Our Team

Think Wild Staff


Sally Compton, Executive Director
Sally leads operations, community outreach, education, conservation, and key relationship and partnership initiatives for Think Wild.

Sally moved to Oregon several years ago from the East Coast and immediately fell in love with the vibrant ecology and landscapes of Bend. She graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Ecological Biology and a minor in Business Management.

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 excited to become a part of the Bend community and looks forward to working on behalf of Central Oregon's native species at Think Wild.

Pauline Baker, Director of Wildlife Rehabilitation
Pauline leads the Think Wild Wildlife Hospital as well as assists the Executive Director with community outreach, education, and conservation. She also serves on the board of the Oregon Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.

Pauline Baker, 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. She is very excited to learn more about the unique flora and fauna of Central Oregon by taking many nature hikes.

Caroline Read, CVT, Wildlife Technician

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, having worked as a Live Collection staff member at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in California.  Caroline also has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Puget Sound.

Caroline supports animal care at Think Wild and is a permitted wildlife rehabilitator for mammals.

Ginger Berryman, Education and Volunteer Coordinator

Ginger grew up in the redwoods of California and found her passion for outdoor education in the same place. She has taught about the outdoors from nearly every angle imaginable: science, nature connection, organic gardening, survival skills, restoration, conservation, recreation, and (of course) wildlife rehabilitation. This passion has taken her all over the world and is what ultimately brought her to Oregon. Ginger also uses these environmental interpretation skills in her freelance writing business to help organizations that are fighting for conservation and connection to nature.

Think Wild Veterinarians

Dr. Jaime Thurk, East Bend Animal Hospital
Dr. Thurk’s areas of interest are preventive medicine, natural nutrition and supplementation, avian/exotic medicine, surgery and dentistry. Her priority is to maintain the highest ethical and medical standards at her veterinary practice East Bend Animal Hospital, in Bend.

Dr. Laura Acevedo

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.

Board of Directors

Dr. Jaime Thurk, Board President
Dr. Thurk was born in rural Wisconsin and grew up on a Dairy farm where her love of animals has grown into her life-long dream of becoming a Veterinarian. Dr. Thurk received her Bachelor of Science degree in Marine biology at Texas A&M University and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University in 2009. She completed her one year clinical rotation at Washington State University.

Dr. Thurk’s areas of interest are preventive medicine, natural nutrition and supplementation, avian/exotic medicine, surgery and dentistry. Her priority is to maintain the highest ethical and medical standards at her veterinary practice East Bend Animal Hospital, in Bend.

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.”​

Denise Ullman, Board Director, Secretary
Denise grew up in Central Oregon and has always had a passion for wildlife and animal welfare which included volunteering even as a child at the Humane Society of Central Oregon. She graduated from Southern Oregon University with a degree in Exercise Physiology/Health Promotion & Fitness Management and minor in Psychology. She brings extensive experience in administration, project management and finance.

Her board experience includes serving as treasurer for several years at KCUM&B Auxiliary and CMS volunteering her time. Previously she was the Director of Business Operations at Bend Magazine and has been a licensed real estate broker in Oregon since 2012. In her free time, Denise enjoys all things outdoors; running, hiking, camping, skiing, photography & travel. Denise is excited to volunteer her time to become a wildlife rehabilitator as well as serve on the board to help grow Think Wild programs.

Reese Mercer, Board Director
Reese has served in different volunteer and non-profit board member capacities in Central Oregon since 2002. With Think Wild she's excited to serve and help build Think Wild programs around prevention, conservation and increasing wildlife habitat.

Reese’s background in finance, marketing, technology and corporate real estate with large corporations and small startups brings a well-rounded, thoughtful approach to serving Think Wild’s organizational needs.

James MacAfee, 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.

Caroline Read, Board Director
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.

Joshua Saranpaa, Board Director
Josh was born and raised in rainy Astoria, Oregon. He started volunteering in wildlife rehabilitation with the Wildlife Center of the North Coast (WCNC) in the summer of 2008 — the summer between his sophomore and junior year of high school. In 2010, he tested for, and received, his ODFW Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Permit and volunteered as the Assistant Director of WCNC. In September of 2015, Josh was appointed Executive Director of WCNC. Josh also currently serves as President of the Oregon Wildlife Rehabilitation Association Board of Directors.

Josh brings over 10 years of wildlife rehabilitation experience, as well as fundraising, finance, non-profit administration, program management, and HR skills to the Think Wild board.

Amanda Cardenas, 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.