Sally Compton, Executive Director
Sally leads operations, community outreach, fundraising, conservation, and key relationship and partnership initiatives for Think Wild. She also serves as a board member for the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association.
Sally has a diverse background working in conservation and the non-profit sector, both internationally and locally. Her experience includes leading communications and digital marketing for the Oregon Coast Aquarium, supporting conservation outreach and education at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and contributing to endangered species research in upstate New York, the Philippines and South Africa.
In her free time, Sally enjoys taking advantage of all of the incredible outdoor activities that Bend has to offer, including skiing, mountain biking and backpacking with her Siberian Husky. She is grateful to her heroes, Steve Irwin and Jane Goodall, for inspiring her love and passion for wildlife conservation.
Pauline Hice, Director of Wildlife Rehabilitation
Pauline leads the Think Wild Wildlife Hospital and is the main ODFW and USFWS Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit Holder. She also serves as the Vice President of the Oregon Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.
Pauline Hice, a Pacific Northwest native, has always been passionate about the natural world and the integral part humans play in it. She completed her B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences from Oregon State University in 2015. Post graduation, Pauline found an opportunity to work at a wildlife rehabilitation center as a wildlife technician in Southern California. Excited to utilize the skills developed while earning her degree, it was there she found her affinity for wildlife rehabilitation. In Fall of 2017, she began working full time as the Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator at Wildlife Center of the North Coast in Astoria, Oregon. She has moved from the beautiful Oregon Coast to an equally breathtaking Central Oregon to fulfill her passion of wildlife rehab as the Director of Rehabilitation at Think Wild.
In her free time, Pauline enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her dog, Wally, and her partner, Trenton.
Dr. Laura Acevedo, DVM, Wildlife Veterinarian
Dr. Acevedo was born in New York City and received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from North Carolina State University. She first discovered her love for zoo, exotics, and wildlife while in undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and while working as a zookeeper for four years at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, NJ. She has a broad range and experience in exotic and zoo medicine and has a passion for all things wild. Besides wildlife, her areas of interest include stress free handling, internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, and advocating for diversity and inclusion in the veterinary field.
While not at Think Wild, Dr. Acevedo can be found exploring the west coast through hiking, rock climbing, eating, and exploring local microbreweries. She lives with her (fat) cat, Gizmo and her mud turtle, Lentil and looks forward to taking care of wildlife and nature in Central Oregon.
Contact Dr. Acevedo at email@example.com.
Sadie Pollock, MS, Education and Volunteer Manager
Sadie manages the education and volunteer programs for Think Wild. She relocated to Bend from Boise, Idaho, where she earned her B.S. in Biology in 2019, and her M.S. in Raptor Biology in 2022 at Boise State University studying American kestrel migration. Sadie has diverse experience in designing and leading education and outreach programs, and has a deep passion for teaching and inspiring others to get involved in wildlife conservation. In her free time, you can find Sadie at the rock climbing gym, or on the local hiking trails with her husband, Tanner, and rescue pups Layla and Otis.
Reese Mercer, Beaver Works Oregon Program Manager
Reese spearheads Beaver Works strategy, systems and cultivating agency/nonprofit partner relationships. Building BWO's community outreach platform. Business and technology professional, and former Think Wild board director.
Nick Kilby, Wildlife Habitat Coordinator
Nick manages Think Wild’s new wildlife conflict mitigation service and is a certified Wildlife Control Operator through ODFW. He also works on the Beaver Works Oregon team to manage and lead beaver habitat planting projects in Central and Eastern Oregon.
Nick is originally from the Maryland-D.C. area, but feels right at home in the central Oregon community, ecosystem, and landscape. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S in Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Wildlife Ecology and Management. Through various positions with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the National Park Service, the U.S Forest Service, and the U.S Bureau of Land Management, Nick has promoted sustainable conservation through monitoring and research.
Nick really appreciates central Oregon’s recreational opportunities, and is an avid hiker, rock climber, whitewater kayaker, birder, and skier.
