Diverse community stakeholders comprise the Rincon Institute Board of Directors. Educators, community activists, retirees, developers, and public lands managers meet quarterly to guide the vision and activities of Rincon Institute. Carolyn Zeiger, a resident of the Academy Village, describes the Board as "a beautiful crosssection of people interested in working together to conserve the natural heritage of this area." Cal Baker, the Superintendent of Vail School District, enjoys his participation on the Board because of the foresight that the Institute embodies. As he eloquently explains, "Someone a long time ago had the foresight to protect Rincon Peak, and everyday I benefit from that foresight. We in the current generation have the same obligation to preserve and protect natural areas of the Sonoran Desert so that our children and grandchildren can enjoy these spaces."
Our Board of Directors is:
Peter Backus (PB Trading Company), Cal Baker (Superintendent of Vail School District), John Carruth (Assistant Superintendent of Vail School District), Margaret Davis (Retired Professor of Ecology, University of Minnesota), Donald Diamond (Diamond Ventures), Katie Dusenberry (former Pima County Supervisor), Don Eugene (Long Realty), Nancy Osgood-West (Rincon Valley Resident), Mary Elizabeth Pollard (Liz Pollard Group -- Merrill Lynch), Luther Propst (Executive Director of The Sonoran Institute), Dave Cox (Associate Dean of Academic Programs, School of Renewable Natural Resources, University of Arizona), Phil Ward (Rincon Valley resident, Realtor for Coyote Creek, and former National Park Service employee), Ex-Officio Members: Steve Anderson (Pima County Parks and Recreation), Sarah Craighead (Superintendent of Saguaro National Park), Ralph Marra (Tucson Water), Chris Monson (President Rocking K Development).
Rincon Institute Board of Directors
John Carruth (Chair) John is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Special Programs and Projects for the Vail Unified School District. John has worked for the Vail Unified School District for approximately ten years holding several positions including the Director of Special Programs, Assistant Principal, Desert Willow Elementary School, and Special Education Teacher for Old Vail Middle School. John lived in Texas for two years. During this time John was a Child/Adolescent Case Manager and Special Education Teacher. John is a native of Tucson, Arizona and lives in Vail with his wife and two daughters.
Katie Dusenberry (Vice-Chair) Katie is a third generation Arizonian (Her grandfather came to Arizona in 1891). She is married to a native of Tucson. Katie and Bruce have four married children and eight grandchildren. Katie graduated from Tucson High School, attended the University of Arizona for two years and graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Nutrition and Hospital Dietitics. Katie has been in business with her husband since the mid 60's and is now Executive Vice President and Treasurer of Horizon Moving Systems, Inc. Katie has been active in the community, serving for 11 years on the Tucson Unified School District Board; 8 Years as a member of the Pima County Board of Supervisors and 6 years as a member of the Arizona Board of Transportation. Recently Katie worked for state legislation to create a Pima County Regional Transportation Authority; co-chaired the Citizen's Advisory Committee that helped develop a Twenty Year Regional Transportation Plan and spearheaded an effort to get an affirmative vote from the electorate to adopt the plan and the funding mechanism to build out the plan.
Margaret B. Davis (Secretary/Treasurer) Margaret retired several years ago from her position as Regents Professor of Ecology, University of Minnesota. She received her A.B. in biology from Radcliffe College in 1953, studied as a Fulbright fellow at the University of Copenhagen 1953-54, and received her PhD in biology from Harvard University in 1957. Honors include A.B.Summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa 1952, Ranking senior 1953, Sigma Xi 1953, Member of the National Academy of Sciences 1982, Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1991, Nevada Medal 1993, Fellow, Geological Society of America, Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, Science Museum of MN Award 1988, Alumnae Award Radcliffe College 1988, MN Women’s Consortium Award 1991, Honorary member, British Ecological Society 1991, Honorary member, American Society of Naturalists 1999, Eminent Ecologist Award (Ecological Society of America) 1993, Merit Award (Botanical Society of America)1998, University of Minnesota Award for Contributions to Graduate Education 1999, Career Award, American Quaternary Association 2002. She has held professorships at the University of Michigan, Yale University, and the University of Minnesota, where she was department head (Ecology and Behavioral Biology) 1976-1981. She was appointed Regents Professor in 1984, and received an honorary Doctor of Sciences degree in 2002. She served as president of the American Quaternary Association 1978-80, and was president of the Ecological Society of America 1987-88. She served on the board of the Minnesota Chapter of the Nature Conservancy 1979-1985, and on the board of the Great Lakes Research Association 1970-73, and is presently on the advisory board of the Institute for Ecosystem Studies, Milbrook, N.Y. Margaret Davis’ research concerns temperate forest history of eastern North America, particularly changes in community composition and distributions of tree species distributions over the past 20,000 years in response to climate change. Major publications: Climatic changes in southern Connecticut recorded by pollen deposition at Rogers Lake, Ecology 50: 409-422 (1969); Differential sedimentation of pollen grains in lakes (with L.B.Brubaker), Limnology and Oceanography 18: 635-646(1973); Outbreaks of forest pathogens in Quaternary history, Proceedings IV International Conf. Palynology in Lucknow, India (1976-77)3: 216-227 (1981); Quaternary history and the stability of forest communities, p.132-153 in “Forest Succession” (D.C.West, H.H.Shugart, and D.B.Botkin, eds.), Springer-Verlag (1981); Climatic instability and community structure, p. 26 –284 in “Community Ecology” (J.Diamond and T.Case , eds.) Harper and Row, N.Y. (1986); Climate or dispersal as factors limiting the Holocene range extension of beech and hemlock into the Great Lakes Region (with K. Woods, S and R.Futyma), Vegetatio 67: 65-74 (1986); History of low and mid-elevation vegetation of the White Mountains, New Hampshire (with R.W.Spear and L.C.K.Shane), Ecological Monographs 64: 85-109 (1994); Patchy invasion and the origin of the hemlock-hardwood forest mosaic, (with R.Calcote, S.Sugita, H.Takahara), Ecology 79: 281-299 (1998); Evolutionary responses to changing climate (with R.G.Shaw and J.R.Etterson), Ecology 86 (in press) (2005).
Calvin Baker Calvin Baker has lived in the Rincon Valley and been the superintendent of the Vail School District since 1988. During his tenure, the District has grown from 500 students to 8,500 students. The District has been recognized at many levels for excellence and innovations. Most recently, the District has received significant attention for replacing textbooks with laptops at its newest high school. Cal came to Vail from Northern Alaska, where he served as a principal at various levels and schools. Cal is active in many professional and local organizations. He has been married for over 30 years and has six children; four have graduated from college or beyond, and two are in high school. He is also a proud grandfather. One of Cal’s hobbies is running. He participates in everything from 5 K’s to ultramarathons. He often runs trails in the Rincon Mountains and hopes the near and far beauty he sees on those runs will be preserved for future generations.
Luther Propst: Luther Propst co-founded and directs the Sonoran Institute, with offices in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona; Bozeman and Helena, Montana; Grand Junction, Colorado; and Mexicali, Mexico. The Sonoran Institute promotes community decisions that respect the land and people of the West. Since 1990, the Institute has become recognized as a leading practitioner of community-based, collaborative, and innovative conservation efforts to integrate conservation and economic values throughout the West. Propst was also the first executive director of the Rincon Institute, serving from its establishment in 1991 until 2004. In that position, he was instrumental in brokering the partnership with local stakeholders and the National Park Service that expanded the Park’s boundaries in both 1991 and 1994. Previously, Propst practiced law, where he represented landowners, local governments, and organizations nationwide in land-use matters, and with World Wildlife Fund in Washington D.C. Propst received his law degree and master’s in regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Propst has co-authored three books, including Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities, published by Island Press, and frequently speaks and writes on Western conservation, growth management, economic development, and state trust lands. He is an adjunct professor in the School Natural Resources at the University of Arizona. Propst lives in Tucson with his partner, Liz Storer, a displaced Wyomingite. He enjoys the opportunity to frequently visit small towns and cities around the North American West, and also hiking wildlands, climbing mountains, bicycling backroads, skiing resorts and backcountry, kayaking rivers, and banging waters with a fly rod. Otherwise, he enjoys reading, studying maps, plotting travel, and hanging out with his two children, Amanda and Christopher.
Ralph P. Marra: From 1989 until he became the Administrator of Water Resources Management in September 2005, Ralph Marra served as a Hydrologist and then as the Chief Hydrologist at the City of Tucson Water Department (Tucson Water). The Utility is the largest water provider in southern Arizona currently serving over 700,000 customers. He has extensive experience in water resources planning, aquifer monitoring and management, environmental remediation, surface-water and effluent recharge, regulatory compliance, western water issues, and public outreach. Ralph Marra was educated at California State University at Fullerton where he earned a Bachelor of Arts with a major in sociology. He obtained a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a Master of Science in Hydrology at the University of Arizona. He is a member of the American Water Resources Association and the Arizona Hydrological Association.
David Modeer: From 1991 until he became Director of Tucson Water in August 1998, David Modeer served as Vice President of Operations for the Pennsylvania-American Water Company, a subsidiary of American Water Works, Inc., which provides water service to 533,000 customers and operates 32 water filtration plants and 35 separate distribution systems. Currently, David Modeer is Director of Utility Services for the City of Tucson. He oversees two City Departments Environmental Services and Tucson Water. David has significant experience with western water issues, including operation of surface water facilities, groundwater systems, and recharge projects, having served as Vice President of Operations (1984-1991) for the Western Region, American Water Works, Inc., which includes water systems serving a population of 350,000 in Arizona, California, and New Mexico. He served as Customer Service Superintendent (1976-1980) and Operations Manager (1980-1984) for the Peoria District of Illinois – American Water Company and he was Manager of the Cairo District of the Illinois-American Water Company from 1974-1976. David Modeer was educated at the Creighton University in Omaha, NE where he earned a B.S. with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry and philosophy. He began post-graduate studies in the Masters of Business Administration Program at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. His promotion to Vice President for the Western Region of American Water Works Inc., precluded his studies at Bradley University. He is an active member of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), Amercian Metropolitan Water Association (AMWA) Board, Chair of Western Urban Water Coalition (WUWC), Water For People Board, Board Member of Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD), Boys Scouts Board Member, Boys and Girls Club, and Rotary Club Member.