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Board of Directors

John ShepardJohn Shepard, Board President

John Shepard is the senior director of programs at the Sonoran Institute, responsible for ensuring that the organization’s programs align with the mission and vision of the organization. John oversees all programs and works with staff in program planning, implementation, and evaluation. He also is responsible for new program development and assists with fundraising at the organizational and program level. John has launched the Institute’s renewable energy program, as well as training programs on community land-use planning for rural western county commissioners, integrating conservation into master-planned communities for developers, and partnership building for public land managers and gateway communities. He also established Building from the Best of Tucson, a project that promotes development consistent with Tucson’s building traditions and appropriate for a desert community. Before joining the Institute, John worked for seven years in resource development at The Wilderness Society and for five years conducting a series of investigative reports on federal health and safety programs for a consumer advocacy organization.

Margo Garcia Margot Garcia, Board Vice-President

Margot attended UC Berkeley, University of New Mexico, and earned a MSc in Botany in 1965 at UW Madison. She attended the U of A while being an at-home Mom to two children, volunteering in a variety of organizations, and was elected to the Tucson City Council in 1975. She earned a PhD in Watershed Management in 1979. She worked for the Coronado and the San Bernardino National Forest, taught at ASU in the Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture Department, and was chair of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University. In Tucson, she has been a member of the Environmental Services Advisory Committee, Transit Task Force, and a leader in the Broadway Coalition. Margot is delighted to return to her first love: watersheds and their importance in clean and adequate water supplies.

Garry ForgerGarry Forger, Board Secretary

Garry is currently the outreach coordinator for the Office of Instruction and Assessment at the University of Arizona. Moving to Tucson in 1997, he instantly fell in love with the Sonoran Desert and its environs. Garry has worked in the information field for over 20 years. With a background in historical and archaeological research and working in public libraries, medical informatics, academic information systems, metadata consulting and educational technology. With a long time interest in the environment, Garry has participated in many community activities, is a member of the Tumamoc Stewards program for the Desert Lab of the UofA, was in the first class of the Master Watershed Stewards program, has participated in community education programs of the Sonoran Institute, has volunteered for Saguaro National Park service for many years, was on the board of the Friends of Kartchner Caverns, and has coordinated activities for Environmental Summer Field schools for high school students. With a B.S. in History, with Minors in Education and Anthropology from the SUNY Oneonta, and a Masters in Library Science from Syracuse University and is always looking for new opportunities to learn.

Ceanne AlvineCeanne Alvine, Board Treasurer

Ceanne, PhD, RN spent her career in the healthcare industry. Her current interests are in promoting healthy desert ecosystems in the urban environment that will in turn enhance the well-being and health of the human population. Ceanne is a life-long environmentalist with a passion for water conservation, desert ecology, and wolf restoration programs. She hopes to use her healthcare policy experience and public health knowledge to further the mission of WMG. Ceanne enjoys gardening, water harvesting, bicycling, and spending time with her family.


Ceanne AlvineEmma Bowers, Board Member

Emma Bowers is a biomedical scientist turned entrepreneur whose hobbies and passions closely align with the goals of WMG. Emma moved to Tucson in 2017 when she accepted a post-doctoral research position at the University of Arizona exploring the connection between carcinogens and lung cancer. Previously she obtained her PhD in Toxicology from UNC Chapel Hill where she studied the effects of air pollutants on human health. Emma also has a MS in Environmental Biology from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Emma is currently applying her years of research experience to her new venture, launching a biotech startup. In addition to her formal education Emma has extensive practical work experience and a background in scientific communication, outreach, and citizen science. Emma is passionate about water quality and conservation which fuels her enthusiasm for hobbies such as gardening, hiking, composting, and incorporating water retention features in her yard.

Mark BriggseMark Briggs, Board Member

Mark Briggs is a stream restoration ecologist with over 25 years of experience working on rivers across the western U.S. and northern Mexico, including the Rio Grande/Bravo, Rio Conchos, Colorado River and its delta, Santa Cruz River, Little Colorado River, Gila River. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in biology from the University of Delaware (1983) and Master’s of Science in watershed management from the University of Arizona (1992). Before joining REW, Mark spent a decade working on stream conservation efforts with the Sonoran Institute (1992-2002, Tucson, Arizona), five years as a restoration consultant (2002 – 2007) and, 12 years with the World Wildlife Fund’s Fresh Water and Rio Grande/Bravo Programs where he led a bi-national response to bring back the Rio Conchos and Rio Grande/Rio Bravo in west Texas, northern Chihuahua and Coahuila. He currently works with RiversEdge West on stream restoration in southern Arizona. His technical publications include two books on how to develop river restoration projects and numerous articles on restoration, monitoring, and natural resource research. Mark has been on the editorial board of the international journal Restoration Ecology for over a decade. Mark spends much of his free time listening to music, hiking, biking, floating rivers, and writing.

