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Math & Science Faculty

Warren McClure

Warren McClure

Department Chair, Faculty - Biology

(719) 384-6803
Wheeler Hall 125

Hello!  My name is Warren McClure. For the last 13 years, I have been teaching biology classes at Otero. Courses I teach or have taught include General Biology 1 and 2, Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2 and an occasional Ag or Chemistry class.

Teaching at Otero has been a homecoming of sorts. I grew up in Olney Springs and graduated from Crowley Count High School a long time ago. My undergraduate work was done at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO, where I received a BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Fort Lewis is also where I was introduced to undergraduate research. While there, I studied the effects of exercise on mitochondrial gene expression. After graduating, I attended the University of Texas, Houston Medical School branch. There, I worked with Frank W. Booth, PhD ( and studied exercise induced and fiber type differential gene expression in skeletal muscle. After obtaining a MS in Integrative Biology at UT Houston, I worked as a research associate at AMC Cancer Research in Denver. Later, I took a lab manager position at CU-Denver working with Brian Tseng MD/PhD who is a leader in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. Eventually, I made my way to Otero in Fall of 2009.

Since arriving at Otero, I discovered that I truly enjoy teaching! In addition, I have discovered new research interests through projects carried out with student help.

The following are some of the projects that students have helped develop:

>Tracking wildlife using camera traps Ryan’s Ponds and at JE Canyon Ranch.

>Discovering and uncovering 210-million-year-old dinosaur tracks.

>Exploring fossilized remains of new species from the Triassic strata of JE Canyon ranch.


Selected publications:

Kligman, B., McClure, W., Korbitz, M., & Schumacher, B. (2021). New sphenodontian (Reptilia: Lepidosauria) from a novel Late Triassic paleobiota in western North America sheds light on the earliest radiation of herbivorous lepidosaurs. Journal of Paleontology, 95(4), 827-844. doi:10.1017/jpa.2021.22

McClure, W.C., Lockley, M., Schumacher, B.A., and Korbitz, M., 2021, An Eosauropus trackway with gait irregularities from the Chinle Group (Upper Triassic) of southeastern Colorado: New Mexico Museum of Natural History Bulletin, v. 82., p. 249–258

McClure WC, Rabon RE, Ogawa H, Tseng BS. Upregulation of the creatine synthetic pathway in skeletal muscles of mature mdx mice. Neuromuscul Disord. 2007;17(8):639-650. doi:10.1016/j.nmd.2007.04.008

Brian Beyerl

Brian Beyerl


(719) 384-6836
McBride Hall 129

Hello, my name is Brian Beyerl. I have been teaching mathematics at Otero College for the last four years. The courses I have taught are: Intermediate Algebra, Math for Clinical Calculation, Math for Liberal Arts, College Algebra, Statistics, Survey of Calculus, Calculus I, various support classes, and my favorite, Trigonometry.

I actually grew up in Rockford, Illinois. I attended Northern Illinois University and got my Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Mathematics and my Master’s Degree in Educational Mathematics as well as a minor in Chemistry. I then worked at various college campuses in the northern part of northern Illinois. In seeking out a full time position I wound up in La Junta and love teaching here.  

Joel Gray

Joel Gray


(719) 384-6868
Wheeler 116

Curriculum Vitae

Joel L. Gray, Ph. D.

Academic History:

Granted a BA degree from Colorado State College (now University of Northern Colorado), 1972 with a chemistry major.  Enrolling in a graduate level Human Genetics course was not acceptable for declaration for a minor in biology.

Granted a MA degree from the University of Northern Colorado, 1974 with emphasis on Physical Chemistry.

  • The Graduate Committee accepted the original research thesis titled “The Kinetics of the Catalyzed Electron-Transfer Reaction Between Octacyanotunstate (IV) and Hexacyanoferrate (III) Ions” in 1974.

Granted a Ph. D. degree from Colorado State University, 1980 specialized in Physical Chemistry curriculum and research.

  • The Graduate Committee accepted the original research thesis titled “Ionic Interactions in the Liquid State” in 1980.


