Who We Are

Professional Staff

Keith Bildstein, Ph.D., Interim President

Keith tagging vultures in the Falkland Islands

Sarkis Acopian
Director of Conservation Science
570-943-3411 x108 or bildstein@hawkmtn.org 

Ph.D. Zoology. Joined staff in 1992.
Keith oversees programs in Conservation Science and works at the Acopian Center for Conservation Learning where he sets priorities and conducts Sanctuary research, and coordinates research by visiting scientists and students. He also is responsible for achieving goals set by the Science Advisors Committee, including leadership and mentorship in global raptor conservation. Finally, Keith directs the Conservation Science Traineeship Program and our newly emerging Graduate Student Program. His current research projects include a study of Striated Caracaras, a long-term study of New World Vultures, and research on Hooded Vultures in Africa.

Keith is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, has written several books including Migrating Raptors of the World: their ecology and conservation (2006), and is a member of 21 professional organizations. When he's not traveling, Keith can usually be found watching, studying or reading about raptors.

Laurie Goodrich, Ph.D.

Laurie at the Lookout

Director of Long-term Monitoring
570-943-3411 x106 or goodrich@hawkmtn.org

Ph.D. Ecology. Joined staff in 1984.
Hawk Mountain hired Laurie as its first full-time research biologist. Today she boasts more than 25 years of service and oversees the Sanctuary's long-term migration monitoring programs, including the mammoth annual autumn hawk count, and the Sanctuary's natural history database. 

An enthusiastic educator, Laurie also is a skilled interpretive naturalist and helps to train interns and volunteers in raptor identification. In 2010 the board selected her to serve as Director of Education for two years and during this time she spearheaded a rigorous planning process that resulted in the first-ever long-range plan for Hawk Mountain education programming.

Laurie recently launched the new Pennsylvania Farmland Raptors Program, and is the Hawk Mountain liaison for the award-winning Raptor Population Index Project. Her latest focus is on publishing results from her dissertation research and in analyzing long-term datasets on age and sex of raptor migrants.

A long-time volunteer for Big Brothers-Big Sister of Schuylkill County, Laurie enjoys gardening, hiking and bird watching, and resides in Orwigsburg.

Jean-Francois Therrien, Ph.D.

JF with a snowy owl

Senior Research Biologist
570-943-3411 x104 or therrien@hawkmtn.org

Ph.D. Biology. Joined the staff in 2011.
After completing an academic internship with Hawk Mountain in the fall of 2002, JF returned nine years later as Senior Research Biologist. Leading the Sanctuary’s research projects in the Arctic, JF is also involved in several studies including the movement ecology of New World Vultures and Peregrine Falcons across the Americas.

When he's not monitoring the long-term American kestrel nest-box program or helping with the migration counts from the Sanctuary’s lookout, JF can be found teaching statistics to interns or enjoying life with his wife and two young children.

David Barber

David with a wing-tagged vulture

Research Biologist
570-943-3411 x105 or x110 or barber@hawkmtn.org

M.S. Zoology
David is responsible for all Sanctuary GIS mapping projects and has single handedly entered 283,000 'locational fixes' that make up the findings from our long-term New World vulture research. He also conducts stewardship and monitoring programs, helps to conduct the annual count, and to train interns, particularly in wingtagging techniques and the use of mapping software. David is talented birder-by-ear and skilled naturalist who can be found out and about, working to complete the breeding bird, butterfly and other annual surveys on the Sanctuary.  

An award-winning brewer, David is our resident beer connoisseur, and enjoys working with his hunting dogs and being outdoors. He resides in Orwigsburg with his wife Patti.

Wendy Nicodemus

Acopian Center Operations/Trainee Coordinator and IT Specialist
570-943-3411 x101 or frew@hawkmtn.org

B.S. Graphic Design. Joined the staff in 2007.
Wendy is responsible for all scheduling, overnight stays, and the many details that ensure smooth operations at this three-building research and training center. She also oversees all Sanctuary reprints and maintenance of its 3,000-volume library, and as a graphic designer, she often provides her expertise on new publications and other print projects.

In her role as Trainee Coordinator, she arranges all logistics for the trainee program including applying for trainee visas, travel arrangements, monitors and creates all schedules and other logistics that go along with hosting up to ten residential trainees from different backgrounds.

She also serves as our on-sight Information Technology Specialist where she monitors the entire network at Hawk Mountain, assists staff with computer or network issues, maintains computer back-ups, along with many other things that come into her lap in this area.

Wendy is very active in the community and serves as the drama director and advisor at the Shenandoah Valley High School.  She also is involved in the Upper Schuylkill Marching Band where she plays her trumpet.  Wendy resides in Ringtown with her husband Russ and their dog Bandit.  

