Meet Our Team
Stephanie is our Executive Director as of March 2016. Stephanie has an enormous wealth of knowledge and passion for avian rehabilitation, conservation, and nonprofit fundraising on both coasts. She has a special affinity for birds. She was the Animal Care Coordinator of the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley fromm 2010-2012. She also served as Executive Director of the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society in the bustling technology hub of Cupertino, CA, and she spent 6 months as Interim Executive Director at the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory. She is most at home in her homeland habitat of Massachusetts. In her free time she can be found catching a sunset, and exploring Cape Cod’s natural beauty and wonder.
Jennifer Taylor is originally from Rockland County, New York. Her family moved to the Cape in 1970. Through countless trips to visit relatives in Brewster as a young child, she fell in love with the grasshoppers, field mice, red squirrels, foxes, bob-whites, gulls and goldfinches. After graduating from Nauset Regional High School, she pursued a career in art, studying at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Castle Hill and privately with other artists. She worked as a printmaker for several years in Provincetown and Wellfleet.
She considers her life’s masterpiece to be her family and she worked hard to juggle many kinds of jobs to fit into a mother’s schedule; ranging from landscape machine mechanic to estate management, along with years of volunteering in the Brewster’s elementary schools. After raising four children, the “empty nest syndrome” began to kick in and in 2002 a friend led her to Wild Care, where she participated in the baby bird program, was enchanted by the avian orphans and never left.
She received her wildlife rehabilitator permit in 2007 and became part of the Wild Care staff, and eventually accepted her current position as Animal Care Coordinator in 2013. Nurturing the orphan squirrels are admittedly her favorite part of the job, although returning a gannet back to the sea is a close second. She finds it a joy and a privilege to share in the lives of the animals who so enchanted her as a child, and doing her part to tend to the injured and orphaned wildlife of Cape Cod has become her passion.
Amy Webster – Wildlife Rehabilitator
Was born and raised in western MA and moved to the Cape in 1997. Started volunteering at wild care in 1999 as a baby bird volunteer. Having a passion for wildlife she wanted to do more but being a mom made it tough to commit to the volunteer position. She was excited when asked to be on the rescue list for other types of animals. This allowed her to help the wildlife and involve her boys without the committed time in the clinic which is tough to do as a mom of 3 boys and working full time else where.
In 2010 she decided to travel weekly to Weymouth for classes to become a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator.
In Oct 2014 she took the available position as Rehab assistant at Wild Care. In The spring of 2015 she passed the state exam and officially became a wildlife Rehabilitator and continued at Wild Care.
Brought up by parents who taught her to appreciate wildlife and respect the natural environment has made a huge impact on this career choice. After her father passed away in 2010 she was driven to continue towards working with wildlife and doing what would make him proud! “It keeps him close to my heart everyday!”
Niki Howes – Wildlife Rehabilitator and Volunteer Coordinator
Niki Howes lives just off Cape, in Middleborough, MA. She was born and raised in Brewster, attending Nauset Regional High School, and always had a love and appreciation of animals and nature. She attended Bridgewater State University, where she studied environmental biology, including classes on wetland animals and marine biology. In 2012, Niki graduated Magna Cum Laude status, with a Bachelor’s Degree in environmental biology.
Niki interned at Wild Care from May through October 2013. She ended up falling in love with the field of wildlife rehabilitation, as well as the people and the animals at Wild Care, and when her internship ended in the Fall, she stayed on as a Volunteer twice a week. On her own, Niki studied for the Massachusetts Wildlife Rehabilitation Exam. In February 2014, she passed the exam and received her certification. The following month, Niki was hired as a permitted Wildlife Rehabilitator at Wild Care, and eventually became the Volunteer Coordinator as well.
At Wild Care, Niki’s favorite jobs include feeding baby squirrels and baby possums. Niki’s other passions in her spare time include going to concerts to see her favorite bands, watching Patriots, Red Sox and Bruins games, playing with her dogs, and cooking.
Cristalyn Searles – Office Administrator
Cristalyn moved to Cape Cod from Connecticut as a child after vacationing here with her family. While spending her life caring for a diverse array of native and exotic animals, she found one of her passions in life. From a young age Cristalyn knew she wanted to help in the efforts to care for, protect and preserve all wildlife.
