Discover PWC 2017-09-18T18:34:05+00:00

Discover PWC

Our Mission

Inspiring people to develop a positive lifelong connection with nature & encouraging active engagement in conservation. We accomplish this mission through a community oriented approach to nature education, leadership development and conservation science.

We Are
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We Are
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Our Team
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StephanieOff-site Coordinator
Joshua StarlingExecutive Director

Joshua joined the Piedmont Wildlife Center staff in July, 2017 with more than 15 years of non-profit management in the areas of youth, educational, and leadership development.  While attending North Carolina State University, Joshua began his career in radio in 1995 with Capitol Broadcasting Company in Raleigh, North Carolina.  In 2003, Joshua joined NC State University to serve in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as the Executive Director of the North Carolina FFA Foundation.  It was there that he developed his skills in fundraising by providing support for the more than 405 Agricultural Education teachers and 42,000 students involved in North Carolina's public, private and home school agricultural education programs.  In addition to his professional responsibilities, he enjoys spending time with his wife Camber and their two sons, Grayson and Braxton.  He is an avid fan of college sports, eating "Eastern North Carolina" barbeque, and spending time outdoors on or in the water.

Adam Prince

I’ve worked here for about 6 years. I love animals and teaching about them. I focus mainly on Arthropods and Herptiles.

Micah Segal – Miller

My name is Micah Segal-Miller and I am 16 years old. I am a rising senior at Chapel Hill High School. This is my 6th year working at PWC camps. I work at PWC because I love helping kids connect with and enjoy nature, being outside all day, and growing my environmental and outdoor skills and knowledge.

Crystal Morel

I am a nature enthusiast and love being outside with children. I have worked with Piedmont Wildlife Center since 2011, and am so excited to be exploring Umstead State Park this summer!

Nate Swick

I have been a counselor at PWC since 2012. I am an Environmental Educator and Interpretive Naturalist; the editor of the American Birding Association blog, and the author of Birding for the Curious and the upcoming ABA Field Guide to the Birds of the Carolinas. I live in Greensboro with my wife and 2 young children.

Leah Block

My name is Leah Block and I have always been described as a “nature girl.” My childhood was spent running through the woods and using my imagination. This led me to work at the YMCA, as a camp counselor for a little over 2 years. Wanting to switch things up and find a more nature-centric workplace, I came to the PWC. I am so excited to spend my summer here and get to know this wonderful community.

Mary Neese

Nature loving mama who finds peace while outside. I love being around others who also find joy in nature. Totally into birds, but I am branching out and learning about bugs (my toddler’s favorite). I’m experienced leading small groups of children in nature. I enjoy talking with parents and educators about what it is that we do all day in the woods. PWC is my village. There is no where else I’d rather spend my summer.

Linda Magley

Teacher of 27 years. I teach Art, Reading, and Environmental Education. Very excited about working at PWC this summer.

April Koch

I am a Delaware native who graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2004, and decided to stay in the Tar Heel State. I have been teaching and tutoring high school science and math for 9 years. My favorite type of teaching involves adventures in the great outdoors and discovering the scientific wonders of living things. My environmental education experience comes from my work as a teacher naturalist with Delaware Nature Society. This is my2nd summer working with Piedmont Wildlife Center.

Nancy Basket

An artist in SC public school for 26 years. Basketry, papermaking, storytelling – raised 6 kids, let them all live 🙂 used humor instead of anger. Love people of all ages. PWC incorporates Native principles of respecting elders and uses Jon Young’s systemology. Sarah and Karen are awesome beings.

Dorian Valyko

I have been going to PWC as a camper and CIT for several years now.  I love the programs and working outdoors with children.

Kristie HallWildNet Volunteer

Patricia MeyWildNet volunteer

Dan JonesWildNet Volunteer

Anastasia FigureskyWildNet Volunteer

Fran WilsonWildNet Volunteer

Angus DavisAnimal Care Team

Thalia LloydAnimal Care Team

Rebekah ChiquitoAnimal Care Team

Denea LabajettaAnimal Care Team

Chailey LabajettaAnimal Care Team

Kerry SharpAnimal Care Team

Laura GilliomAnimal Care Team

Christon WilesRaptor Team

Kristin FrewRaptor Team

Lilith DavisRaptor Team

Mariah SouderRaptor Team

Adam PrinceRaptor Team

Elizabeth de JonghRaptor Team

Matt JenkinsRaptor Team

Celeste McKnightRaptor Team

Darryl SpancakeAdministrative Team

Dave SchellMaintenance & Construction Team Leader

Gail AbramsRaptor Team

Gail has a B.S. degree in Physical Education from Towson University and a M.S. degree in Outdoor Education from Northern Illinois University.  She has been leading environmental education organizations and developing raptor education programs for over 30 years. Gail joined Piedmont Wildlife Center in March 2005 and retired as the Executive Director on June 30, 2017.

