Board of Directors

Diana Hadley, Co-President
Diana is a founding board member of NJP. Retired as director of the Arizona State Museum’s Office of Ethnohistorical Research, she specializes in the history of land use and ecological change in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. Diana holds degrees in archaeology and history, and is the former operator of a family ranch. She has organized conferences on grassland restoration, Native American sacred sites, deforestation in the Sierra Madre, and restoration of the Santa Cruz River. Diana has also served on the board of directors of Native Seeds/SEARCH, Audubon Research Ranch, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace, and the Center for Desert Archaeology. 

Matt Skroch, Co-President
Matt is a manager with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ U.S. Lands and Rivers Conservation Program, working with governments and partner organizations to conserve wildlife and public lands in the American West. He has served in numerous roles dedicated to protecting core wild places and connectivity across Arizona, New Mexico, and northern Mexico. From 1998-2008, Matt helped lead the Sky Island Alliance. While there, he hatched the Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment, which would become the first major binational effort to inventory and conserve the natural heritage of the Sky Island ecosystem. Matt has an M.S. in Conservation Planning from the University of Arizona, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow.

Rick Williams, Vice President
After becoming familiar with jaguars in the Southwest, Rick moved to Arizona to assist Carlos López González in maintaining his jaguar research and budding conservation project in the Sierra Madre foothills. Rick worked as a volunteer organizer during the early stages of NJP’s development and eventually settled in Sonora to be more engaged with northern jaguar conservation. He previously worked as a wildlife photographer in the Northern Rockies. Rick was the Northern Jaguar Reserve manager from 2010-2015 and is a founding board member.

Harry Lex, Secretary / Treasurer
Harry has worked as a financial consultant for Fidelity Investments in Arizona and Boston, Massachusetts. He studied business economics at the University of Arizona, during which time he became deeply interested in the conservation of jaguars in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Harry has been able to use his professional knowledge and experience in the financial world, along with his enthusiasm to protect wildlife, to enhance NJP’s mission. He lives in Arkansas and works as a flight instructor at Summit Aviation.

Alberto Búrquez Montijo, Ph.D., Director
Alberto is a population ecologist, desert botanist, and researcher at the Instituto de Ecología of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He received his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Cambridge. The environmental variation and landscapes of northern Mexico and the southwestern U.S. provide him with the ideal setting for comparative studies using the progression of biomes from desert to tropical deciduous forest. Alberto links research and conservation to share scientific knowledge with the general public. He is presently working in population and community ecology of desert plants, plant-animal relationships, biogeography, and conservation of the Sonoran desert.

Aaron Flesch, Ph.D., Director
Aaron has worked in Sonora since 2000 and on the Northern Jaguar Reserve since 2005. He is a research scientist in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona, where he focuses on ecological questions important for the management and conservation of wildlife and habitats. He is the author of nearly 60 publications and technical reports. Aaron is passionate about fieldwork, natural history, and landscape conservation, and is committed to producing science that has both theoretical and applied value. He received his Ph.D. in Organismal Biology and Ecology from the University of Montana.

Carlos López González, Ph.D., Director
Carlos has been researching jaguars and other carnivore species in Mexico and the U.S. since 1992. He is co-author of Borderland Jaguars, a comprehensive analysis of the historic presence of jaguars in the region. Having received his Ph.D. in Biology from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Carlos is a research professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro. His main interests are in predator-prey interactions, vertebrate community ecology, and the behavior and conservation of large mammalian carnivores. Carlos has worked as a research associate for the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative and Denver Zoo.

Angelina Martínez Yrízar, Ph.D., Director
Angelina has worked as a researcher and professor at the Instituto de Ecología of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Hermosillo since 1989. She received her Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Cambridge. Angelina’s research interests are in understanding the functioning of ecosystems in the Sonoran desert and tropical deciduous forests of Mexico, with an emphasis on litter production and decomposition processes. She is a member of the Red Mexicana de Investigación Ecológica a Largo Plazo, analyzing the impact of climatic events on tropical deciduous forest.

Laura Paulson, Director
Laura is the Southwest borderlands program lead for the Wildlife Conservation Society. She has more than 20 years’ experience working with landowners, communities, and governments in Mexico, Indonesia, Latin America, and the U.S. with The Nature Conservancy, Wildlands Network, and the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy. Laura played a lead role in co-creating the Mexico Sustainable Ranching Roundtable, and establishing and managing Mexico’s first conservation bison herd. She serves on the Bison Recovery Task Force for Mexico and plays a coordination role with the Borderlands Linkages Partnership, an initiative to promote collaboration on jaguar conservation in Arizona and Sonora. Laura recieved her M.S. in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona.