Meet Kestrel’s Board of Trustees

Jonas, Ed.D. , Robert A.Robert A. Jonas, Ed.D. , Chair.

A retired psychotherapist, Jonas is a videographer, musician, retreat leader, and author. As owner of 235 acres in Ashfield, he worked with Franklin Land Trust over several years to place conservation restrictions on 230 of those acres. He brings an artistic and reverential attitude to environmental work and is excited about the role of the Kestrel Land Trust in preserving and protecting farmland, forest, and habitat for the critters who abound in the Pioneer Valley. Jonas lives in Northampton.

Jackson, ScottScott Jackson, Vice-Chair.

An Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts, Scott has been involved in conservation work for over 25 years at the local, state and national levels engaged in research, policy development and projects designed to protect and enhance natural resources. As a resident of Whately, he has served on the Conservation Commission since 1995 and the MA Association of Conservation Commissions Board of Directors since 2001 and previously served as an associate member of the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Advisory Committee.

Pierce, JudiJudi Pierce, Secretary.

Judi retired from Massachusetts Audubon in 2004 after 33 years of service. Over the course of her career, she was Director of Arcadia Wildlife in Northampton/Easthampton, and later served as Director of the Central and Western Region, where she oversaw 25 wildlife sanctuaries. Judi has ably led Kestrel’s Stewardship efforts for the past several years and lives in Pelham.

Tate, RalphRalph Tate, Treasurer.

Ralph retired from a 30-year career in investment management, most recently with Standish, Ayer and Wood in Boston, and moved to Amherst to live on an APR protected farm in 2000. He is currently a board member with several non-profits, including the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, Pathfinder International, The Tunxis Club, and Amherst Academy. His work with Kestrel has focused on making certain that Kestrel’s financial resources and practices will support its mission in perpetuity.

Beaulieu, PaulPaul Beaulieu.

Associate Environmental Scientist and founder of Tighe & Bond’s Wetland Services group who now focuses on dam removal and river restoration projects for T&B. Paul served on the Granby Conservation Commission for 10 years but his greatest love is fly fishing and he is past president of the local chapter of Trout Unlimited and founder of Fly Me a River guide service. Paul lives in Granby with his wife and daughter. 

Bryden, JaneJane Bryden.

Professor of Music and former Music Department Chair at Smith College, Jane served on the board of the Massachusetts Cultural Council for several years and lives in a restored nineteenth-century home adjacent to the Scarborough Brook Conservation Area where she assists with stewardship. Jane lives in Belchertown. 


Eiseman, JudyJudy Eiseman.

A consultant on environmental, non-profit board development and citizen-action issues, Judy has been a Kestrel Trustee for nearly 30 years and currently chairs the Advisory Council. She also serves on the Board of the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, and has served as a Trustee of the Water Supply Protection Trust representing the Swift River Valley Historical Society, and on multiple local and regional boards and statewide committees. She is a past President of Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions, and currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters (MLEV). Judy lives in Pelham.

Hepler, MargaretMargaret Hepler.

As a consultant to local historical commissions across the state, Peggy develops historic resource surveys and National Register nominations, with a focus on historic New England landscapes. Peggy lives in Pelham with her husband Peter on an historic farmstead which they have protected with a Conservation Restriction and where they pursue gardening and botanical interests and hiking with passion.

Herships, DavidDavid Herships.

David retired from a career in public finance, where he raised capital for state and local government infrastructure projects and worked for the U.S. Treasury Department on municipal finance issues. After years of living and working in large metropolitan areas, he enjoys being much closer to nature in the Pioneer Valley. Dave is currently a hike leader with the Appalachian Mountain Club and is on the board of the Broad Brook Coalition. Dave lives in Northampton.

Jenkins, TomTom Jenkins.

A consulting Forester with Bay State Forestry Service working with land owners to guide complex land use decisions, Tom comes from a farming family and was born and raised in Westhampton where he still resides.  His connection and commitment to the land and the community run deep; he has served on the Westhampton Conservation Commission, volunteered with the elementary school, the fire department and Fall Festival Committee for years. 

Levite, RobertRobert Levite.

Bob is an environmental attorney for the University of Massachusetts, providing outreach, education and facilitation to town boards, land trusts, watershed associations, other non-profit entities and state agencies, and he represents landowners who wish to permanently protect their land. Bob served on the board of the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition, among other nonprofit organizations and has taught law school and graduate level courses in land use and environmental law in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He lives in West Brookfield.

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