Board of Directors

The Newton Conservators is managed by a Board of Directors and Officers, all of whom are elected by our membership at the Annual Meeting in May.

The Board meets monthly, except in August, and keeps minutes of its meetings. Our work is governed by a set of bylaws adopted by the membership and policies adopted by the Board. We receive assistance from a group of Advisors.

View our Financial Statements, Treasurer’s Reports, Audit Committee Reports, and our MA Form PC/IRS 990 filings here

List of past presidents


Board Biographies


Board of Directors

Alice Ingerson, President

Nyssa Patten, Vice President

Michael Clarke, Secretary

Katherine Howard, Treasurer

Bill Hagar, Past Co-President

Chris Hepburn, Past Co-President

Board photo
A Conservators board meeting at the Waban Library Center in March 2018 (photo by Henry Finch)

Alice Ingerson, President

Alice Ingerson retired early in 2020 after serving for 12 years as the staff manager of Newton’s Community Preservation Program. She has also worked for the Forest History Society, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the Arnold Arboretum, and Historic Newton; held a Bullard Fellowship at the Harvard Forest; and taught courses and workshops in environmental history and policy. For her graduate degrees in cultural anthropology, she did fieldwork in Ireland and Portugal. Her special interest in retirement is in using local history to inform current community debates about land use, including both open space and affordable housing. Alice Ingerson joined the Conservators’ board in June 2021.

Nyssa Patten, Vice President

Nyssa Patten has been involved with the Conservators since 2016, participating in the yearly walks and pulling invasive weeds. She joined the board in 2017.

When not outside, Nyssa is an ESL teacher at Watertown High School. She received a masters degree from Simmons University in Teaching English as a Second Language in 2006. She also earned a secondary teaching license in history from the state of Massachusetts in 2007. She has been teaching US History and the English language to the international students at WHS since 2007.

Michael Clarke, Secretary

Michael Clarke is a retired professor of chemistry at Boston College. He has been on the Newton Conservators Board of Directors since 1992 and was Vice President from 1995-1996, President from 1997-1999 and Past President from 1999-2001.

He has also served as an alternate member of the Parks and Recreation Commission since 1993. He was the Mayoral appointee for Open Space to the Newton Community Preservation Committee from 2009 to 2017. He chaired the Newton Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force in 2005.

Katherine Howard, Treasurer

Katherine Howard has been the Newton Conservators Treasurer since 1999. She is retired, following a career in not-for-profit health care financial management. Her interests include invasive plant species management in our parks, and native plant gardening. She is a founding director of Newton Tree Conservancy, is a director of Friends of Cold Spring Park, rescues lost cats, and tutors in the Boston Public Schools.

Bill Hagar, Past Co-President

Bill Hagar is an Associate Dean of the College of Science at the University of Massachusetts. He has taught biology and biochemistry classes for over 30 years. His research interest includes environmental monitoring, and teaching science topics through experimentation. He is a supporter of science education at all levels and has judged high school science fairs and Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair finals since 1993. Bill has been a member of the Board of Directors of Newton Conservators since 1992, and was president from June 2005 to June 2008. He has been on the Grants Committee of the Conservators for over twenty years and is currently the chair of the committee. He and his wife, Dottie, lead canoe trips on the Charles River for the Conservators.

Chris Hepburn, Past Co-President

Chris Hepburn has been a member of the Conservators for many years and joined the Board in 2014. Chris is a geologist and retired professor of geology from Boston College specializing in igneous and metamorphic rocks, geochemistry, and plate tectonics applied to the formation of the Appalachians. He has held many positions with the Geological Society of America and received their Distinguished Service Award in 2016. Chris also serves as President of the Friends of Nahanton Park. He is an avid birder and travels widely to see both rocks and birds.

David Backer

David S. Backer PhD was for 18 years the Executive Director of the Environmental Science Program, an outdoor educational program for teenagers. He is working with climate activists on finance and its impact on the climate, and on public policy related to the environment. He is also the Chief Technology Officer of “the new studio” in Newton. Previously he was the Director of the International Thomson Publishing Multimedia Consortium, and a founder and manager at technology start-ups. He is keenly interested in paleontology and works at museum-sponsored digs in North Dakota.