Aluminum-27 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Study of the Room-Temperature Melt AlCl3/n-Bultylpyridinium Chloride, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 1981, 103, 7147.  Joel L. Gray and Gary E. Maciel

Multinuclear Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Study of Ion Pairing and Solvation in the System Sodium Tetraethylaluminate/Tetrahydrofuran/m-Xylene, Journal of Physical Chemistry, 1983, 87, 5290-5299.  Joel L. Gray and Gary E. Maciel

Multinuclear Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Study of Ion Pairing and Solvation in the System Sodium Tetraethylaluminate/Pyridine/m-Xylene, Journal of Physical Chemistry, 1983, 87, 5418-5421.  Joel L. Gray and Gary E. Maciel

Employment History

Coors Brewing Company, 1978 to 1993, last title - Senior Research Associate

Front Range Community College – Spring semester 1994, Adjunct Chemistry Instructor

Otero College – beginning Fall semester 1994 through Spring 2017

  • Chemistry, Physics and Statistics Instructor
  • Math/Science Department Chair Fall 1999 through Spring 2016.  Continued teaching a full course load or overload and occasionally required to teach remedial math courses.
  • Post retirement Adjunct Chemistry Instructor at Otero 2020 - 2023

Trinidad State Junior College, Adjunct Chemistry Instructor Fall 2021

Lamar Community College, Adjunct Chemistry Instructor Fall 2022

Current Research Interests for Undergraduate Students:

Instrumental development for Radio astronomy

  • Student involvement would include learning the basics of radio astronomy and calibration of the two antenna dishes.  2 hours per week

Volatile Organic Componds, VOC, in surface waters surrounding La Junta

  • Student involvement would include learning the basic operation of the gas chromatograph/mass spectroscope, GC/MS.  Student(s) would assist in surface water collection and sample preparation for analysis by the GC/MS.  2 hours per week

Fourier Transform Infrared, FTIR, spectroscopic analysis of air born methane gas.

  • Student involvement would include learning the basic operation of the FTIR.  Student(s) would assist in the collection of air samples and sample preparation for FTIR analysis.  2 hours per week

Investigations of the esters of creatine using a number of chemical techniques.

Traci Johnson

Traci Johnson


(719) 384-6936
McBride Hall 129

Traci Johnson began teaching at Otero College in the Fall of 2021. She currently teaches College Algebra, Trigonometry, and Introduction to Statistics. Traci believes that her students succeed when they find a love of math. Math is a subject that students often do not like, but her courses are designed to counteract this with a positive environment and a safe place to ask questions. Traci is also an adjunct professor for Colorado University- Denver for their education program. She teaches Math for Elementary Teachers, Elementary Math Teaching I and II. She enjoys developing teaching candidates’ skills in math while allowing them to develop strategies that they will use in their future classrooms to help students gain a deeper understanding of math content.

Traci is originally from the Dallas/Fort Worth area where she grew up playing club soccer. She earned her B.A. in 2009 from Adams State University, in Alamosa Colorado and her M.S. from Colorado State University – Global in Teaching and Learning, with an emphasis in mathematics. Traci previously taught concurrent classes at La Junta High School for Otero College, and Lubbock High School for University of Texas.

In her free time, Traci enjoys traveling, running, cooking, and trying to keep up with her toddler.

Mark Korbitz

Mark Korbitz


(719) 384-6934
Wheeler Hall 114

Mark Korbitz attended several colleges after high school and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York-Albany with majors in biology, psychology and education.  Mark taught and coached as a K-12 instructor in small school districts in Colorado for over 17 years.  He earned a Master of Science degree in Physical Geography in 2000 and subsequently worked in homeland security for a dozen years after 2001.  During these years of service with the government, he attended the intelligence analysis school at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, earned a certificate in counterterrorism from St. Andrew’s University, Scotland, and traveled extensively, completing, then providing, trainings for first responders.

