ABOUT US

High Water Mark is a 100% Native American, Woman-owned environmental consulting company with a specialty in water resources. Owner, Phoebe Suina has 20 years of experience providing environmental and water resources engineering, science, planning and management to New Mexico communities ranging from pueblos to local, state and federal agencies, in addition to private industry. Our focus for consulting services at High Water Mark has been flood disaster and emergency response including: flood hazard mitigation planning, stormwater management, and watershed rehabilitation for the protection of both cultural and natural resources in our clients' communities. 

OUR TEAM

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Phoebe Suina

Owner, Project Manager and Hydrologist

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With a background in environmental engineering and management, Ms. Suina has managed multi-million-dollar emergency and disaster assistance projects for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in addition to her previous career at the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) for post-Cerro Grande fire erosion, sediment control, debris flow and flood hazard mitigation. She also has led environmental compliance and environmental remediation efforts for over 10 years on DOE and LANL projects. Ms. Suina has also worked for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, where she completed water resources engineering project design, operation and maintenance on the nation’s rivers and waterways.

Ms. Suina currently manages emergency and disaster assistance projects for High Water Mark’s clients. This involves meetings with client and funding agency staff, documentation of all project activities, expenditures and records management, and project closeout. She is meticulous in her record keeping and takes pride in her attention to detail.

Ms. Suina earned bachelor degrees in environmental engineering and engineering sciences and a graduate degree in engineering management, all from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Phoebe is from the Pueblos of San Felipe and Cochiti. She is very active in the traditional culture of her respective Pueblos. She continues to assist and share her knowledge and skills with the Pueblo communities.

 

Tom Teegarden

Vice President

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Mr. Teegarden bring 35+ years of executive-level business and management experience in the public and private sectors with an emphasis on leadership for tribally-owned enterprises. He was managed large, mature organization as well as developed “start-ups” into regional and national players. As Vice President for High Water Mark, Mr. Teegarden focuses on business processes, quality management, and new business development. He brings to the team hands-on experience in policy analysis, tribal advocacy, Federal contracting, and US Small Business Administration certification programs.

Tom enjoys competitive cycling, southwest landscaping, Native American art, culture and history, he is a composer and singer of Northern Plains traditional music and member of multiple Native drum groups, and is a 35-year Navajo in-law. Tom is passionate about community service and he has served on boards of directors for both non-profits and tribally-owned corporations. He holds an MBA from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.

Nicole Shaw, P.E.

Vice President of Engineering

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Nicole Shaw is a licensed professional engineer in New Mexico with over 10 years of experience in the engineering industry. She is Diné (Navajo) of the Salt People born for Red Running into the Water.  Ms. Shaw has joined High Water Mark as the Vice President of Engineering to develop and establish the company’s engineering capacity and capabilities. Her experience includes project management, planning, design, construction administration, construction observation, and comprehensive mapping of water and wastewater projects. She has worked on multi-phased water and wastewater system improvements projects for local and tribal communities including applying for and securing funding, coordinating with regional stakeholders, implementing long-term planning, and securing water rights. She has assisted clients in securing and managing over $20 million in grant and loan funding from federal and state funding programs.  

 

Ms. Shaw holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Northern Arizona University. She is from Tse’ii’ahi (Standing Rock) Chapter. She is passionate about Indian Education and STEM outreach to Native communities. 

Berta Rodriguez

Office Administrator

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Berta the Office Manager at High Water Mark and a Bernalillo native, has extensive experience in government contracting and procurement. Prior to joining the HWM team, Ms. Rodriguez worked with the Valles Caldera Trust as the Procurement Specialist and liaison; managing budgets, purchasing and contracting, as well as administrative tasks. She worked with a number of Federal Agencies, administering several different accounting software and programs to keep track of funds. Berta served as a staffer for US Senator Pete Domenici working on various projects; the purchasing of the Valles Caldera Trust, Silvery Minnow controversy, San Luis water project and numerous other land and water related issues. Berta also has experience in both land and water issues, and experience working with rural and Pueblo communities.

Candace Dahozy

Project Manager

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Candace is from Tohatchi, NM, she is of the Bitter Water Clan, born for the Folded Arms People.
She is a graduate from the New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology where she obtained
her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Ms. Dahozy’s interests include Transportation,
Geotechnical Engineering, and Water Resources. She is a Sequoyah Lifetime Member for the
American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), where she helps Native American
students pursue their educational goals in the STEM field.

As the Project Manager for High Water Mark, Candace is one of the team leaders for the Village
of Ruidoso sewer line and bridge projects. With her background in federal, state, and tribal
regulations, such as FEMA, NMDHSEM, USACE, NMED, she can perform onsite observations
during construction for environmental and regulatory compliance, inspection of BMPS, erosion
control structures, and other conformities of the SWPPP and Environmental Assessments. She
has assisted the team and clients on documentation for environmental support, navigating
permitting and construction challenges to meet the needs of the client. Candace also manages
the Ruidoso HWM team schedule and quality of services. She has successfully assisted in
completing projects for the Pueblo of Jemez and Pueblo de San Ildefonso.