He earned a PhD from the MIT Media Laboratory. He holds an MS in Computer and Information Science from UMASS, Amherst, where he taught computer graphics in the Fine Arts Department with Prof. Robert Mallary. He also has a BS in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from Washington University, St. Louis.

Peter Barrer

Peter joined the Conservators board in 2018. In his engineering career, he provided energy efficiency advice to owners of large institutional, industrial, and commercial properties. He currently is Co-chair of Newton’s Design Review Committee, which provides guidance on city construction projects.

He has also served as president of the boards of Newton Community Farm, Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries and WCI, which provides services to developmentally disabled adults.

Barbara Bates

Barbara Bates was a part-time teacher naturalist for the Mass Audubon Society’s Habitat Sanctuary in Belmont for 18 years. She currently leads guided nature walks through Newton’s open spaces for Newton Conservators. She also presents nature programs for the Conservators and tech hosts their webinars. She joined the Conservators Board in 2018.

Barbara has retired several times – first from a lifetime of working in the high-tech world, and second from organizational effectiveness consulting and serving as adjunct faculty for several colleges teaching negotiation and conflict resolution. She loves all things nature and is not sure if she will ever retire from SCUBA diving or leading nature programs.

Dan Brody

Dan Brody managed the Conservators website for many years. He’s lived in Newton Highlands for many years, and is an active hiker and nature photographer. He is a member of the Newton Community Preservation Committee. Professionally, he has done data management for progressive political campaigns, including for Ed Markey’s campaigns for US Senate and ballot initiatives organized by Raise Up Massachusetts. He previously served as chief financial officer for the Harvard Kennedy School, and as Massachusetts Deputy State Budget Director.

Bonnie Carter

Bonnie Carter has been a board member since about 1988. While serving as president of the League of Women Voters of Newton in 1993-94, she was asked to serve as vice president of the Newton Conservators (under the presidency of Roger Feinstein). Fortunately, the office of vice president made few demands on her time, allowing her to concentrate on her flute lessons and tennis game.

During the 1980s, Bonnie worked as an apprentice in a furniture repair shop. From 1992 to 2008, she was employed as administrative assistant at NewTV. Over the years, she has worked on the newsletters for both the League and the Conservators, and has pasted more labels that you can count. Now, with newsletters going digital, she faces unemployment.

Samantha (Sam) Corbin

Samantha Corbin grew up in Central Massachusetts, but moved to Newton shortly after graduating from Framingham State University where she obtained her bachelors in Biology with a Concentration in Wildlife Science. She currently works as an Aquatic Biologist who specializes in the management of invasive aquatic plants. Eager to find additional avenues where she can act on her passion for conserving our natural world, she discovered the Newton Conservators and has been a board member since July of 2021. Sam considers helping remove invasive plants and managing the fall walk series to be highlights of her first year on the board.
While Sam’s current career focuses on freshwater plants, her interests extend into all things wild and marine life (especially the critters!). Constantly seeking to learn more, she spends her free time hiking with a backpack full of field guides and researching marine animals. You may even find her “herping” in Bare Pond or sifting through seaweed clusters that have drifted onto the beach.

Henry Finch

Waban architect Henry Finch is the Conservators’ go-to guy for unique public walks, hikes, and bikes. Henry’s guided hikes and bike rides through the woods, meadows, and fields along the Newton sections of the Sudbury and Cochituate Aqueducts continually top the list of the public’s favorite Conservators activities. Henry is a Conservators representative to the Riverside Trails Working Group.

Maurice (Pete) Gilmore

Pete is a retired mathematician from Northeastern University (1966-2008). He was Chair of the Mathematics Department (1975-1988), worked on Math reform in the Boston Public Schools (1990-2008), and did similar work in other middle and high schools in eastern Massachusetts.