Karen McCallDirector of Education

Karen grew up in Chapel Hill spending much of her life outside immersed in nature.  She has spent many years along the southeast coast and in the tropics studying the varying ecosystems. For more than ten years, she has been working in Environmental Education. She has a B.S. degree in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She joined Piedmont Wildlife Center in May of 2012.

Sara SteffenDirector of Conservation

Sara grew up in Apex, North Carolina and loved the natural world from an early age. She attended the University of North Carolina Wilmington where she received a B.A. in Psychology, and went on to complete her Master’s from North Carolina State University in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology where she studied Loggerhead sea turtles on the NC coast. Since graduate school, she obtained her NC environmental educators certification. She joined Piedmont Wildlife Center in the summer of 2011.

Laura HaydenOffice Manager

Laura grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and studied Cultural Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. Returning to the east coast after many years in the desert Southwest, Laura has been involved in non-profit fundraising and event planning for over 15 years. She is married with two sons. Laura is also a professional voice actor.

Shealyn ElsteinDurham Program Coordinator

Shealyn was born in Durham, NC and has lived the majority of her life in the triangle area. She graduated NC State University after a semester abroad in Australia studying the unique ecosystems of New South Wales. She has a B.S in Environmental Science and a minor in Outdoor Leadership. After graduation, she worked as an intern with the National Park Service in southeast Utah, before returning back to NC. She has been working in environmental education, and outdoor education for over 3 years. Shealyn joined PWC in August of 2015 as a botany intern and has since transitioned into the education department.

Morgan FreeseOff-Site Program Coordinator

Morgan grew up finding tadpoles and chasing lizards in Charlotte, NC. She received an Environmental Studies degree with a Marine Science minor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied ecology in Costa Rica and coastal biology at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences. She has previously worked as an education intern for the NC Aquariums and originally joined PWC as an education intern in January 2016.

Noelle DalhouseConservation Educator

Noelle grew up in eastern North Carolina, taking a day trip to the beach any chance she could. She attended NC State University and received her B.S. in Marine Science, with minors in Zoology and Animal Science. Since graduation, Noelle has worked at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh and Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina, educating students young and old about the natural world around them. She joined Piedmont Wildlife Center's team in the fall of 2016.

Martha WewerPresident

Martha Wewer joined the board in March of 2016 and is a Privacy Officer for RTI International. Martha lives in Holly Springs with her husband, Tim, and two children.

Christon WilesVice President/Secretary

Christon joined the board in May 2016 and is a Business Development Associate at BioResource International, Inc. Christon is a raptor volunteer and recent graduate of North Carolina State University.

Brian MadiganTreasurer

Brian Madigan joined the board in February 2016 and is the Chief Operating Officer of Big Think Innovations. Brian lives in North Raleigh.

Derek Sanger

Derek joined the board in April 2014 and is the Director of Product Management at Fidelity Stock Plan Services. Derek lives in Durham with his wife, Sam, and their daughter Elly.

Robin Burley

Robin joined the board in May of 2016 and is the Sr. Customer Operations Manager at Cisco Systems.

Tonya Gillham

Tonya joined the board in June 2016 and is the Development and Marketing Director at the National Inclusion Project. Tonya lives in Cary with her husband, David, and their son Chris.

Nicole Archuleta

Nicole joined the board in March 2017 and has been a raptor team volunteer since 2014. She is a full time homeschool mom and lives in North Raleigh.

Meet Our Ambassadors

Wildlife Ambassadors

Our educational animals serve as ambassadors for their individual species. All of our ambassadors have permanent homes at PWC. They each came from a rescue situation, most commonly from an owner-surrender.

Our raptors were all rehabilitated after obtaining extensive injuries, but deemed non-releasable due to their inability to fly.

Find out more

Our Facility

The Piedmont Wildlife Center is a non-profit organization founded in 2003. Our office is located at Leigh Farm Park which is an 82.8 acre city park in South Durham. The center itself is located in a log cabin at the end of the Leigh Farm road.  This is the location for our main office and outdoor raptor viewing exhibits.

While many of our animals are not on display to the general public, feel free to come out on any of our programs or book us for an educational adventure at your school!


Phone: 919-489-0900

Fax: 919-493-0988

Email us:

Main location and office: 364 Leigh Farm Road, Durham, NC 27707

Orange County Chapel Hill location: 4215 NC-86, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Wake County Raleigh location: 8801 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27617

Join Our Team


Check our current opportunities in Summer Camp Staff Openings, Wildlife Conservation Internships and much more!

Check Positions


Interested in volunteering for Piedmont Wildlife Center through a service learning project?

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