Previous research projects include field raptor biology, archaeological field surveys, risk analysis and communication.  Mark’s interests since undergraduate school include astrophysics, early humans in North America, art, outdoor activities, paleontology, orthodox Christianity, and making stringed musical instruments.  He now teaches earth and space science at Otero College in La Junta, Colorado.  The focus of his current research is Mesozoic paleontology, prehistoric archaeology, musical instrument construction, as well as astronomy.  He and his wife are the parents of four grown children and they have many grandchildren. 

Academic Publications:

New Sphenodontian From Southeast Colorado Reveals the Unique Biota of the Upper Triassic Picketwire Canyonlands; Kligman, Korbitz, McClure, Schumacher

Eosauropus (sauropodomorph) trackway from the Chinle interval (Upper Triassic) of the Purgatoire River Valley, Southeastern Colorado; McClure, Lockley, Korbitz, Schumacher

A new global array of optical telescopes: The Falcon Telescope Network; Chun, Tippets, Grisham, Gray, Korbitz, et al

Resilience is for Research Designs Too: Funders, Researchers and Navigating Study Constraints (Book chapter); Malet, Korbitz

Public Risk Communications in Disaster Recovery: Results from a Biological Decontamination Experiment; Malet, Korbitz

Accountability between Experts and the Public in Times of Risk; Malet, Korbitz

Kimberly Munro

Kimberly Munro, Ph.D.

Faculty - Anthropology, Faculty Professional Development Lead and Director of Undergraduate Research

(719) 384-6878
Wheeler Hall 116

Dr. Kimberly Munro is an Andean archaeologist with over a decade of experience conducting fieldwork in Peru. She is the founder and co-director of the Cosma Archaeological Project (, a long-term research project involving excavation and survey of the upper Nepeña River Valley located in the Andean central highlands (Department of Ancash.) Her work focuses on sacred landscapes, religious developments during the Andean Late Preceramic Period (3000-1800 BCE), religious architecture, syncretism and religious revitilization in the prehistoric past.

Through her work in Cosma she has been awarded a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant, a National Geographic Wyatt Grant, an American Philosophical Society Lewis and Clark Fund Grant for Exploration and Field Research, a Brennan Foundation Grant, and Rust Foundation Grant. In 2019, in collaboration with Mark Korbitz, also of Otero College, Kimberly helped establish an archaeological field program in the canyonlands on Southeast Colorado, in the Chacuaco Creek basin. This project focuses on documenting archaeological sites in the region, and more in-depth excavation in an Archaic rock shelter, in order to establish a better understanding of settlement patterns and history of the region in the Prehistoric past.

Kimberly earned a dual B.A. degree in Anthropology and Religious Studies in 2007 from Florida State University and also holds a M.S. in Geography (Geographic Information Sciences) from FSU. She received her PhD in Anthropology from Louisiana State University in 2018. Kimberly started at Otero College in August of 2021, and currently teaches Cultural Anthropology (ANT 101), and Anthropology of Religion (ANT 225), as well as co-directs the Archaeological Field project, and oversees Undergraduate Research projects and Experiential Learning opportunities as part of the AIM Grant.

When not teaching or conducting research, Kimberly enjoys trail running, hiking with her dog, visiting National Parks, and stand-up paddle boarding. If you would like to get in touch with Kimberly, she can be reached at or @the.field.professor on Instagram.

Recent Publications:

In Preparation   Ikehara Tsukayama, Hugo C., David Chicoine, Marco Pfeiffer, Jenna Hurtubise and Kimberly Munro. Comunidades y Paisajes Cambiantes del Valle de Nepeña. For the volume edited by Alvaro Higueras, Rafael Vega-Centeno y Viviana Siveroni. "Vida, Tierra y Agua: los paisajes humanos, ecológicos y arqueológicos en los Andes Antiguos".

2021     Munro, K. Early States in the Andes, Part I: The Earliest Cities. Popular Archaeology Magazine, Summer 2021 Issue.

Munro, K. Early States in the Andes, Part 2: Bridging the Gap Between the Coast and Highlands. Popular Archaeology Magazine, Fall 2021 Issue.

2019      Navarro Vega, J. and Munro, K. Kunka: un sitio del Periodo Intermedio Tardío en Cosma, Valle Alto de Nepeña – Ancash. Congreso Nacional de Arqueología 4(2): 17-27.

