Board of Directors and Staff

Alan Hamilton Ph.D., President / Founding Director

photoAlan Hamilton holds a BA in Mythological Studies from Colorado College, an MA in Liberal Arts from Saint John’s College, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. His professional work has been quite varied, including many years working as a psychologist, house builder, marketing consultant and community organizer around river conservation and other environmental issues. After working as the Conservation Director for the New Mexico Wildlife Federation for six years, Alan worked as the New Mexico Wetlands Coordinator for 3 years for Ducks Unlimited and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. One of Alan’s strengths is his ability to find interdisciplinary connections that bring new perspectives and possibilities to difficult situations. He has been writing and lecturing on the link between environmental degradation and cultural depression and the notion that mental health and environmental health are one and the same. A native of Colorado, he has lived in Santa Fe, NM since 1981 with his wife Sarah and daughters Emma and Laura. Along with his family, the cultures, rivers, and landscapes of New Mexico have become primary sources of inspiration which motivates and informs his work.  Alan has recently retired from his private therapeutic practice after 18 years as a clinical psychologist but is still providing qualitative consulting to businesses and organizations on a contractual basis through In-Sight-Consulting.


Todd Lopez, Executive Director

IMG_1066

Todd has been active for over 15 years in private practice as a natural resource, water law and environmental attorney and more than 20 years in non-profit and social justice work. Todd has served on the Board of Directors of several non-profit organizations on issues involving youth, education, peacebuilding, and the environment, and currently serves on the Board of the New Mexico Interfaith Community Housing Development Corporation, Mediators Beyond Borders International and Creativity for Peace. Todd currently oversees administration of the Inspire Santa Fe youth mentorship program (www.inspiresantafe.org) when he’s not wrestling with water rights in the office or with Russian olives in the field.


Reid Whittlesey, Restoration Director

Reid with BDA

Reid graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.S. Environmental Science and Restoration Ecology.  He has successfully managed the implementation of over 20 federal, state, and private water quality, riparian ecosystem, wildlife habitat, and watershed improvement projects over the last 10 years. The partnerships on these projects have included:  United States Forest Service,  New Mexico State Land Office, City and County of  Santa Fe, Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico Environment Department, Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources.  Before becoming the Restoration Director for Rio Grande Return, Reid served briefly as the Restoration Directory WildEarth Guardians after having worked as their Program Field Coordinator for ten years from 2009-2019.


Cameron Weber, Conservation Director

Cameron Photo

Cameron Weber holds a B.A in philosophy from Texas A&M University and a Master of Community and Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico where she focused her thesis research on the use of long term ecological monitoring data for Middle Rio Grande bosque restoration planning and evaluation. Following an early career in organic farm and nursery management, Cameron has remained focused on work that reconnects human and natural systems. As Conservation Director for Rio Grande Return, she draws on her experience as a project manager for a watershed restoration firm, as a program coordinator for a nonprofit dedicated to native plant conservation, and as a consultant specializing in species conservation. Cameron serves on the boards of the Albuquerque Wildlife Federation and the Southwest Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration.


Maureen McCarthy, Restoration Supervisor

Maureen graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in German and Cultural Anthropology. IMG_0643She first explored riparian restoration work in the Pacific NW as a Washington Conservation Corps member after college, and found her way back to the field in 2019, after several years of bakery and non-profit work. Maureen relishes the time in plein air, learning about riparian ecosystems and the ergonomics of carrying heavy things, and providing support in project implementation and logistics with Rio Grande Return.


Steve Harris, Board Member

steve-copy.jpgSteve Harris is executive director of Rio Grande Restoration non-profit river conservation group dedicated to protection of the ecological and economic values provided by the Rio Grande. In this capacity, he writes, speaks and advocates for the resolution of river issues, especially policies to protect flowing water.  He has participated in river restoration projects, such as the Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Collaborative Program, in public policy forums, such as regional water planning and presently manages the Rio Chama Flow Project. He is also, since 1976, the owner of the river touring company Far-Flung Adventures, which has introduced thousands of persons to the Rio Grande.  He resides in a small riverside village in northern New Mexico, at the bottom end of the acequia del ojo.


Jutta von Gontard, Board Member

Board_Water_Culture_Institute - CopyJutta von Gontard was raised and educated in Germany and Ecuador and has lived in the US for the last forty years. Ten years ago she retired from a rewarding career as a non-profit professional. Her work as a fundraising and program development executive took her to Israel, Central America, and Southern Africa, where she helped support community-based development and microfinance programs. Recently retired from her last position as Senior Program Director for a New-Mexico based environmental organization, Jutta started an encore career as manager of a women’s clothing store in Santa Fe. She enjoys walking in her neighborhood and in the mountains, spending time with family and friends, and reading an eclectic selection of classic and contemporary literature (including mysteries) from around the world.


Arturo Sandoval, Secretary

arturo 2018 fotoArturo Sandoval is the founder and president of VOCES, LLC, a 30-year-old communications and organizational development consulting firm with headquarters in Albuquerque, NM, and with branch offices in Denver, Colorado and Chihuahua City, Mexico. www.vocesinc.com.  Arturo is also founder and president of the Center of Southwest Culture, a 27-year-old non-profit organization promoting the peoples and cultures of the southwestern US and northern México. Based in Albuquerque, CSC focuses on developing cultural, economic and educational programs that reflect the rich Mexicano and Indigenous cultural heritage of the Greater Southwest. www.centerofsouthwestculture.org


Therese Francis, Treasurer

IMG_0770

Therese Francis, PhD, has over 30 years experience as a tax preparer and nonprofit accountant.  Her academic background is in biology, ecology, medical research & communication, quantum physics and theology. She is interested in herbs, cooking (and eating), and reading. She lives in Santa Fe with her husband and three cats.