Kristen attained a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of New Hampshire in 2005. Here she fell in love with wildlife, and earned additional credits for research projects. Her favorite project was the radio-tracking of moose in the White Mountains,
where she was lucky enough to creep up on a mother and her calf. During her
second year at UNH, Kristen began volunteering at CFW. A couple months later, a position opened up, and Kristen gladly joined the CFW
staff. She learned a lot about
wildlife medical treatment, and also began doing educational programs with the Center’s
In the summer of 2006, she took a hiatus from the CFW to work
as a Park Interpreter/Naturalist for the Department of Conservation and Recreation at Plum Island. This sparked an
already growing interest in environmental education. In the late fall, she
returned to the Center full-time, armed with her experience from Plum Island and
unstoppable determination, and has taken on the development of CFW’s education
programs: designing, enhancing, and presenting education programs both new and
old. Kristen has also most recently taken on leading and developing our fundraising efforts.
Kristen is a certified Project WILD, Project Learning Tree and Project WET instructor, and she is a founding member of both the Gateway to Maine: Outside! partnership and the Friends of Mt. Agamenticus advisory group. She most recently became a volunteer for SEANET (Seabird Ecological Assessment Network) to help better understand seabird populations and causes for mortality. Kristen recently presented "Wild Friends in Wild Places- a case study in joining habitats and wildlife for grades K-2" at the annual Maine Environmental Education Association conference.
Her goal is to help counteract the human-caused impact on wildlife through a
combination of wildlife medical care, education, and research. She lives in Nottingham NH
with Ed and a beautiful (if slightly mischievous) cat named Tiny Dancer and an equally beautiful and goofy rescued puppy named Macie! She serves as a member of the Town of Nottingham's Conservation Commission.
Wildlife Specialist/ Volunteer and Intern Coordinator
With a B.S. in Biology from the University of New Hampshire, Erin has a passion for scientific research, especially when it comes to wildlife and the environment. At school, Erin was lucky enough to travel to the US Virgin Islands for a class on Tropical Ecology. While in St. John, Erin and her classmates studied coral reef ecology and the multitude of species that live within the reefs as well as on the mainland. Back in the states, Erin took a research-intensive class in field limnology, or the study of freshwater lakes. She learned many water sampling techniques in the field, wrote a research paper on zooplankton and worked in the general chemistry lab- fueling her always growing love for the sciences.
During the summer breaks, she worked as a camp counselor at an environmental-themed camp run by the New Hampshire Audubon and had the opportunity to fine-tune her excellent leadership skills. Erin also began volunteering at the Center for Wildlife in her free time and it was then that she decided she wanted to pursue a career in which she could help wildlife. After graduating from UNH, Erin worked for two years at an environmental laboratory as a prep lab technician, but knew her future would still lie in wildlife. In the spring of 2011, Erin accepted a position as a Senior Intern at CFW, learning more about wildlife medical care and case management, and just as importantly leading, teaching, training, and guiding the many volunteers and interns to provide supportive care. Because of her background in science and ecology, and excellent teamwork and leadership skills we gladly offered Erin the Wildlife Specialist position as soon as it opened up.
Erin is excited to learn as much as possible about every wild animal that comes through the door. She has also begun to participate in Center for Wildlife’s Education and Outreach program, interact with the public, and helps to support our work through participating in fundraisers and special events. Erin is especially excited about CFW’s Owl Transmitter project, and hopes to work on further transmitter studies in conjunction with Biodiversity Research Institute.
Erin lives in Durham, New Hampshire on the shore of Little Bay. She LOVES the outdoors in any season, exploring the coast, woods, and mountains. She especially enjoys hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, and geocaching all over New England. Erin also likes traveling and hopes to make a cross-country road trip some day.
Wildlife Specialist/ Facilities Coordinator
Laura Graham first became involved in wildlife rehabilitation more than 20 years ago when she volunteered at a bird rescue operation following a large oil spill near the coast of her native Washington State. After four weeks as a full-time bird washer, she signed on to volunteer at the PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood, Washington and began training as a veterinary technician at the Exotic Pet and Bird Clinic in Kirkland, Washington. Eventually she took a position on the rehabilitation staff at PAWS.
After marrying a career Coast Guardsman, Laura moved frequently and lived varied regions of the United States. This led to an opportunity to work with several wildlife care organizations, often alongside some of the most respected rehabilitators in the country. At the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter in North Carolina, she divided her time between serving as a Wildlife Care Technician and as Education Director. Laura was the Assistant Director and Chief Medic at a seasonal bird rehabilitation facility run by the Animals In Distress Association of Boise, Idaho, where she was in charge of the medical care and daily husbandry of over 2500 birds during the course of a spring/summer season. She also worked as the Rehabilitation Supervisor at Wildhaven Ranch in Lake Arrowhead, California, an organization devoted to wildlife education and rehabilitation.
