About

Staff

Sharon Richardson
Executive Director

Sharon, who took the helm of Audubon South Carolina in 2015, has worked in land protection in South Carolina for 22 years. That includes 15 years as a strategist and lead fundraiser for Audubon South Carolina, and also time spent as Executive Director of the Lowcountry Open Land Trust.  Sharon, whose consultancies with conservation groups have protected 30,000 acres in six states, graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont and got her MPA at the University of Vermont.

srichardson@audubon.org

 

Candace Gillespie
Director of Philanthropy

Candace is a longtime birdwatcher who merged her passion with her profession by joining the Audubon staff. After getting her degree at USC, she worked in nonprofit management, culminating in eight years as Development Director for the College of Medicine at MUSC. 

cgillespie@audubon.org



 

Mike Dawson
Sanctuary Manager

Mike manages our 18,000-acre Francis Beidler Forest Sanctuary.  That includes everything from restoring degraded habitat to selling carbon credits to shooing snakes off the boardwalk.  Mike majored in biology and environmental studies at Alfred University in upstate New York. 

mdawson@audubon.org



 

Mark Musselman
Land Manager

Mark's responsible for the nuts and bolts of managing 18,000 acres, including longleaf restoration.  And if you’re looking for a lost fighter jet, put Mark on it.  A former Marine, former teacher, and graduate of USC, Mark happened on the wreckage of an old military plane last fall, then spent months tracking down its history.

mmusselman@audubon.org



 

Matt Johnson
Director of Bird Conservation & Engagement

Along with Jen Tyrell (see below), Matt’s our expert in bird biology.  He manages many of our key projects, from remapping South Carolina’s Important Bird Areas to avian research.   Matt, whose BS and Masters are from Clemson, also helps build bird-friendly communities, teaches bird-friendly forestry, and leads bird walks around the state.

mgjohnson@audubon.org


 

Nolan Schillerstrom
Coastal Coordinator

Nolan’s enthusiasm, plus a BS in biology and environmental studies from Cornell College in Iowa, make him the perfect choice to rally volunteers to protect coastal birds and speak out on coastal issues.  He successfully kicked us off on social media too, and he’s still our in-house photographer and videographer.

nschillerstrom@audubon.org


 

Jennifer McCarthey Tyrrell
Bird-Friendly Coordinator

Jen, along with Matt Johnson (see above), is our expert on bird biology.  With a BS from Coastal Carolina and a Masters from the College of Charleston, Jen has worked with Wild Birds Unlimited and the Center for Birds of Prey, and she still teaches at the College.  Jen spreads the word about bird-friendly communities, and also manages bird banding and Painted Bunting research.

jtyrrell@audubon.org


 

Richard Covey
Naturalist

Richard leads canoe trips through the swamp, nurtures Beidler's small menagerie, and – thanks to a bachelors in fine arts from Columbus College of Art and Design – serves as our webmaster and graphic designer.  Before coming to Audubon, Richard developed environmental ed programs for the U.S. Forest Service in Nevada.

rcovey@audubon.org


 

Paul Koehler
Sanctuary Manager

Paul's spent his career running or helping to run Silver Bluff, our 3,250-acre demonstration site for bird-friendly forestry.  With a bachelors from University of Tennessee in wildlife and fisheries, he loves any work that keeps him outdoors, from avian research to mentoring novice birders.

pkoehler@audubon.com



 

Brandon Heitkamp
Land Manager

Responsible for land management at Silver Bluff, Brandon’s also on fire to teach landowners bird-friendly forestry.  Armed with a degree in forest management from Clemson, Brandon helped Audubon South Carolina develop this novel concept.  His dream is to spread the word among landowners and land managers, and eventually get bird-friendly techniques included in forestry curricula throughout the Southeast.

bheitkamp@audubon.org

 

Barbara Thomas
Operations Manager

Financial matters are Barbara's purview, but no task is too small for her attention.  She cooks for special events, manages our gift shop, and uses her Florida State degree in social work to keep mayhem to a minimum at Beidler.

bthomas@audubon.org



 

Shelly Knight
Engagement & Development Associate

After graduating from the College of Charleston, Shelly was a DNR biologist and database guru.  Today, her data and tech skills keep Audubon South Carolina afloat.  When time permits, she also loves doing avian research and guiding kids in nature. 

sknight@audubon.org


 

Summer Washington
Office Coordinator

An “avid indoors-woman,” Summer is much appreciated by her colleagues, most of whom prefer to dash outside.  She handles billing and reception, and keeps us all impeccably organized.

swashington@audubon.org




 

Sarah Harper Diaz
Special Projects

Sarah launched a bird-banding station on Sullivan's Island while working for us, then spun off the station into its own nonprofit. Since then, she's masterminded our recent members' trip to Peru, and will soon by guiding local bird walks. Sarah has her BA and MA in biology from the College of Charleston and the Citadel, respectively.

sdiaz@audubon.org




 

Noel Williams
((Title))

swashington@audubon.org