After graduating from Chatham High School she continued her education at Cape Cod Community College, as well as working full time and raising a family. While going to college she became a teacher at a preschool for a few years. She left early childhood education to work for a local business in office administration for almost 10 years gaining a vast amount of knowledge and experience. In her free time she pursued photography and has become an award winning photographer who has been on the cover of local Cape Cod magazines, newspapers and in multiple art shows on the Cape.
In 2011 she started pursuing her dream of helping local wildlife working with multiple rescue and rehabilitation organizations on Cape Cod. She began her career studying, training and volunteering for IFAW in marine mammal stranding and also gaining experience working in the office as a full time temporary office employee. Walking the beaches during the winter sea turtle stranding season through Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary has also deepened her love of helping animals in need. She has many goals and dreams for Wild Care and brings an enthusiastic and positive energy into making a difference here on Cape Cod. She feels very fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of the team at Wild Care and work in an office surrounded by staff, volunteers and rescuers who also share their love for helping animals in need.
Leah Myrbeck – Wildlife Rehabilitator
Throughout all of her childhood on Cape Cod, Leah held a deep interest in and love for all animals. Many hours of her young life were spent reading about or drawing pictures of various creatures, spending time with the ones she shared her home with, or out in the woods among the wild ones. When she reached the age where she was able to understand the negative impact humans could have on the much revered animal world, she was compelled to lessen it in any way she could. She pursued her interests in art and animals into adulthood. Upon moving to Boston, she began working at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital. Here, she received a powerful introduction to animal healthcare and the many challenges and rewards that come with it.
She later moved to Watkins Glen, New York to work at Farm Sanctuary, an organization dedicated to spreading compassion for animals to those typically seen as food. There, she was part of a small team of caregivers for hundreds of rescued farm animals, including cows, pigs, sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, and rabbits. From there she moved to Seattle, where she worked at Seattle Humane Society, a high volume, progressive shelter for companion animals. As part of the veterinary services team, she was responsible for medical check-ins of new animals, assisting with spays/neuters and other surgeries, and making sure any health concerns for resident animals was addressed by a DVM.
Although she loved Seattle, and all of the west coast, Leah found herself wanting to return to the land from whence she came. She moved back to Cape Cod and started attending the Community College with a focus on art and life sciences, her two interests from the very beginning. At the same time, she started volunteering at Wild Care, in order to fulfill her need to work with animals in some capacity. Having taken care of and been fascinated by a wide variety of domestic animals, she was keen to get experience with animals that live wild, and also get a better understanding of the native wildlife that shared the land that she considered her home. All along her journey while caring for domesticated animals, times arose where there was wildlife in need, and although she felt a strong urge to help, Leah knew only rehabbers had the knowledge needed to do what was best for them.
Finally being in the position to be able to care for and help wild animals is something she has been dreaming about for a long time. After volunteering for a year, she jumped at the opportunity to be hired as an assistant while studying for the licensing exam. She adores all the animals that pass through Wild Care’s doors, and nothing makes her feel better than seeing them regain their health and return to their homes. In June 2016, Leah passed her rehab exam and is extremely excited to have entered the world of rehabbers!
Jennifer Gillette – Marketing and Events Assistant
Welcome Jennifer! Jennifer Gillette is originally from the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. Throughout her youth and high school years, she volunteered with the Montezuma Audubon where she partook in art competitions, attended events, and/or designed marketing material for birding competitions. Ever since she was a little girl, Jennifer loved the great outdoors–a hobby that runs in the family for her grandfather and father are both active birders in their local communities. To spread her love of science, for her Girl Scout Gold Award, Project G.S.I (Girl Science Investigation), she even included a 30-minute activity that encouraged girls to pursue a career in biology or environmental sciences, alongside four other science/engineering-themed activities.
After graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a double major in Packaging Science and Advertising & Public Relations in 2013, Jennifer moved to Massachusetts. She now lives in Dennis with her boyfriend and their five cats: Indiana Wrex, Tali’Zorah, Skippy, Apple, and Sammy.
She enjoys working with the community and coordinating events, claiming that running events is probably one of her favorite jobs to date. In the past, she’s attended trade shows, coordinated a booth for a downtown block party event, and even helped setup, market, and run a cosplay convention in Rochester, NY.
Jennifer is eager to help Wild Care and cannot wait to put her years of experience to work for us!
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DID YOU KNOW??
Wild Care has a state-of-the-art seabird therapy pool, which allows seabirds and waterfowl to exercise on running water. This will help our bird friends recover more quickly so they can get back to their watery habitats!