Dr. Edward Martinez, President of Luna Community College, is a native of northern New Mexico and a former student of the college he now heads. Martinez is committed to enhancing the partnership between Luna and the communities in its service area for the benefit of students and community members alike. Since his installation as president in June of 2021, Martinez has implemented community education, opened a community kitchen and a food pantry for students, initiated continuing education programs, and re-established both academic and workforce programs placed on hiatus during the pandemic.
During the historic wildfires of the spring and summer of 2022, Martinez opened the college campus to more than 1000 emergency response personnel, as Luna became the US Forest Service Incident Command Center. Post-fire, Martinez has played a major role in bringing land restoration workshops to the community to help address erosion, bring back vegetation and build marketable skills for community members who can now assist others impacted by the wildfires and subsequent floods. Most recently, the college launched its Luna Strong initiative to raise awareness of and promote the eight dimensions of wellness.
Aligned with his strong belief in access to education and equity for underserved populations, Martinez serves on the two local boards, Collaborative Visions in Mora County and the Mora San Miguel Long-term Recovery Group. Both of these organizations are committed to economic development and post wildland fire recovery for northeastern New Mexico. He also serves on the NM MESA Board, a precollege program that prepares NM youth for college and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - STEM.
Prior to his return to Luna as president, Martinez served New Mexico Highlands University as Special Assistant to the President, founding Vice President of Strategic Enrollment Management and Professor of Forestry. In 2019, Martinez was selected as an American Council on Education fellow, completing his fellowship at University of Nevada-Reno. Martinez’ numerous successful grant authorships and publications have received national recognition for their focus on supporting underrepresented populations to succeed in STEM fields.
Martinez received his diploma from Mora High School, his welding certification while studying at Luna Community College and his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences from NMHU. Martinez earned both his Master’s in Environmental and Regional Planning and his Doctorate in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences from Washington State University-Pullman. Martinez lives north of the college in the Monte Aplanado region of the Sangre de Cristos.