Denise Thronas is both Ohkay Owingeh (formerly San Juan Pueblo) and Taos Pueblo Native American. She currently resides on the Ohkay Owingeh reservation.
After graduating from Española Valley High School, she attended New Mexico State University and graduated in 1996 with a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry. Denise has worked for 22 years at LANL in Organic Chemistry, Actinide Analytical Chemistry, and Actinide Manufacturing Group in the capacity of technician, project leader and First Line Manager. Most notably, Denise fabricated radioactive standards for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) certification and worked on heat sources for NASA in support of the Mars missions.
Currently, she holds a First Line Manager position for the Actinide Engineering and Science Group. Denise is active with the Laboratory’s education programs and initiatives, having served as science fair judge, tutor, and informal mentor to student interns. She has made formal presentations about her work experience to numerous student groups visiting the Lab and actively participates in science education outreach, working with elementary age students to reinforce science and math concepts in the classroom.
Additionally, Denise has served as the chairperson for the Indian Education Committee representing San Juan Pueblo Elementary School and was a Cub Scout Master for San Juan Parish. She began serving on the LANL Foundation Board in 2016.