Molly Honea, MA, Development and Communications Coordinator
Molly Honea grew up in Sacramento, California, where she developed a love for nature and the outdoors. Molly studied biology at the University of Oregon, where she also discovered a passion for teaching. She spent several years in the San Francisco Bay Area as an outdoor educator and sea kayak guide before moving to Central Oregon in 2015. Here, she has worked as a middle school science teacher and education coordinator for the Children's Forest of Central Oregon. In her spare time, Molly plays ice hockey at the Bend Pavilion, goes hiking and swimming with her dog, bakes sourdough bread, and loves to garden.
Savanna Scheiner, Wildlife Technician
Savanna grew up in California wine country, and became a Bend local in 2016. She grew up with a love for animals and the outdoors, and has always been passionate about wildlife conservation. Graduating from Oregon State University this September with a B.S. in Natural Resources, Savanna began volunteering with Think Wild in 2020 before interning in the wildlife hospital. Now a member of the Think Wild team, she is very excited to help Think Wild with their mission, and to try to decrease some of the impacts human urbanization has on our local wildlife.
Taylor Dimmick, Wildlife Technician
Taylor Dimmick is a Wildlife Technician for the Think Wild Hospital since Summer 2021. Her time with Think Wild began by Volunteering, and then leading River Neighbor Walks through the summer and fall of 2020. Taylor received a B.S. in wildlife and conservation biology from Ohio University in 2012. Starting as a volunteer with the Ohio Wildlife Center in Columbus Ohio, Taylor was hired on permanently and held multiple positions within the organization over the years; from Education to Mitigation. She moved out to Central Oregon in spring of 2018 to work at many of the wildlife based nonprofits Bend supports, and is excited to be back at Think Wild.
Contact Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liz Crandall, Wildlife Education Assistant
Liz first started as a Wildlife Rehabilitation Intern for Think Wild in Summer 2022 and is now a member of the Think Wild team as an education assistant. Liz also volunteers in the Wildlife Hospital in her spare time.
Liz has been a resident of Central Oregon since 2019, and she will receive her B.S. in Tourism, Recreation, and Adventure Leadership with a minor in Natural Resources from Oregon State University - Cascades in June 2023. She has worked for the U.S. Forest Service in a variety of positions, such as Natural Resources and Recreation, for six summer seasons, and worked in Yellowstone National Park in 2015. Liz’s focus consists of interpretive education, forest ecology and management, wildlife management and rehabilitation, and natural resource conservation.
Liz loves adventuring in the Oregon Cascades, coast, and forest areas, and participates enthusiastically in recreational activities such as backpacking, mushroom foraging, rock hounding, and wildlife identification.
Board of Directors
Caroline Read, CVT, President
A graduate of COCC’s Veterinary Technician program and passionate about using her skills to help local area wildlife. Caroline brings 8 cumulative years of wildlife rehabilitation experience to Think Wild, volunteering working full time as a Live Collection staff member at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in California. A graduate from University of Puget Sound.
Contact Caroline at email@example.com.
Jennifer Lair, Board Director, Treasurer
Jen grew up in Michigan, but her annual camping trips out west instilled in her a love of the wildlife and landscapes of the west. She received a BS in Biology at the University of Michigan, then continued with a MS in Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana. In 2000, she and her husband had the opportunity to move to Bend and own the Wild Birds Unlimited store.
Jen has shared her love of wildlife with many people as a naturalist at the Sunriver Nature Center and Observatory, before settling back to focusing on the store while raising two boys. “There is such a critical need for Think Wild. As Bend has grown, we have seen the increase of calls and questions we get at the store. More people lead to more potential conflicts with wildlife. Luckily, Think Wild is growing with that need, providing education to mitigate conflicts, and rehabilitation to help when wildlife has already been affected. I’m glad to join with Think Wild and help them grow to meet the needs to keep Central Oregon a special place both for people and the native wildlife.”
Debra Merskin, PhD, Board Director, Secretary
Deb was born in Western Michigan, growing up in the forests, dunes, and beaches of Lake Michigan. From a very young age she advocated for animals, being quick to find the strays, the orphaned, or the hungry four-footed and winged friends.
