Rotary hears from Superintendent Bandelier. Patrick Suddath and hearing loss specialist Monique Hammond – Los Alamos Reporter

Superintendent of the Bandelier National Monument. Patrick Suddeth addresses members of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos. Photo by Linda Hull

Vice president
Rotary Club of Los Alamos

As we approach the end of 2021, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos has been pleased to host special speakers during the holiday season.

In November, speaking to Rotary, Bandelier National Monument Supt. Patrick Suddath recalled his first day of work at Frijoles Canyon, the park’s activity center. Since then he has maintained a steady pace and works closely with Valles Caldera Superintendent Jorge Silva-Bañuelos to “share resources, integrate management across the ecosystem and improve coordination with the parties. stakeholders ”, in particular communication with the Pueblos. The collaboration is a practical proposition because the two parks share a border.

Much of Suddath’s advice on Bandelier has already resulted in critical strategic planning, and with so many visitors in 2021, a record 34,000 in October alone, setting a high standard for improved programming is a big deal. important part of the strategic plan. This will include “engaging the Pueblo peoples and evaluating interpretive media about them”. There will also be a focus on climate change, and there are expectations of partnership on different projects and activities with the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and other community groups.

In addition to these awareness plans, several improvement projects are underway. They include the Agoyo road project, the replacement of roofs in the visitor center area, the rehabilitation of the old fire station, the construction of a retaining wall to stabilize the alcove house with other stabilization work on the kiva, the reconfiguration of the Tsankawi parking lot in coordination with the NM Transport department and anticipating a $ 34 million utility and infrastructure replacement project in 2023.

Suddath, who was born and raised in Albuquerque, visited Bandelier National Monument and the Valles Caldera often as a child, hiking and exploring. He noted that Bandelier “is a different park. There has been a dramatic change in the ecosystem due to climate change. Therefore, it is planned to integrate these scientific observations in new interpretive exhibits in the park.

Prior to accepting the post of superintendent at Bandelier, Suddath was most recently Deputy Superintendent of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, home of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. He was also the head of the ranger activities division in Glacier National Park in Montana. Suddath has worked as a fire watchman and was a wildland firefighter at Mesa Verde National Park and held leadership positions in Joshua Tree and Grand Canyon National Parks.

Although the next few years will not leave much free time for Suddath to enjoy many of his favorite activities – hiking, biking and skiing – his leadership and the teamwork of his staff will ensure that Bandelier National Monument , our backyard treasure, continues to provide relevant educational and outdoor opportunities to its visitors.

For more information on the Bandelier National Monument, go to; 505-672-3861

courtesy photo

Monique Hammond’s book. Courtesy photo

“Hearing loss was suddenly so much more than not hearing well,” hearing loss specialist Monique Hammond explained in November when she joined the Rotary Club of Los Alamos by Zoom from her home in Minneapolis. Hammond elaborated, describing how she had enjoyed a successful career as a hospital pharmacist, but in 2005 she experienced “sudden deafness” in her left ear during a church fundraiser where loud music played. was played. Also known as sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), it presents as “rapid and unexplained hearing loss, usually in one ear, either suddenly or over several days.” It is considered a medical emergency.

The incident has become a “life changer,” Hammond reflected. In just four hours, she had lost all hearing in one ear. For an accomplished pharmacist who graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota School of Pharmacy, she was devastated when she was no longer able to perform her job. In addition to the hearing loss, she had lost her ability to communicate effectively in a difficult position that requires precision.

Hammond then decided to research the broad topic of hearing loss. After five years of study, she wrote a book about her findings titled What did you say? The unexpected journey into the world of hearing loss, now in its second edition. The new editions contain information on research into noise-induced hearing loss, hearing aids, hearing rehabilitation for hearing aid and implant customers, and implantable hearing aids. The book is available on Amazon and at local bookstores.

During his presentation, Hammond discussed various aspects of the hearing. She highlighted two points: “Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent” and “Hearing loss affects people of all ages, including the very young. In fact, she said that “most children over the age of 12 have suffered enough hearing loss to interfere with their studies.”

Hammond cautions his audience to “be careful, not reckless, of exposure to loud noises,” noting that jobs in many occupations, such as building highways and homes, power plants, drilling and mining, and music can easily cause premature aging of the ears. . “Hearing aids are just that,” she reminded Rotarians, “devices”.

Hammond, appointed by the governor of Minnesota, completed two terms as vice-chair of the Minnesota Deaf, Blind and Hard of Hearing Commission, and she is also the past chair of the Minnesota chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America. Hammond regularly speaks to employees and employers in occupations where loud noise is common and is a popular speaker among members of the general public on hearing loss and the dangers of loud noise. Hammond is also a safety consultant on education and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss and has worked in healthcare in the United States, Europe and Australia.

Information on Hammond can be found at

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos meets in person on Tuesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Community Hall, Cottonwood on the Greens, on the golf course. A Zoom option is available by contacting Linda Hull, Vice President of the Rotary Club, 505-662-7950. Hull is also happy to provide information about the Club and its humanitarian service.

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