Adrian Oglesby, Director
Adrian Oglesby began his tenure as the Director of Utton Center in 2014. He is a graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law and has practiced water law since 2000, including working with the Utton Center on many projects.
Adrian’s legal career has been focused on river and riparian restoration, agricultural preservation, efficient water management, governmental accountability, and fish and wildlife conservation. He has advised irrigation districts, acequias, Pueblo and tribal governments, farmers, environmental organizations, and local water providers. He established and managed the New Mexico Living Rivers Program for The Nature Conservancy and served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission. He is currently a Board member at Rivers Edge West (formerly the Tamarisk Coalition) and a member of the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program’s Advisory Council. He is a past Vice Chair of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, past Chair of the Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law section of the New Mexico State Bar, and past President of the New Mexico Riparian Council.
Since joining the Utton Center, Adrian has led research projects on drought resilience, water policy and management, water and economic development in rural New Mexico, local food and small agriculture, and community outreach on the Aamodt adjudication for the County of Santa Fe. He speaks and contributes to many UNM, state, and local entities that have natural resource or water law and policy issues.
Stephanie Russo Baca, Staff Attorney
Stephanie Russo Baca joined the staff of the Utton Center in fall 2018. Since her graduation from UNM School of Law in 2017, Stephanie has been associated with the Barncastle Law Firm in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She worked previously with the Utton Center as a student research assistant during law school for her 2L and 3L years and as a paralegal following graduation. She holds both the Indian Law and Natural Resources and Environmental Law Certificates, served on the Tribal Law Journal as a staff member and editor, and received the Dean's Award upon graduation. Stephanie also participated in the Madrid Summer Law Institute in 2015.
As staff attorney, Stephanie will assist with the activities of the Joe M. Stell Ombudsman Program, the statewide program that provides impartial adjudication information and procedural guidance to unrepresented water right claimants in the state of New Mexico. Stephanie will also be contributing significantly to the Utton Center's overall mission of providing objective research-based public service to New Mexico's communities on issues related to energy, climate change, ecological conservation, food systems, and international natural resource management.
Lauren Rust, Administrative Assistant
Lauren has a dual undergraduate degree at the University of New Mexico with a B.S. in Geography and a B.A. in International Studies & Spanish. She is currently completing a Masters program in Public Administration at UNM. Her education aligns with the transboundary work of the Utton Center, and her proficiency in Spanish provides the ombudsman support to Spanish speakers. In addition, her experience with GIS and an externship with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has prepared her to contribute to conservation and environmental monitoring projects. As Administrative Assistant, Lauren organizes and plans events, lectures and conferences, manages website design and Utton social media platforms, assists with translations and OSE filings for the Utton Center's ombudsman work, among other administrative duties and tasks for the center.