Kristine Smeltz

Senior Scientist / Engineering Analyst II

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Kristine earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Colorado College, and her Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver. She has earned a professional certificate in Natural Resource Management from the University of Denver. Kristine has several years of experience in the area of environmental studies. She has a broad range of experience which includes water management, field investigations, review of technical documents, and working knowledge of federal and state regulations. She provided project team support for several years with the Department of Energy (DOE) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) projects in the area of environmental compliance and environmental remediation.

As a member of the High Water Mark team, Kristine continues to provide regulatory technical and management support for environmental remediation projects and issues. Kristine is from the Pueblo of San Felipe. She enjoys running and spending time with her husband and two boys.

Matthew Smith

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Senior Program Manager

Mr. Smith has over 14 years of experience as a Wildland Firefighter with the US Forest Service and
Emergency Management, Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) and State Emergency Operations, Logistics, Planning and Recovery through the New Mexico Department Homeland Security (NMDHSEM). He is a dedicated Disaster Recovery Officer with extensive experience, having knowledge to lead and manage different individuals in constantly changing situations, including response and recovery operations to over 300 municipalities, countries, tribes, and State Agencies for COVID-19, and manage recovery projects for over 1,800 subrecipients in Legacy Federal and state disasters and FMAGs.


As the Senior Program Manager for High Water Mark, Mr. Smith will be able to assist in managing
emergency and disaster projects for new and legacy disasters for all High Water Mark’s clientele. He can provide the necessary technical assistance in applying for different state and federal disaster funding, capture disaster damages, document the recovery efforts and costs, and project closeouts. He is experienced with proven problem-solving skills and coordinate with other agency programs to access grant funding for eligible recipients in an often politically sensitive environment for both the state of New Mexico and the different New Mexico Pueblos and Tribes.


Matthew earned his bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology with a focus on Consumer Affairs from The
Ohio State University. He worked on his Master Degree in Architecture at the University of New Mexico,
and admires the design and aesthetics of traditional Southwest Architecture. In his off time, he can be
found enjoying spending time with his wife and two children and the great outdoors of New Mexico.

Bryn Fragua

Environmental Scientist

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Bryn has a background in natural sciences, and has earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Haskell Indian Nations University. From the Pueblo of Jemez, Bryn holds a sincere commitment to Native American community development with an emphasis on youth and the sciences. As a new member of the High Water Mark team, Mr. Fragua is currently assisting in construction and documentation compliance and environmental assessments.

Mr. Fragua providing his knowledge in the field of Environmental Science has also assisted in permitting and compliance for several projects. With technical and coordinating assistance in managing emergency and disaster projects, as well as planning projects.

Keith Candelaria

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Project Manager

Mr. Candelaria has over 14 years of experience in the fields of hydrology and water resources. Throughout these years he has had the pleasure to work for federal agencies, private engineering firms, and tribal communities. Mr. Candelaria is extremely passionate about assisting communities in protecting their precious natural resources. In 2019, he was appointed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to serve on the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission. In 2020, Mr. Candelaria was also appointed to serve on the All Pueblo Council of Governor's Natural Resources Committee.

Mr. Candelaria earned a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College and a Master of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. He is from the Pueblos of Jemez and San Felipe. 

Marissa Narajo

Policy Analyst

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Marissa Naranjo is from the Pueblos of Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, and Cochiti. She has worked with Pueblos and Tribes across the Southwest and Pacific Northwest engaging in government-to-government legislative, administrative, and legal efforts at the local, state, and federal levels on environmental protection, cultural resource, and sacred site preservation campaigns. She previously served the All Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG) as a Policy Coordinator where she managed Pueblo collective organizing and advocacy efforts on the protection of Greater Chaco and Bears Ears National Monument and managed development and advocacy of strategic priority areas including State and Federal Legislation, Natural Resources, and Youth Leadership Development. She continues technical support of Pueblos and Tribes on environmental and cultural resource preservation projects. She is currently a member of the APCG Natural Resources Committee, a Commissioner for the Albuquerque Commission on American Indian and Alaskan Native Affairs, and a member of the New Mexico Economic Sustainability Advisory Council.

Edmund Vandever

Technical Specialist

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Mr. Vandever is a Technical Specialist at High Water Mark, LLC where he provides insight and expertise on documentation for current and future projects. His ability to accomplish a given task and demonstrate thorough concern for all areas (no matter how big or small) is critical. He is a graduate from New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering. As a professional member of American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), he has a passion for educating upcoming professionals in the STEM fields.  

His drive and passion to educate not only himself, but to others as well has played a key role. His knowledge and attention to detail is surely an asset to High Water Mark and to the various communities across New Mexico. In his free time, he enjoys taking long drives enjoying the scenery New Mexico has to offer.