He’s been a birder since 1951 and has been active in Newton’s Christmas Bird Count for 15 years. He’s a board member of Newton Conservators (2005 – present), writes a quarterly article on Newton’s birds for the newsletter, leads spring and fall bird and nature walks, and is a member of the Friends of Nahanton Park. Pete served on the board of the Brookline Bird Club, and was its field trip coordinator for many years before retiring in 2023.

Daniel Green

Daniel Green is President of The Green Company, a Massachusetts-based construction and development firm that creates, designs and builds award-winning, environmentally sensitive residential communities. Green is a third-generation builder who enjoys creating communities of homes with environmentally friendly features.

He has served on the Conservators board since 2003. He also sits on the City of Newton Conservation Commission and was previously on City of Newton Community Preservation Committee. Green is currently a judge and standards writer for the National Housing Quality Award, which is modeled after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and represents the housing industry’s highest recognition for achievements in total quality management.

Ted Kuklinski

Ted Kuklinski grew up in Philadelphia, where he learned to appreciate nature in its vast Fairmount Park. He has been a board member since the late 1990’s and has served as president, e-Bulletin editor, video producer, walk leader, lecture coordinator, and is particularly active as a steward at the Dolan Pond Conservation Area in West Newton. He is also a member of the Newton’s Off-Leash Area Working Group and board member of Friends of Wellington Park. He enjoys birding, playing harmonica and ukulele, and is an avid volleyball and pickleball player. He holds a BSEE from Drexel University and MS and PhD from MIT in computer science and electrical engineering, and is now retired after a career in local tech startups in the fields of pattern recognition and image processing.

Kenneth Mallory

Kenneth Mallory is the former Editor-in-chief of Publishing Programs at the New England Aquarium, where he helped produce over twenty books and wrote nine non-fiction books for children ten years and older. His photography was an important part of each of these books for Houghton Mifflin, Crown, Simon and Schuster, and Harcourt Brace, among others.

During his time at the Aquarium his photographic specialty was in wetlands such as the Everglades in Florida, the dry forest in Costa Rica, and wildlife from the Pantanal in Brazil. Since his retirement, he and his wife Margaret have traveled to document people of different cultures including India, Guatemala, and Mexico.

Jonathan Regosin

Dr. Jonathan Regosin is currently a Technical Advisor and Consulting Biologist for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife. From 2018 to 2023, he served as the agency’s Deputy Director. Previously, he managed science and habitat conservation programs as Chief of Conservation Science for Massachusetts’ Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP). He also served as the Regulatory Review Manager and the Reptile and Amphibian Biologist for NHESP. Jon received a MS in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Biology from Tufts University. His research has focused on a variety of species including protected species such as blue-spotted salamanders, northern red-bellied cooters, and piping plovers. Jon joined the Newton Conservators Board in May 2023.

Larry Smith

Larry is president of Charles River Recreation, which operates PaddleBoston, Weston Ski Track, and Kendall Community Skating. One of the boat rental centers is for the City of Newton at Nahanton Park. He enjoys introducing folks to local opportunities for year-round outdoor recreation and protecting these resources for future enjoyment. Larry has worked closely with the Charles River Watershed Association on their annual Run of the Charles canoe/kayak race and to remove invasive water chestnut plants from the river. He is a member of the The Riverside Greenway Working Group to create a trail over two abandoned railroad bridges connecting Newton Lower Falls and Riverside MBTA Station, and to increase access to the paths along the Charles.

Beth Wilkinson

Beth Wilkinson joined the Conservators’ board in 2011, was newsletter editor for several years, and served as president from 2014 to 2019. She initiated the Newton Conservators fall and spring webinar series and has curated them since fall 2020. She also is a member of Newton’s Parks & Recreation Commission, Urban Tree Commission, and the Farm Commission.

Beth has been active in city organizations for many years, including terms as PTO Council president and a trustee of the Newton Free Library. Previously, she was a college textbook editor. In addition to a graduate degree in English, she has a certificate in Field Botany from the Native Plant Trust.