Angelina Amparo Lutz

Interim Executive Director

Born in San Diego and raised in the Imperial Valley, Angelina has called Ocotillo home since she was seven years old. She graduated from Grossmont College with an AA in Social & Behavioral Sciences in 2014. Angelina has taken multiple roles since her start at the Museum and has overseen many education projects and programs.

You can contact Angelina at

Ryan Pagett

Head Curator

With a bachelor’s in art education and a master’s in art history and visual culture, Ryan has come from Madison, GA to work as a Curator for Imperial Valley Desert Museum, focusing on bringing world-class exhibits and archiving museum objects and materials to the Valley. Before working with IVDM, Ryan worked with the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art (STMA) as a Curatorial Assistant.

While working at STMA, Ryan has had the opportunity to work within the museum’s archives, which hold over 700 works in its permanent collection, as well as 6000+ works through the Steffen Thomas Family Collection. He has also had several opportunities to curate several exhibitions at STMA. Digital catalogs, designed by Ryan for these exhibitions, can be found on the STMA website.

As IVDM's Head Curator, Ryan looks to engage the Imperial Valley community with wildlife and cultures of the desert. Working as a liaison between IVDM and indigenous communities in San Diego and Imperial Counties, Ryan looks to engage with contemporary indigenous artists and tribal members to develop new exhibits and displays for communities to see here in the valley.

David Arevalo

Education Coordinator

Since Graduating from Southwest High School and attending Imperial Valley College ultimately working his way to UCLA and always maintaining a deep passion for history throughout his academic career. Which ultimately pushed him to pursue graduate study in history specializing in the medieval field. David's dream is to ultimately obtain a Ph.D. in medieval studies and become a professor. 

Although coming from a medieval history background. David always saw the importance in history education, leading him to IVDM. David is looking forward to working with the staff in creating fun and engaging activities to share the Imperial Valley's history with the community.

Frank Salazar

Indigenous Kumeyaay Collections Consultant

Frank Salazar, a member of the Campo Band of Mission Indians, was born during the civil rights movement era of the 1960s. He graduated High School in 1985 and Enlisted in the U.S. Army for the Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia. He served four years active duty, two as 8th Infantry Division in Europe, and 2 in the Mojave Desert U.S. Army National Training Center, 177th Armored Brigade.
He also served two years in U.S. Army National Guard 40th Infantry Division in San Diego. He was deployed to the streets of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots Civil Disturbance in Compton and Watts. Frank finished his four year active duty enlistment as an E-4 Specialist (Promotable) and his two year National Guard Enlistment as an E-5 Sergeant.

Frank attended Junior College after leaving active duty in 1989. He studied various subject matter such as Environmental Biology, Geology, and Radio and Television Communications. Soon after he we went to work  for his tribe in 1994, in the field of NAGPRA Repatration.  His work has included working with the Kumeyaay Cultural Preservation Association, a consortium of tribes working to strengthen community and cultural. Elders and Cultural Dignitaries were the leadership heads. Frank took his cultural directives from these leaders.

Working in all aspects of NAGPRA consultation and repatriation, Frank acted as an Indigenous Kumeyaay representative on archaeological field surveys, excavations, surface and sub surface ground disturbances and energy projects on military bases, Bureau of Land Management, local, state and federal lands for nearly 30 years. 

Frank has presented at the Annual Society For Applied Anthropology Conference with Dr. Florence Shipek on the Indigenous Kumeyaay Cultural perspective on NAGPRA and repatriation, the Society for California Archaeology, Government to Government Panels, UCLA Tribal Repatriation Panel and numerous other meetings engaging in Repatration, Cultural Preservation, Cultural resources management and Museum studies.

Frank has attended trainings for tribal museums and repositories sponsored by the Smithsonian American Indian Museums Studies Program. He has worked with numerous Facilities throughout his career, from Catalina Island, Cherokee and Menominee reservations, to Phoebe Hearst.

Frank developed cultural sensitivity training guidelines for the ocotillo wind project while also being a tribal representative in the field archaeology surveys and monitoring ground disturbance near cultural sites. Frank presented these cultural sensitivity training and guidelines to sunrise powerlink project managers.

As an Indigenous Cultural Knowledge keeper on museum staff member at IVDM, Frank has put fourth the effort to involve himself and others as much as possible in preserving the legacy of his people and tell their story. 
He has enacted a complete NAGPRA review of the IVDM collections. He has coordinated with the Elders Group consortium of Southern Indian Health Council to being tribal elders out for lunch at the museum in the desert. Frank has worked with the museum in cataloging, collections storage and care as part of the permanent exhibit design team. Frank continues to share what he has learned in his personal life, his indigenous life and his professional life with those who will listen-

-Sometimes its only the wind that listens, but its enough because the wind goes on forever-                     

-Ha-Emah (Dances with Water) FJ Salazar III