Dr. L. René CorralesDr. L. René Corrales, Board Member

Dr. L. René Corrales received his M.Ed. from the University of Arizona South in 2015, his PhD from the University of California, San Diego in 1988, his M.S. from UCSD in 1983, and his S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982. He was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas from 1989 to 1991, and then joined the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory from 1991 to 2006. In 2006, Dr. Corrales joined the faculty at the University of Arizona in a joint position with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry where he led a computational materials chemistry effort. He received the UA Honors College Excellence in Teaching award in 2013. More recently, he has spent several years teaching secondary science during which time he has received several teaching honors including the NSTA Vernier Technology Science Teaching Award and the ACS Southern Arizona Division High School Chemistry Teacher of the Year Award. Currently, he teaches middle school mathematics and science at Santa Cruz Catholic School and concurrently holds an adjunct position with the University of Arizona South where he teaches pedagogical content knowledge to aspiring STEM teaching interns.

Jennifer DiffleyJennifer Diffley, Board Member

Jennifer is a partner at Culp & Kelly, LLP, a mission-driven law and policy firm, where she supports public, private, and nonprofit clients on natural resources management and water law and policy matters. Her work focuses on water scarcity issues in the Western United States, sustainable groundwater management, planning for uncertainty and building climate resilience, conservation program strategy and finance, and collaborative planning and advocacy. Jennifer also has experience in government and utilities law, social science, and environmental science, education, and restoration programs, including serving as an environmental program volunteer for two years in the U.S. Peace Corps. She first worked with WMG in 2017 to design a rainwater harvesting system and Sonoran food forest for her home in Phoenix.

Brian DrummondBrian Drummond, Board Member

Brian moved to Tucson in 2012 after serving 10 years in the US Navy. In making this decision, he understood the need to live sustainably in an area without a natural water source. To help offset his footprint, Brian has installed rainwater harvesting cisterns, two greywater systems and spends his free time creating passive rainwater collecting earthworks at his house. He is blessed to be able to serve with an organization that shares his passion for water conservation and becoming involved in the community. Brian works as an Emergency Physician here in Tucson and loves to travel, teach, and play games while spending time with his amazing wife and three active boys.


Judith LeFevreJudith LeFevre, Board Member

Judy arrived in the Sonoran Desert in the early 1970s, relocating with her family from the Midwest. After earning a BA in Education from the University of Arizona, she taught and coached teachers in middle school general education and special education programs for over 30 years, primarily in underserved communities in Southern Arizona and NYC. Currently, she serves as a part-time Senior Educational Consultant for nonprofit Teaching Matters and a University Supervisor of undergrad field experiences for NAU College of Education. An Arizona Master Teacher, Judy’s career emphasis in K-12 curricular design and instruction has been on student-centered, project-focused inquiry and place-based learning that is accessible for all youth. As a graduate student at the U of A, she co-designed the original Earth Camp program at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Judy earned a master's degree in Teaching and Teacher Education with an Environmental Learning, arid lands emphasis. When she's not engaged in consulting and a few volunteer projects, she can be found sharing meals and movies with local family and friends, hiking in and around various Southwest U.S watersheds, or taking road/camping trips to visit family via national parks or wilderness areas. Judy is committed to supporting WMG’s mission and vision for water sustainability, including Schoolyard Water Education and river restoration.

Jennifer PsillasJennifer Psillas, Board Member

Jennifer is a GIS Project Manager for the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department. She has a background in physical sciences and natural resources, with degrees in Geology, Geography, Watershed Management, and GIS, and holds WMG’s certification in Water Harvesting Design. Jennifer is a long-time supporter of WMG who started out as a Green Living Co-op member and donor before joining the board in 2017. A Tucsonan since 1998, Jennifer enjoys road trips and camping, dabbles in assorted crafts, and wants to pet every dog she encounters.

Jesús Treviño, Ph.D.Jesús Treviño, Ph.D., Board Member

Jesús Treviño is the Senior Executive Officer for the Leadership in Diversity Group, a diversity and inclusion consulting firm in Tucson, AZ. Dr. Treviño earned both a PhD and a master's degree in Higher Education from UCLA. He also has a second master's degree in Language and International Business as well as a bachelor's degree in Social Work from Eastern Michigan University.



If you are interested in actively serving on the Board of Directors, please contact us.

We are seeking technical advisers, enthusiastic fundraisers, community organizers, or, most importantly, motivated individuals committed to our mission.