Staff, Board & Volunteers


Gail Abrams – Executive Director

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.  You can contact Gail at

Karen Bio Pic 82813Karen McCall – Director 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.   You can contact Karen at


Sara Marschhauser Steffen– Director 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.  You can contact Sara at


Shealyn Elstein – Durham 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. You can contact Shealyn at

Morgan Freese – Off-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. You can contact Morgan at

 Laura Hayden – Office 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. You can contact Laura at



Noelle Dalhouse – Part-time Conservation 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.  You can contact Noelle at

Educators – Meet all of the fantastic people who help make our programs so great!


Board of Directors


MarthaMartha Wewer (President) 

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 WilesChriston Wiles (Vice-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 Madigan (Treasurer)

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

 Nicole Archuleta

Nicole joined the board in March 2017 and has been a raptor team volunteer since 2014.


Robin Burley

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



TanyaTonya 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.


Derek pictureDerek 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.


We are always looking for new board members who can help us to fulfill our mission and expand programs and conservation projects to new audiences.  If you are interested in joining our volunteer board, please complete our board application and we will be in touch with you to schedule a tour and meeting to discuss your interest.


We are extremely grateful to the loyal volunteers and interns that make such a difference at PWC.

Dedicated Volunteers include:

Darryl Spancake – Administrative Team

Celeste McKnight, Matt Jenkins, Elizabeth de Jongh, Adam Prince, Mariah Souder, Nicole Archuleta, Lilith Davis, Kristin Frew, Christon Wiles  — Raptor Team

Laura Gilliom, Kerry Sharp, Chailey Labajetta, Denea Labajetta, Rebekah Chiquito, Thalia Lloyd, Angus Davis — Animal Care Team

Fran Wilson, Anastasia Figuresky, Dan Jones, Patricia Mey, Kristie Hall — WildNet

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please check out our volunteer page.