Discover PWC 2018-01-29T10:59:03+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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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.

Joseph KonvickaPart-Time Educator

Joseph has worked during the summer camp seasons of '09-'10,'12-'14, and '17.  A graduate of Western Carolina University and an AmeriCorps alumnus, he uses his academic knowledge and practiced bushcraft skills to teach at the Piedmont Wildlife Center.  When he isn't in camp or with a PWC homeschool group, he is likely doing one of the following: looking for mushrooms, looking for interesting items at Scrap Exchange, or preparing for his 2018 hike on the entirety of the Appalachian Trail.

Kelsey KirwanPart-Time Educator

​Kelsey was born in Durham, NC. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a BS in Sustainable Development and Outdoor Experiential Education. She worked at a Non-Profit adventure program in Boone, NC for four years while in school, gaining experience creating and leading adventure programs for high school students. She is working on getting her North Carolina Environmental Educator certification. She enjoys going on adventures with her dog and exploring new places. She is very excited to start working with PWC!

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.

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.

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.

Sibyl KempOffice Manager

Sibyl grew up in Eastern North Carolina, graduated from UNC-Greensboro in 2015, and has since settled in-between in the Triangle. An appreciation for the world around her makes traveling one of her favorite hobbies, yet also inspires a deep passion for connecting to and learning from all the wonderful things to be found in NC. She enjoys helping with the day-to-day organizational facets of PWC that ensure that important work can keep happening outside.

Stephanie TolarOff-Site and Adult Program Coordinator

Stephanie is an ecologist and environmental educator who is passionate about connecting people to nature. She teaches adult nature education classes, as well as nature programming for children. She has a Master’s Degree in Biology from Duke University, where she specialized in science education and ecology. Stephanie has a BS in Environmental Sciences and a BA in Italian Language from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a minor in Marine Science. She studied abroad in the Galapagos, Ecuador, and lived in Italy for nine months. She has experience teaching both in the classroom and in the field, with ages 5 through adulthood. Stephanie's teaching philosophy is “whole-student-centered,” and she incorporates a variety of pedagogical methods and active learning approaches. She draws from many different schools of environmental pedagogy, including traditional environmental education, natural resource interpretation, place-based learning, and nature connectedness. These methods put students face-to-face with local ecology, in ways that peak their curiosity and stir their emotions. Stephanie's goal is for students to delight in nature – to enjoy its intrinsic beauty and to harbor a deep appreciation for the environment. She has been working with the Piedmont Wildlife Center since December of 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.

Lauren GoodmanPart-Time Educator

Lauren was born in Norman, OK. She graduated from UNC - Chapel Hill where she spent 6 months researching sharks in the Galápagos Archipelago. She has a B.S in Environmental Science and a minors in Geography an  Biology. She is now attending graduate school at UNC, where her research focuses on shark nursery conservation. Lauren joined PWC in December of 2016 as an education intern and has since transitioned into a part-time position.

Hannah DavisPart-Time Educator

Hannah is a born and raised "Raleigh-ite." She graduated from Catawba College in May of 2017 with a B.A. in Communications and Minors in Environmental Studies and Creative Writing. While at Catawba, Hannah spent most of her time working in the 89-acre ecological preserve owned by the school and helping out The Center for the Environment with the maintenance, care, and environmental education activities they hosted there. In her off time, Hannah enjoys hiking with her dogs and studying fallen logs in search of Salamanders.

Madison DillardPart-Time Educator

I am a recent graduate of NC State who loves teaching and the outdoors! My areas of focus are public education and bones or archaeological artifacts. I love being able to work with children everyday and watch them grow and learn!

Adam PrincePart-Time Educator

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

Micah Segal – MillerPart-Time Educator

Micah is a student at Duke University studying Evolutionary Anthropology, Education, and Theater. He spends his free time working on shows, photographing wildlife, and hanging out with friends. Micah grew up in PWC camps, and he is thrilled to continue into his seventh year with the education team where he helps kids connect with and appreciate nature.

Crystal MorelSummer Camp Staff

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 SwickSpecialty Counselor

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 BlockSummer Camp Staff

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.

Mary NeeseSummer Camp Staff

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 MagleySummer Camp Staff

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

Nancy BasketSpecialty Counselor

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.

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.

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.

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

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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