2018     Navarro Vega, J. and Munro, K. El Montículo de Acshipucoto y la Tradición Arquitectónica del Arcaico Tardío en el Valle Alto de Nepeña – Ancash. Congreso Nacional de Arqueología 3(1): 261270.

2017     Navarro Vega, J. and Munro, K. Identidad y persistencia en el valle de Nepeña Perú: Propuestas a partir de las excavaciones en el sitio arqueológico de Cosma, temporadas 2014-2015. Congreso Nacional de Arqueología 2(2): 55-64.

Dr. Munro - Curriculum Vitae

Allan Nolan

Allan Nolan

General Science

(719) 384-6994
Life Science 116

Dr. Nolan is originally from Mississippi and has been teaching science since 2007. Dr. Nolan has a Bachelors degree in Biology Education (2007, The University of Mississippi), a Masters degree in Geoscience (2013, Mississippi State University), and a PhD in Earth and Environmental Science Education (2018, The University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Sherry Herron). In graduate school Dr. Nolan created a geoscience field course for the state of Mississippi and conducted research centered on perceptions and knowledge of evolution among undergraduate students.

As an instructor at Otero College, Dr. Nolan teaches a wide range of science courses including various biology and earth science classes. Dr. Nolan also has roles in both the local science fair as well as Colorado Science Olympiad. For the Arkansas Valley Science and Engineering Fair, Dr. Nolan has acted as the webmaster, technical consultant, and Scoremaster since 2018, and for Colorado Science Olympiad, Dr. Nolan has been the President and State Tournament Director since 2019. Dr. Nolan is the recipient of the 21st Century Classroom Grant, and the Charge Ahead Colorado Grant. Outside of academia, Dr. Nolan has interests in herpetology, geocaching, and electric vehicles.

Dr. Nolan - Curriculum Vitae

Christopher Ward

Christopher Ward


(719) 384-6892
McBride Hall 129

The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well.

-- Alfred Adler

Psychology has gotten a bad rap. Culturally we fear it will show us our own and others’ imperfections. We worry that psychological knowledge will be used against us. In truth, however, psychology is the study of being human. It does not focus on our mistakes or flaws; it makes exceptional our individuality and it makes obvious the union we share with those around us. Psychology is a exploration of who we are as living, thinking, feeling beings in the hope of greater self-understanding, allowing for the opportunity to make desired change.

I am currently a psychology faculty member at Otero College in the Department of Math & Sciences. Previously, I taught an undergraduate college skills course based upon educational psychology research which was designed to promote student academic success and enhance the student college experience. My background includes teaching and supervising counselors-in-training, providing substance use counseling within the criminal justice system, working as a crisis intervention therapist, and providing out-patient community mental health counseling. I received my BA in political science from Colorado State University, MA in clinical mental health counseling from Adams State University, and PhD in counselor education and supervision from the University of Northern Colorado. My research interests include investigating student barriers to academic success, both within and outside the classroom, and exploring how instructors might provide better scaffolding for students to enhance personal and educational experiences throughout their academic journey.

A few things I enjoy include mountain biking, snowboarding, martial arts, boxing, playing soccer, rock climbing, and travel. I moved to La Junta from Greeley, Colorado and have also lived in Fort Collins, CO, Winter Park, CO, and Alamosa, CO, as well as Sacramento, CA, Berkley, CA, and Belleview, ID.


Hauck, A., Persutte-Manning, S. L., Ward, C., Ohde, K., Vaughan, A. L., & Critchlow, C. (2020). Assessing First-Year Seminar Performance with College Engagement, Academic Self-Efficacy, and Student Achievement. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice.

Ward, C., Ohde, K., Rose, J. S., Park, J., & Vaughan, A. L. (2020). First-year seminars: Supporting STEM college student academic success and persistence. The Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 32(2).

Vaughan, A., Dorn, B., Rose, J.S., Ward, C., Hauck, A.A. (2020). Intersection between TRIO/SSS Programs and FYS: Effects on first-generation students. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, 20(15).