Sharl Heller, President

Sharl is a founding member and the current president of the Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance, a founding member and former president of Friends of Myles Standish State Forest. She co-founded and serves as a facilitator for the Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network and is a Massachusetts Keystone Cooperator. Sharl is always willing to travel throughout the Commonwealth to support Friends groups and advocate for state forests and parks. Saving what's left of the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens Ecoregion has become her mission in life.


Frank Mand, Vice President

Frank is a creative writer and journalist who has received awards for poetry, humor columns, news writing and photojournalism. A former editor of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine Frank has written for and edited a number of publications, published his own weekly newspaper, and in 2013 received four awards and was named Feature Writer of the Year for Gatehouse Media (300+ newspapers in 27 states coast to coast). Frank has a BA in English Literature from Boston College, an MBA from Northeastern University, a Certificate in Professional Publishing from Stanford, and a Certificate in Web Management from Emerson College. Recently, Frank taught himself how to make charcoal circa 1825, which he ably demonstrated at SEMPBA's Pine Fest. Frank believes that preservation begins when you first begin to care about where you live, and is spearheading our 'Where Do You Love' campaign.

Linda Lancaster, Treasurer

Linda retired from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014 after 25 years in Information Systems and Finance positions.  Prior to MIT, Linda worked in the computer industry and as a mathematics editor for Houghton Mifflin. She has a B.S. in mathematics from Simmons College and an MBA from Babson College. The 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth “connected the dots” for her and was a call to action. Since then, Linda has been following climate change, working to reduce her household’s carbon footprint and since retirement, on supporting carbon pricing legislation at the state and national level.  In addition to her work for SEMPBA, she also chairs the South Shore and Cape chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby.


Denise Stowell, Secretary

Denise Stowell, presently serving as the Board's secretary, brings a career in textile design to the board (she hand-painted a mural of a coastal plain pond on the wall of our former HQ) and is also our expert and advocate for preserving native and fighting invasive plants. She also has a deep interest in natural burials as a way to conserve natural lands and open space.

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Gimena Alegre, Science Advisor

Gimena joined SEMPBA as a volunteer and was honored to become a board member in 2019. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Fitchburg State University and is very interested in conservation and climate research. Gimena strongly believes in volunteerism for those causes she believes in. She has been a volunteer in several organizations, including Community Harvest Project, Adelante Worcester, and the New England Aquarium. She currently works as a research associate in the Neurobiology Department at UMASS Medical School and hopes to bring her love for research and learning about the environment to SEMPBA. Since joining SEMPBA, Gimena has developed a Regional Conservation Directory, an Endangered Species Portal, and is developing citizen science projects. She is very excited about the possibility of developing a Nature Research Center at SEMPBA where we can expand our knowledge of the biodiversity at the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens, climate change, and ways to protect the environment. Currently, Gimena is serving as a consultant on SEMPBA's Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Grant to study saltwater intrusion into Plymouth's ground water.

Dodie Frank, Biologist, SeaNet Coordinator



Judy Whitehouse, Archivist

Judy Whitehouse joined the board in 2015 and and has served since then in many capacities including secretary, and 'moth ball' volunteer. Judy is willing to assist with just about every event and is always a cheerful friend to both SEMPBA Board Members and nature.

Alyse Bruneau, Environmental Science Student

Alyse is a recent graduate in environmental science from Southern New Hampshire University.  Through her experiences advocating for the conservation of the Plymouth County Woodlot and other academic projects she has determined that a significant way to mitigate climate change and protect the environment is through innovations that influence the monetary system into a closed circle economy. To be a part of that change, she is pursuing a master's program in environmental economics through Johns Hopkins University. She fulfilled an internship with the Pine Barrens Alliance about two years ago and has been a volunteer since then producing citizen science material. She is excited to be on a board where the focus is
promoting the native ecology that is abundant around us.



Lisa Meeks, Volunteer Extraordinaire 

Lisa Meeks joined the SEMPBA Board in 2017. She is no longer a board member but still manages our Red-Bellied Cooter Head-start Program.  As you can tell from this photo, she has a real love of wildlife. Lisa is always ready to lend a hand (and her pickup truck) when our conservation efforts require it, and ably manages SEMPBA’s Northern Red-bellied Cooter Head-start program.