and drones. Dr. Hassanalian serves as PI and Co-PI of $6.5M projects from NSF, NASA, NIOSH-CDC, Alpha Foundation, Sceye Inc., etc. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications. In October 2021, 2022, and 2023 he was recognized as one of the Top 2% of Cited Scientists Worldwide. In October 2021, he also received United Nation-USA SDG Advocate Award from UNA Project Rocky Mountain Region. Some segments of his group’s drone research have garnered global media attention, reaching an audience of 6 billion people. Coverage includes features in prominent outlets such as The New York Times, National Geographic, New York Post, The Washington Post, Reuters, EuroNews, and more. 

Dr. Hassanalian is presently advising 15 graduate students, consisting of 7 Ph.D. and 8 M.S. students. Additionally, he has successfully guided 14 graduates in the past, including 1 Ph.D. recipient and 13 M.S. graduates. He serves as a board member of Friends of Bosque del Apache, faculty advisor for various student chapters at New Mexico Tech, including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Society of Allied Weight Engineers (SAWE), Vex Robotics, NASA Minds, and Lunabotics. Additionally, he oversees the K-12 Drone Program at New Mexico Tech.


Deb Caldwell 

Deb Caldwell has served since July 2015 as the Executive Director for Friends of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.  A native New Mexican, Deb returned “home” in 2010. She grew up loving the outdoors, wildlife, and Bosque del Apache.  That passion has grown over the years and Deb has recently become an avid birdwatcher.  She considers her current position to be her ultimate dream job. 

To her current job, Deb brings her previous work experience:  Executive Director of Socorro County Chamber of Commerce; leadership and teamwork consultant for the Federal Drug Administration in Washington, DC; twenty-five years at IBM Corporation in San Jose, California as a technical writer and manager; and program director in a social services agency in Tucson, Arizona.  Deb holds an M.A. degree in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University (in Santa Clara, California) and B.A. in English Composition from New Mexico State University.


Jun 26 2024


6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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