Laura gladly accepted her position with Center for Wildlife in April, and is looking forward to sharing new and successful techniques and protocols with our clinic, including re-nesting raptors back into the wild. Laura has already taken to improving our facilities oversight, ensuring patient safety and habitat maintenance for our impressive campus of over 40 outdoor enclosures (and growing!). When not employed as a full time rehabilitator, Laura sought out volunteer opportunities, helping out the North American Wildlife Association in Connecticut, and the Marine Animal Lifeline in Maine, which cares for orphaned seal pups. Laura has attended workshops in Wildlife Rehabilitation taught by the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, as well as Oil Spill response conferences with Tri-State Bird Rescue and International Bird Rescue. She has also worked at shelters for domestic animals and has trained horses and dogs.
Laura has a BFA in Theater from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and has often been seen acting and directing Shakepeare in theaters around New England. She shares her life with her recently retired Coast Guardsman Ken and her very spoiled dog Spock, and she is a foster mom to domestic rabbits for the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook, Maine.
Wildlife Specialist/ Medical Clinic Team Lead
Sonja has a B.S. in Environmental Conservation from the University of New Hampshire, and is currently working towards her M.S. in Biology from the University of Nebraska. Beyond an extensive knowledge of native wildlife ecology and physiology, she has a strong veterinary background. Sonja first became interested in wildlife care while working at the Mt. McKinley Animal Hospital as a certified vetirinary technician. The veterinarian that she worked with volunteered her time pinning bones and stabiliizing raptors, cranes, baby songbirds and mammals, and other native wildlife. Sonja was able to observe and take part in many of those surgeries, and also learned to care for orphaned wildlife.
While in Alaska Sonja also worked for the Alaska Sealife Center as a Veterinary Lab Technician, and was responsible for the lab work and diagnostics of the marine and seabird patients admitted there. She also assisted in weighing, handling, and treating those patients. Sonja was also able to conduct necropsies for the center to help determine cause of patient death- allowing for data collection on possible environmental factors, improving medical research, and much more.
Sonja's love for wildlife expanded to field work at her positions with the National Parks and Forestry Services as a Biological and Wildlife Technician. While with the National Parks she conducted surveys in California of a variety of species from the Columbian spotted frog to grizzly bears. She was also able to conduct bat surveys in caves where she helped to determine the presence of bats and maternity colonies- estimating populations and demographics. During her tenure with the Forest Service she conducted surveys in the Pacific Northwest monitoring species such as the pileated woodpecker, Northern goshawk, and white-headed woodpeckers. These surveys help to guide best management practices, and conservation recommendations.
Sonja currently lives in Cape Neddick, ME with her two dogs and an (indoor!!) cat. She happily accepted her position in April, and looks forward to transitioning CFW to a national “Wild One” database. Her clinical skills and ecological background are a great fit for our work, and she has already introduced current staff to new clinical techniques; including effective microscopic skin scrapings and testing for mange, and administering sub-cutaneous fluids to porcupines!
Education & Outreach Coordinator (grant-funded position)
Emily is working towards a B.S. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire. Her first year at UNH, Emily was lucky enough to join a graduate research team studying the ecological impacts of Red-Backed salamanders in NH woodlands. While working on the project, she was introduced to another UNH research team studying freshwater invertebrates. Emily joined the freshwater lab to help develop a taxonomic key of freshwater invertebrates that is now a readily available resource for students and researchers alike.
Emily first fell in love with wildlife care during an internship at Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland, a zoo in northeastern Pennsylvania specializing in the care of reptiles and amphibians. She worked alongside staff zookeepers caring for the wildlife as well as leading tours of the facility for visitors. Here, she realized her fascination with venomous reptiles, and was trained to properly handle venomous snakes and lizards. After such a great experience, Emily applied for every internship in wildlife care she could find. This led her to wildlife rehabilitation internships at The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota in Roseville, MN and The Wildlife Center in Espanola, NM. Both centers gave her invaluable experience and she even had the opportunity to work with black bears, elk, bald and golden eagles, and cougars in New Mexico.
In the fall of 2011, Emily accepted an intern position at the Center for Wildlife. She was very excited to learn more about wildlife rehabilitation, and to have her first chance to work with waterfowl. When Emily learned of the senior intern position at the Center for Wildlife, she applied and accepted a position for the summer of 2012. This allowed her to learn more about pain management, fecal analysis, and blood sample analysis. When her senior internship ended, Emily was thrilled to accept the position of Wildlife Education and Outreach Fellow. Through excellent guidance and support from the CFW staff and education volunteers, she is now presenting environmental programs to audiences across the state!
Emily is very excited to develop her interest in wildlife and environmental education, and was recently certified as a Project WILD Growing Up Wild educator. She loves taking the wildlife ambassadors for walks on the center’s vernal pool trail, and is very excited to continue working with The Center for Wildlife. She has most recently accepted the position of Education & Outreach Coordinator, and is working hard to help expand Center for Wildlife’s programming to meet the inspiring demand from our community.
Center for Wildlife Board of Directors
Karyn Scharf Morin
Karyn Scharf Morin is Vice President, Retail Market Manager at Kennebunk Savings Bank. Morin is responsible for overseeing a region of banking offices that includes Kennebunk, Lower Village, North Berwick, Sanford, Ogunquit and York as well as the direct management of the Wells office. Morin has been with Kennebunk Savings since 2001 and has held the position of Branch Administrator and has been the Branch Manager of both the Berwick and York Offices. She brings considerable retail banking experience to her new role. Prior to joining Kennebunk Savings, Morin held branch management positions in the Southern Maine and New Hampshire markets for other financial institutions.
