Animas Riverkeeper


Marcel Gaztambide
[email protected]
(970) 259-3583 Ext. 6

As it flows from the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado, the Animas River is well known for its natural beauty, world-class recreation, and recently, its challenges associated with historic mining near its mineral-rich headwaters. The Animas is born amongst the granitic peaks surrounding the mining ghost town of Animas Forks, CO, where snow-fed waters of the North Fork and West Fork Animas Rivers merge and begin a nearly 6,000-foot descent through Southwest Colorado and into Northwest New Mexico. As a principal tributary of the Colorado River system, the Animas River and its 17 major tributaries are not only the lifeblood of communities within its own watershed, but also help to supply water to the whole of the American Southwest.

Marcel Gaztambide was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah where he earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Geoscience from the University of Utah in 2015 and spent five years working as an Editorial Assistant for the Journal of the American Chemical Society.During his undergraduate study, Marcel was part of a research team tasked with conducting a human health and water quality study of the Ponce Enriquez mining district of Ecuador, primarily tracking the contamination of water from gold mining activities and its effect on regional ecosystems and communities. That experience would go on to inform his post-graduate work with the United States Geological Survey in the Southeastern United States, where Marcel worked for 7 months as a geologist on the National Water Quality Assessment program and on the collection of data related to Hurricane Matthew for the South Carolina Water Science Center.Before joining the SJCA, Marcel also worked as a volunteer organizer for the Grand Canyon Trust, helping to plan the 2016 Uplift Youth Climate Conference, and seeking to elevate marginalized voices of the Colorado Plateau in order to combat climate change on a regional level. As part of the organizing committee for Uplift, Marcel helped frame the 2016 conference around the importance of story and assisted in managing community outreach. The Uplift program was awarded the SHIFTjh award for Youth Engagement in October of 2016.


1309 East Third Avenue, Suite 5
Durango, Colorado 81301