Board of Directors
Diana Hadley, President
Diana is president of the Northern Jaguar Project. Now retired as associate curator of ethnohistory and director of the Arizona State Museum’s Office of Ethnohistorical Research at the University of Arizona, she specializes in the history of land use and ecological change in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. She has co-authored book-length studies of Aravaipa Canyon, San Rafael Valley, Bonita Creek, the Arizona-New Mexico borderlands, and upper San Pedro Valley. Raised in Arizona, Diana is the former operator of a family ranch. She has served on the board of directors of Native Seeds/SEARCH, the Audubon Research Ranch, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission. Diana has organized conferences on grassland restoration, Native American sacred sites, deforestation in the Sierra Madres, prairie dog ecology, and restoration of the Santa Cruz River. She is one of the incorporators of the Northern Jaguar Project and has served as president since its inception.
Laura Paulson, Secretary
Laura is The Nature Conservancy’s arid lands program manager and has experience in the fields of conservation and rural development since 1997. Laura is responsible for providing strategic direction and day-to-day management of The Nature Conservancy’s conservation work in northern Mexico. Prior to her current position, she was the Conservancy’s private lands conservation program manager and worked across Mexico to develop and implement strategies focused on private and social lands conservation. Laura has served as a consultant for the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and the Latin American Area Center of the University of Arizona, where she examined rural land use issues in Mexico, and also with the Gunung Palung Community Forest Management Project in Indonesia focusing on the creation of a community-managed timber concession. With a M.S. in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona, Laura also serves on the management board of the Sonoran Joint Venture.
Matt Skroch, Treasurer
Matt has worked to integrate science, policy development, and grassroots organizing to protect the Southwest’s imperiled wildlands and wildlife since 1998. For ten years, he led conservation initiatives in the Madrean Archipelago of Arizona and Sonora for the Sky Island Alliance, where he served in a number of roles including programs director, then executive director until 2009. Matt launched the Sky Island Alliance’s northern Mexico conservation program, which is committed to protecting landscape linkages and core habitat for jaguars and ocelots in collaboration with landowners and Mexican conservation agencies. He is also credited with launching the Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment, the first comprehensive inventory of biodiversity across the northern Madrean Biogeographic Province of Sonora, Mexico. Matt has a strong affection for wilderness, and he has led legislative-based conservation campaigns to protect imperiled landscapes such as the Tumacacori Highlands, where resident jaguars have been documented in southeastern Arizona. He currently serves as senior associate with the Pew Environment Group, working to empower conservation organizations across the West to protect wilderness on public lands. Matt has a B.S. from Iowa State University and an M.S. from the University of Arizona, where he studied as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow.
Aaron Flesch, PhD, Board Member
Aaron is a research scientist in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona, where he focuses on ecological questions related to the management and conservation of wildlife populations and habitats. Aaron has worked as a biologist in southwestern North America since 1996, has studied wildlife and plant communities in Sonora since 2000, and has conducted extensive fieldwork on the Northern Jaguar Reserve since 2005. He is the author of more than 40 publications and technical reports, many of which focus on the ecology and conservation of vertebrate populations in the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico. Aaron is passionate about fieldwork, natural history, and landscape exploration, and he is committed to producing science that has both theoretical and applied value. Some of his recent projects have focused on the ecology of pygmy owls and elf owls in the Sonoran desert; the distribution, abundance, habitat relationships, and biogeography of breeding birds in the Sky Islands and adjacent Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico; and temporal dynamics of small vertebrate populations in the Sonoran desert. Aaron has a B.A. from Prescott College, an M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in Organismal Biology and Ecology from the University of Montana.
Rick Williams, Board Member
Rick is one of the incorporators of the Northern Jaguar Project and is a founding board member. He served as treasurer from the organization’s inception until 2012. Prior to the formalization of the Northern Jaguar Project, Rick was a wildlife photographer in the Northern Rockies with works appearing at art shows, regional galleries, the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and Grand Teton National Park’s visitor centers. After becoming familiar with the jaguars of the Southwest, Rick moved from Driggs, Idaho, to Tucson, Arizona, to assist Carlos López González in maintaining his jaguar research and budding conservation project in the Sierra Madre foothills. Rick worked as volunteer organizer and coordinator during the early stages of the Northern Jaguar Project’s development and eventually settled in Sonora to be more fully engaged with northern jaguar conservation. Most recently, he worked as the Northern Jaguar Reserve manager from 2010-2015.