Morin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Economics from Wheaton College and was a Lordan scholar at the New England School of Banking at Williams College. A resident of South Berwick, she serves as the Board Chair of the Center of Wildlife and is a member of the Wells Rotary Club. Morin fell in love with Center for Wildlife at a volunteer workday through Kennebunk Savings Bank, helping to clean and set up turtle habitat and enclosures in 2007. She has served as board member, financial advisor, Human Resources Committee Chair, and most recently Board Chair. Her passion for wildlife and extensive financial background has helped to bring Center for Wildlife’s stability and professionalism to what it is today.
Board Treasurer and Secretary
Dawn Dickinson is the Director of Client Relations and Revenue Cycle Services at Laboratory Billing Solutions in Portsmouth, NH. She is responsible for managing the day to day relationship with all of LBS’ clients. In addition to being the primary interface with the lab clientele, Dawn has the claims submission, AR management, payment posting, and Customer Service functions reporting to her. Ms. Dickinson previously worked as Director of Customer Service for Path Lab where she oversaw a staff of twenty people handling client inquiries related to lab operations and technical services.
Dawn has her MBA, and various Associates Degrees and certifications. Keen to the medical world, she began her love of animal medicine working at a veterinary hospital that treated wildlife. She brought an injured gray squirrel to Center for Wildlife in 2008 and has been hooked ever since. Dawn serves on the board of directors as Treasurer and Secretary. In addition she is a volunteer educator and Development Committee Chair. Dawn has been instrumental in growing Center for Wildlife’s Human Resources and environmental educational programming in her tenure.
Dr. John Means
Medical Clinic Committee Chair
Dr. Means grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. During his high school years he worked at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, where they have a live animal section. There he learned how to handle and train birds of prey and mammals. These experiences would ultimately lead to where he is today. Dr. Means attended Ohio State University and received a Bachelor's degree in Zoology in 1977, followed by a Master's degree in 1981. His Master's thesis pioneered techniques for analyzing subpopulations of birds using mineral analysis of the bird's feathers.
During the time he was writing his Master's thesis, he took a job for the state of Ohio as biologist running a nature center and wildlife rehabilitation program. There he specialized in care for injured birds of prey. Veterinary students at the Ohio State veterinary school were starting a raptor rehabilitation program at the veterinary school and visited Dr. Means frequently for advice and experience in the handling and care of raptors. This contact with these students stimulated Dr. Means to apply to veterinary school. So, after four years of working for the State of Ohio, Dr. Means started at the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine in 1983. During his time in vet school he led the raptor rehab program and implemented an outpatient exotic bird program.
After graduation in 1987, Dr. Means and his wife Jeanine, moved to Maine and he has continued to practice on the seacoast with a special interest in birds and small mammals. He provides the veterinary care and serves on the board of directors and as Medical Clinic Committee Chair for the Center for Wildlife. John's veterinary care and collaboration with our Wildlife Specialists have brought our diagnostics and treatment to new heights, ultimately improving success rates for injured wildlife. He has three children, a dog, two cats, and a bird. In his spare time he enjoys running (long distances!), hiking, camping and cutting firewood.
Capital Campaign Committee Chair
Joe grew up in Rye , NH and from a very early age surrounded himself with birds and animals of all kinds. He attended Portsmouth High School and went on to graduate from the University of NH with a BA in Business Administration. After exploring a number of different pursuits, he settled into the building industry (owning and running Tucker Associates in Rye, NH) at the age of 28 and continues in that field today, some 40 years later.
Joe and his wife Julie live in Rye currently and have a diverse variety of birds and animals. Some are rescue through the SPCA, others are domestic livestock, as well as a collection of waterfowl. Joe and Julie are both licensed wildlife rehabilitators in the NH . Joe served on the Center for Wildlife's board of directors five years ago and rejoined the board eight months ago. Aside from involvement in a number of sports activities, Joe's passion remains the well being of both domestic and wild creatures and the betterment of the Center for Wildlife.
Development Committee Member
Jennifer graduated from Rutgers College in New Brunswick , N.J. with a degree in Biology in 1989, and received a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the University of Maryland in 1992. She has volunteered on several field biology projects including the Puffin Project and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ’s Hawaiian Crow Recovery Project. Jennifer spent several years teaching biology at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown , PA before moving to Maine in 2000.
She has continued to work on a variety of environmental issues, serving on the Kennebunk Conservation Commission and Energy Efficiency Committees, and on the board of the York County Audubon Society. She has worked with RSU 21 to obtain grants for a photovoltaic array at Middle School of the Kennebunks and to develop a vegetable garden at Kennebunk High School . She lives with her family in Kennebunk. Jen's stronghold in the environmental education and conservation community, combined with experience in grant-writing and fundraising is a tremendous asset in moving Center for Wildlife toward financial sustainability.
Center for Wildlife Advisory Committee
Finance Committee Member and Advisor
Marge Titcomb, Yarmouth, Maine