For college she moved to the Tampa Bay area where she obtained her undergraduate and master’s degrees in journalism and liberal arts. She was active with the Clearwater Marine Science Center its earliest days. From there she moved to Syracuse, New York where she earned her PhD in Public Communication from the Newhouse School. In 1993 she moved to Eugene, OR where she has been a professor of media studies in the School of Journalism & Communication until her retirement in 2022.
In 2018 Deb moved to Powell Butte to experience its unique ecosystem and help our native wildlife. Her research and teaching focus on marginalized communities—human and other than human animals and the intersections of our lives. Her second graduate degree is in ecological psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA where she focused on human projections on predator species with particular emphasis on cougar behavior. S
he has been a volunteer at Think Wild since the doors opened for volunteers in early 2020 ranging from hospital help, hotline coverage, transport and rescue, and tabling at events. Her article about Think Wild appeared in the April 2022 issue of Ruralite. Her third book, Seeing Species: Re-presentations of Animals in Media & Popular Culture was published in 2018 and she is co-creator of the style guide for journalists, photographers, and those who story-tell about animals: animalsandmedia.org. She is also on the boards of Fawn Hills Animal Care and Sanctuary Farm and VegNet Bend, as well as on the advisory boards The Kimmela Center for Scholarship-Based Animal Advocacy and Predator Defense. In her spare time, Deb is a yoga and fitness instructor.
James MacAfee, JD, Board Director
James’ education includes a BA and a JD. He has had a private law practice since 1979 and is actively involved in campaign and election law. He is a member of the International Wolf Center, Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club.
James has provided legal advice to a statewide ballot measure committee to restrict leg hold traps, which included consulting with the Oregon Secretary of State and providing representation before the Oregon Supreme Court. He has also advised a Congressional campaign, consulting with state agencies as well as the Federal Election Commission.
He is passionate about wildlife rescue and animal welfare, and has spent 20-plus years volunteering with and representing Golden Bond Rescue, an Oregon-based Golden Retriever breed-specific rescue organization.
Amanda Cardenas, JD, Board Director
Amanda comes to Think Wild with a diverse background in many areas, including environmental and human/social service NGOs, private law firms, startups, and now with a publicly traded company. Amanda serves as in-house counsel for Tilt Holdings Inc.
Her education includes a B.S. in Natural Resources, from Cornell University, an M.S. from the UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and a J.D. from the University of Washington with a concentration in Environmental Law.
She also served a stint as a development director/major donor officer for a homeless mission in Seattle.
Amanda spent many years in her youth volunteering with Oregon-based wildlife rehabilitation organization Wildlife Images, and looks forward to again serve wildlife through Think Wild to help rehabilitate, enhance, and protect the wildlife and environment in our own backyards.
In her spare time, Amanda is often found (or not!) trekking around mountains and remote high desert plateaus, canyons, and river corridors.
Sue Dougherty, DVM, Board Director
Sue Dougherty is joining Think Wild’s Board after decades of work as a Veterinarian, wildlife enthusiast and more recently as a professional wildlife photographer (Offleash photography). Sue worked in wildlife rehabilitation many years ago and then was inspired to get her BS degree in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University, then went on to get a Masters Degree in Biology working with Marine Mammals through the California Marine Mammal Center. Shortly thereafter she went to veterinary school and graduated from UC Davis. From there she did an internship and a residency in internal medicine at Cornell University and became Board certified by ACVIM in Small Animal Internal Medicine.
She has practiced referral, specialty veterinary medicine for the past 30 years. She has owned/part owned specialty and ER practices and brings a wealth of experience in that regard as well as medical expertise. Presently she is working as a consultant (Offleash Veterinary Internal Medicine). For the past 12 years she has traveled extensively, photographing wildlife around the world. She hopes to bring awareness of the amazing animals that share our world with us to emphasize their crucial importance in the global ecosystem. Her photography has won awards and been published in Audubon Magazine, Wild Planet Photo magazine, NANPA expressions, as well as local periodicals. She shows her work at Red Chair Gallery in downtown Bend. Sue and her husband Mark Parchman have been integral in the Bend veterinary community for the past 17 years. They have two twenty-something children, 2 rescue dogs and a guinea pig.