Todd Bauman

Todd cuts stone for the Common Room retaining wall

Director of Land and Facilities
610-756-6961 or bauman@hawkmountain.org

B.S. Environmental Science.
A former law enforcement agent, Todd has 15 years experience in facilities management, visitor safety and science-based land stewardship. His additional skills in interpretive education, grant fulfillment, volunteer management and public relations make him ideal for supervising all aspects of visitor relations and safety, and facilities upgrades that meet the mission. Todd's most recent project has been serving as Project Manager on the Common Room Improvement Project, and recently, he and Ryan Beltz established the Hawk Mountain Conservation Corps, a service learning program for local teens that shares outdoor skills and important conservation lessons, in exchange for hard work on behalf of the members.

Todd resides on-site in historical Schaumbach's Tavern, and is the proud father of two sons and a daughter, all in college. When he's not fully immersed in the Mountain, he likely has embarked on a new outdoor adventure, be it backpacking, canoeing, hiking or climbing.  

Erin Brown

Director of Education
610-756-6000 x208 or brown@hawkmountain.org

M.Ed., Education, Kutztown University. B.A., Biology, College of Charleston, NC.
Joined the staff in 2014.

Erin develops, directs, coordinates and implements the Hawk Mountain education program, including curriculum and program development, evaluation and strategic planning, and oversees the professional and volunteer educators and raptor handlers.  She also coordinates school group visits to the Sanctuary, weekend programs and other educational programming, and works to strategically grow Hawk Mountain's role as a global leader in raptor education.

Erin brings to the Mountain experience in both the public school system where she worked as a Life Science Teacher at the Parkland Area School District, as well as the state park system, where she held past positions as an environmental educator and volunteer coordinator for Tuscarora and Locust Lake State Parks. Her broad-based experience includes leading teacher workshops, developing science-based curriculum, directing eco camps, and work within the school system to develop new science curriculums and create STEMM-related activities.

Erin's outdoor teaching certifications include the Project WILD, Project WET and WOW!, the Project WILD Aquatic, the Pa Songbirds, and the WWF Pa Biodiversity curriculums, and ten years of hands-on experience in handling and caring for live raptors and using them as tools for learning.

A long-time education volunteer and member of the Carbon County Environmental Center, Brown is a senior Girl Scout leader in Douglassville, and has received awards for professional excellence from the Carbon County Conservation District, the Schuylkill County Visitor’s Bureau, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Kutztown University College of Education. She currently resides with her husband Eric and her three children in Birdsboro where the entire Brown family enjoys an active, outdoor lifestyle.

Rachel Spagnola

Education Specialist
610-756-6000 x210 or taras@hawkmountain.org

Rachel Spagnola is a professional teacher, raptor educator, wildlife handler and trainer who for 15 years has connected people of all ages with raptors and their amazing migrations. Rachel is no stranger to the mountain having worked as a seasonal educator for several years prior to joining the full-time staff in 2013. Leading guided groups, presenting weekend programs and providing interpretation to visitors, it's clear that Rachel is a natural teacher. She currently serves as Education Specialist at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary where she leads a variety of public programs and outdoor learning experiences, provides wildlife and flight interpretation, and creates science-based curricula, activities and resources for other educators including parents and teachers. She manages program scheduling, coordination and invoicing for schools and corporate groups for the education department. Rachel is responsible for the captive collection of avian educators at Hawk Mountain, for training international conservation science trainees, education interns and volunteers, and serves as a liaison between the education team and the conservation science department.

Rachel earned her M.S. in Ecological Teaching and Learning from Lesley University including 2 summers of field work in the Pacific Northwest at the University of Washington and Olympic Park Institute in cooperation with the Audubon Expedition Institute. She received her B.S. in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education from Cedar Crest College and maintains her licensed Pennsylvania Teacher Certification. Her volunteer work includes service as a Pennsylvania Envirothon mentor and ongoing work with several conservation organizations and nature centers in the tri-state area. Rachel recently completed additional training with Pennsylvania State Parks, attended the 2013 International Association of Avian Trainers and Teachers in Dallas, Texas and presented at the 2013 Hawk Migration Association of North America in Rochester, New York. She most recently completed Contemporary Animal Training and Management with Natural Encounters Inc. in Florida. When she isn't engaged in outdoor activities like hiking and hawk watching, you can find Rachel honing her culinary and hula hooping skills, preventing and raising awareness of window strikes, attending Gabriel Chamber Ensemble concerts and rooting for her husband's "Little HAWKS" BECA football and wrestling teams!

Adam Carter

Educator
610-756-6000 x209 or carter@hawkmountain.org

B.A. Environmental Science. Joined the staff in 2014.
As an educator, Adam interacts with visitors on a daily basis and informs them about migration ecology and raptor natural history.

Prior to joining the full-time staff, he worked as a seasonal educator, leading guided field trips at the Sanctuary, and also served as an official counter during the 2013 Autumn Hawk Watch. His past experience includes several years working as a field technician for environmental organizations such as The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and Manu National Park in Peru, and he also is a graduate of the Hawk Mountain Conservation Science Traineeship Program.

Adam hails from Pottstown, PA, in his spare time, enjoys mountain biking, reading and birding. Adam is passionate about the outdoors and hopes to help educate visitors about raptor conservation, both locally and globally.

