Meet Our Speakers: Nathan Schroeder


On a warm afternoon outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Spa in Santa Ana Pueblo, Nathan Schroeder stands in blue jeans, a short sleeved button up work shirt, and black sunglasses. As the Restoration Division Manager for Santa Ana Pueblo in south-central New Mexico, Nathan works  to restore native ecological systems to the Rio Grande river corridor. After spending his undergraduate years at Bowling Green State University, he earned masters degree in natural resources management from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Having worked for contract restoration firms in Chicago for several years, Nathan moved to New Mexico after the Great Recession. Nathan enjoys living and working in Santa Ana despite numerous obstacles to the restoration he’s tasked with completing, foremost among them the gradual strangling of the river by both the Jemez and Cochiti Dams upstream. Operated by the Army Corps of Engineers, these dams have significantly degraded the Rio Grande to the point where “the river we have now is not the river we had 70-80 years ago.” Nathan’s work day ranges from the annual introduction of the endangered silvery minnow into the Rio Grande to extensive invasive plant removal along the banks. His restoration work is ecologically focused, often opting for more expensive but environmentally friendly options in plant removal and regeneration. Preservation of remaining natural systems is at the core of his work, for “it's hard to work with systems once you destroy them.”


Gardner Dee