Most visitor centers and the Desert Institute will be closed for the duration of the government shutdown. The Joshua Tree Visitor Center is open.

Back to Top

Board of Directors


About Us

Cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) building a nest

Cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) building a nest | Photo by NPS | Public Domain | Source

Executive Board

Default Bio Photo

Mark Wheeler

President


Darrell Shade

Darrell Shade

Vice President


Darrell Shade is a retired high school teacher and recognized botanist/desert naturalist for Joshua Tree National Park. Shade has a deep love for the desert and its enormous variety of plant and animal life as well as being a master teacher. He has worked closely with Joshua Tree National Park botanists over the last 20 years and keeps up on all the new floral discoveries being made in the park.

Laraine Turk

Laraine Turk

Secretary


Laraine has been a nature lover since growing up near Cleveland, Ohio, and is grateful to her parents for instilling that appreciation. After a 29-year career managing student services departments in several California colleges and universities, Laraine spent her final 5 working years at Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree. In her retirement she eagerly began to volunteer in the service of conservation and the environment in the desert. Among her organizational commitments have been the California Desert Coalition, Morongo Basin Conservation Association, Morongo Basin Dark Sky Alliance, Morongo Basin Open Space Group, the County’s 2nd District Night Sky Committee, and the Joshua Tree National Conservation Historic Reserve citizens’ group. Laraine is honored to be part of the Association and feels that its work is contributing to the long-term conservation of our very threatened desert environment.

Bob Zimmerman

Bob Zimmerman

Treasurer


Bob Zimmerman retired from the practice of law in Chicago in early 2011. He lives in both Palm Springs and the Chicago metro area, although he is emphatically not a snowbird: he’ll be in Chicago in January and sometimes be in the desert in August. He is an active volunteer with Wildlands Conservancy and with the Desert Institute of the Association, and is a volunteer and a former member of the Board and immediate past President of Mojave Desert Land Trust. He and his children have been visiting Joshua Tree National Park since the mid-1980’s, during its “national monument” days, and considers the Park one of his family’s special places. He appreciates the opportunity to work with the Association in enhancing the experience of visitors to the Park.

Directors

Bill Truesdell

Bill Truesdell


Current Board member Bill Truesdell is a retired National Park Service employee. Beginning in 1962, his NPS career included assignments in Shenandoah, Everglades, Virgin Islands, Dinosaur, Denali, and Joshua Tree, where he retired from the position of Chief Interpreter in 1994. After retirement he continued to be involved with Park activities as a volunteer, instructing Elderhostel classes, guiding Field Institute classes, and later Desert Institute classes in the Park. About 2005 he was invited to join the Board of Directors of the Park Association.

Read More
Scott Darrell

Scott Darrell


Scott Darrell’s work as both a practitioner and educator has centered on addressing the impact of public policy on low-income communities, the LGBT community, and communities of color. The primary aim of his teaching, coaching, and training practice is to build the leadership capacity of individuals and groups to make targeted systemic change. The clients of Scott’s diverse leadership practice have included government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community groups. For example, through the Riverside County Department of Mental Health Services Scott trained mental health consumers and their family members to advocate for increased housing opportunities. He has also organized and trained low-income tenants, low-wage health care workers, Master-level social work students, and social service professionals to be effective leaders in their community endeavors and professional settings.

Read More
Default Bio Photo

Paul Smith


Default Bio Photo

Curt Sauer


Karen Tracy

Karen Tracy


Karen Tracy, DDS, graduate of UCLA, practiced dentistry in the Morongo Basin for 10 years, retiring in 2005. Dr. Tracy also shared her passion for the health-giving and the therapeutic professions with 9 years at Morongo Basin Ambulance as an EMT, 10 years volunteering with Hospice of Morongo Basin, and most recently in the yoga studio as a certified yoga instructor.

Read More
Yvonne LeGrice

Yvonne LeGrice


Yvonne LeGrice has volunteered and worked in charitable organizations for over 20 years and is currently a partner in an accounting firm that serves non-profits. In addition to her volunteer work with JTNPA, she actively volunteers with The Mojave Desert Land Trust and the California Native Plant Society. Along with her husband, Yvonne began camping in JTNP many years ago, fell in love with the desert, and recently made the move to live in Joshua Tree full time. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with the staff and volunteers of the Association to assist the Park in preserving our natural wonders for current and future generations.