Tammy Jandrasitz

Tammy with Talon, mascot for the LV Steelhawks

Membership and Volunteer Manager
Contact: 610-756-6000 x215 or jandrasitz@hawkmountain.org

BA English. Joined the staff in 1998.
Tammy can be found writing and producing membership acquisitions, renewals and other mailings, and working with the staff to identify volunteer needs and match them with interested individuals. In her job she oversees more than 10,000 individuals in the Hawk Mountain database, and organizes all aspects of the Sanctuary's annual Gala and Hawk Mountain Hill Climb among other events. Her latest project has been working to convert data and combine both the volunteer and membership database, and research new approaches to member acquisition.

In her spare time Tammy shares with college students her expertise in baton twirling, and since 2002, has served as director for both colorguard and twirling for Kutztown University band front. An avid sports fan, Tammy roots for Penn State and the Philadelphia Phillies, and enjoys spending time at home with her dog Nittany.

Shelley Davenport

Business Manager
610-756-6000 x204 or davenport@hawkmountain.org

Joined the staff in 2006.
Besides acting as liaison between the staff and board, Shelley also has a dual role that includes paying the bills and monitoring cash flow, as well as serving as primary point person for staff on their healthcare and other benefits. When she wears the financial hat, she processes invoices and bills, and works closely with staff and the finance committee on budgeting, financial reports and ensuring proper gift stewardship. When the human resources hat is on, she maintains required documentation and personnel files, and is the contact person for insurance and other benefit representatives. Her latest project has been work to streamline and improve computer costs and maintenance.

Shelley resides in Orwigsburg with her husband David and teenage daughter and takes great pleasure in caring for and enjoying her many pets, including four horses, three dogs, one cat, several fish, and most recently, a pygmy goat.

Mary-Therese Grob

Bookstore Manager
610-756-6000 x200 or grob@hawkmountain.org

BS, Parks and Recreation.
As Bookstore Manager, Mary-Therese (or "MT") oversees all aspects of both visitor services and merchandise sales, including greeting visitors, answering questions, selling and tracking trail admissions, as well as managing inventory and ordering, and promoting membership. 

MT was (and still is!) an avid birder and long-time Sanctuary volunteer before joining the staff, and has been visiting the Sanctuary since the first grade. It's no surprise, then, that she loves to meet the many people who share her enthusiasm for nature and the Sanctuary and to help them have the most enjoyable visit possible.

When she's not in the bookstore you can usually find MT somewhere outside, either birding, hiking or walking her dog Zeke. She and her husband Pat reside in Hamburg.

Gigi Romano

Communications Specialist
610-756-6000 ext. 211 or romano@hawkmountain.org

B.A. Professional Writing. Joined the staff in 2016.

Gigi works with the many aspects of communications at the Sanctuary including public relations, website and social media management, event promotion, and production of news items. She is helping to grow Hawk Mountain's online presence with the introduction of podcasts and short video clips.  Gigi also completed a communications internship with Hawk Mountain during her last semester of college.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading and participating in competitive colorguard. She currently resides in Schnecksville, PA. 

Tara Burke

Tara at the 10th Anniversary of the Acopian Center

Bookstore Assistant
610-756-6961 or burke@hawkmountain.org

Joined the staff in 2011.
Tara helps ensure smooth operations of the bookstore, a large majority of which is providing top notch visitor services and greeting every person who enters the Visitor Center. As an avid outdoor enthusiast with a personal interest in birds and native plants, Tara is great at answering questions and helping to orient first-timers.

Tara and her husband live at the base of Hawk Mountain where they are envied by other staff for living 'off the grid' in their green home.

Annie Trexler

Development Assistant
610-756-6961 ext. 214 or trexler@hawkmountain.org  

Annie began her Hawk Mountain career as the Bookstore/Visitor Center Manager in 1981, then became Business Office Manager until 2009.  She rejoined the staff in 2013 as Development Assistant where she is responsible for entering contributions and memberships, generating acknowledgements, and answering visitor phone calls.  She also works with volunteers to complete mailings, provides support for the development team and helps as needed on special events and fundraisers.

Comments

Jane Lugano

9:49 AM on October 30, 2013
Well I congratulate Hawk Mountain Staff and volunteers for their great job to keep Hawk Mountain Developing,Hawk Mountain is a wonderful place to visit.

John Unell

9:33 AM on September 22, 2014
My hat is off to all of the wonderful staff and volunteers there at Hawk Mountain! I can truly say that it is my second home. Thanks for being there and for your conservation message! I can truly say that not only do you talk about conservation but it is practiced as well! Keep up the great work at Hawk Mountain!

Peter Mathara

9:34 AM on October 30, 2014
It was to see That laurie Goodrich and Keith Bildstein are still at The Hawk Mountain.

I was an intern at the Hawk Mountain in Fall of 1993.

God bless Hawk Mountain

FAISAL FARID

3:10 AM on March 23, 2015
As a conservation science student I visited March 2013 , stay and learning at Hawk Mountain sanctuary one of the life’s unforgettable moment I will say Hawk Mountain Sanctuary lives in Hearts...
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