Board & Staff

J.D. Newsom – Executive Director

J.D. Newsom joins Big Bend Conservation Alliance with over a decade of experience in all aspects of nonprofit management. J.D. has demonstrated success in leading company growth, strategic planning and implementation, streamlining processes, grant writing, leadership, and creating innovative programming. J.D. received a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters of International Law from the Tecnológico de Monterrey, México. He resides in Alpine, Texas and can be reached at

Trey Gerfers- President

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San Antonio native Trey Gerfers is fluent in German and Spanish and works as a translator of regulatory documents for the German and Swiss pharmaceutical and medical sciences industries. After spending almost 19 years outside Texas, living in Germany, South Africa, California, and Argentina, Mr. Gerfers returned to his home state in 2013, where he now lives in Marfa.

Joselyn Fenstermacher- Vice President

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Joselyn is a field biologist and educator who has been rooted in the Big Bend for many years, living in Alpine and Terlingua.    She has traveled and worked in a variety of national and international locations but considers her experiences in the Big Bend—including being a Park Ranger and completing Master’s of Science degree research in Big Bend National Park– as fundamental to the person she is, and is constantly grateful for this place and what it provides.

Matthew Lara – Secretary


Matt Lara is an electrical engineer and musician living in Spicewood, Texas, who is connected to the Big Bend through his love of the region’s natural environment, and a personal connection to the people that inhabit it.

Margaret Shugart- Treasurer


Margaret Shugart grew up with one foot in the Big Bend, traveling from Dallas with her family every year for vacation. Her parents took jobs with Big Bend National Park and she soon followed to the region after graduating from the University of Texas. Of all the places she travels and lives, Big Bend is still the center of her family. She is now a Juris Doctorate candidate at Vermont Law School, focusing on environmental law.

Amy Hardberger


Amy Hardberger is the Associate Dean for the School of Law and a Professor at St. Mary’s School of Law. Her focus areas are Groundwater Law, Municipal Water Conservation, Energy/Water Nexus, Water Valuation and the Human Right to Water. She holds a bachelors degree in Geology from Earlham College, a Masters of Science in Geology from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a doctor of jurisprudence from Texas Tech University School of Law.

She has served with the Texas Office of Environmental Defense Fund where she worked with both the Energy and Water Programs on state and national policy initiatives regarding water conservation, energy/water nexus, and regional water planning.

She is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Western District of Texas, and she is a professional registered geologist in the state of Texas.

Adeline Fox

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Adeline Fox is a West Texas native, growing up in Kent, Valentine and graduating from Alpine High School. She has worked for multiple groundwater conservation districts in the Texas Panhandle and is now living and working in Austin for a company called WaterPR. She holds a B.S. in Agricultural Communications from Texas Tech University.