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

Ted Kuklinski, President

Chris Hepburn, Vice President

AnnaMaria Abernathy, Secretary

Katherine Howard, Treasurer

Beth Wilkinson, past President

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

Ted Kuklinski, President

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 e-Bulletin editor, lecture coordinator, video producer, walk leader, vice president, and is particularly active at the Dolan Pond Conservation Area in West Newton. He is a member of the Newton’s Off-Leash Area Working Group and a citizen liaison for Wellington Park. He enjoys birding, playing harmonica with several groups, and is an avid volleyball player. He holds a BSEE from Drexel University and MS and PhD from MIT in computer science and electrical engineering, and has had a career in tech startups, most recently retired as chief scientist at Advanced ID Detection /, developing systems to identify fake IDs.

Chris Hepburn, Vice 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.

AnnaMaria Abernathy, Secretary

AnnaMaria Abernathy has served on the Conservators’ board on and off for 40 years, with terms as president and vice-president. She also has worked with the Newton League of Women Voters, both as officer and as a long-time observer and activist on land use issues. Earlier, she taught European history at the college level.

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 also a founding director of Newton Tree Conservancy, volunteers for Newton Food Pantry, and tutors math in the Boston Public Schools.

Beth Wilkinson, past President

Beth Wilkinson joined the Conservators’ board in 2011 and served as president from 2014 until 2019. She is a member of Newton’s Urban Tree Commission and a recent member of the boards of the Newton Tree Conservancy and the Crystal Lake Conservancy. She has a certificate in Field Botany from the Native Plant Trust, where she is a Plant Conservation Volunteer.

David Backer

David S. Backer is the Executive Director of the Environmental Science Program, an outdoor educational program for teenagers. He is also the Chief Technology Officer of 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 involved with public policy protecting the environment.

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 is a part-time teacher naturalist for the Mass Audubon Society’s Habitat Sanctuary in Belmont. She leads guided nature walks for all ages on a variety of subjects from Habitats to Night Flyers. She also presents programs at several continuing care retirement communities and senior centers. 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 thirty years, and is an active hiker and nature photographer. He is a member of the Newton Community Preservation Committee. Professionally, he is a consultant to progressive political campaigns, including those 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.

Michael Clarke

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.

Margaret Doris

Margaret Doris is a writer and bioethicist who has lived in Newton for over 30 years. Margaret has a particular interest in connecting children and their families with the environment, educating and empowering them to take action on issues of concern to them. She has been active in securing Community Preservation Act grants that created or improved access to Newton’s open spaces, and has been a Girl Scout leader, Second Church Sunday school teacher, Horace Mann room parent, Newton Schools Foundation advisory member, president of the non-profit Playground Project, and director of a low-income housing non-profit. A long-time Board member, Margaret has a PhD in bioethics from Boston University.

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 serves on the board of the Brookline Bird Club, and is its field trip coordinator.

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.

Bill Hagar

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.

Alice Ingerson

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.

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.

George Mansfield

George Mansfield is the Town Planner for Carlisle, where he has helped preserve protected open space-now totaling more than 1/3 of that town’s land area. Living in Newton since 1970, his earliest involvement in local affairs was as a founding member (and President) of the Newton Highlands Neighborhood Area Council. He also served on the Newton Highlands Community Development Corp, which preserved the Hyde Center and Brigham House as community facilities. He also negotiated land acquisition to expand Crystal Lake Park.

While serving 26 years on Newton’s Board of Aldermen (City Council), George was an Advisor to the Conservators’ board in the 1990’s and 2000’s. After leaving elected office, he joined the board in 2010, and served as its Vice President for six years. He places a high value on conserving open space, habitat, and recreational opportunities, crucial to a healthy community, whether in a large city like Newton or in a rural town like Carlisle.

Nyssa Patten

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.

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.