Board of Directors
Being raised Native American, I’ve always had had strong respect and appreciation for all wildlife and raptors - particularly the majestic Bald Eagle. Spending time with my parents as a child watching local Bald Eagles and participating in family hunting and fishing trips further instilled that sense of appreciation and respect. From my teenage years and even before, my heritage and upbringing cultivated a desire to want to help wildlife and raptors. When I initially enrolled in one of Tamarack’s Wildlife First Responders Courses, I realized that I had likely found a way right here in my own community to provide some help. One of my first observations, aside from Tamarack’s mission to rehabilitate wildlife and educate the public was their diverse array of volunteers, staff, and board members – I immediately felt like family. Initially working as a volunteer with ambassador and patient care, I quickly became one of the center’s lead educators. I found it rewarding when a student’s eyes would light up when I introduced them to an ambassador during an education program, or watching a raptor take flight into the wild after a successful rehabilitation. After only a few years as a volunteer and educator, I graciously accepted an invite to sit on the board. It's been a pleasure meeting and working with volunteers from such diverse backgrounds and cultures as we help raptors and wildlife in need and educate our community on how they can also help.
Charlotte gained her appreciation and love of nature and wildlife growing up on her family farm in North East, PA, while exploring the woods around the farm and family’s camp near the Allegheny National Forest, and countless hours on her grandparent’s beach on Lake Erie. Always a lover of animals, her appreciation of birds came from her mother, who loved to watch the birds and taught her how to use a bird book to identify species. On a walk one winter morning in 2013 while visiting family in North East, Charlotte came across a little screech owl who was nearly frozen. Charlotte had seen Tamarack on the news and knew to call them for help. A few years later, Charlotte moved back to North East after a 35 year banking career in the Midwest. She had followed TWC on social media and knew she wanted to get involved. In 2017, she attended the Wildlife First Responder course and became hooked on Tamarack and its mission. After several years as a capture and transport volunteer, Charlotte joined the board of directors in 2022.
As a professional avian biologist and lover of the outdoors, Sarah Sargent has devoted her life to the science and conservation of birds. Previously serving as Board President for many years, she has great appreciation for the ways that Tamarack is small but mighty, helping birds and mammals with efficiency. She especially remembers one of the first bald eagles she worked with at Tamarack, Freedom’s Spirit, a large female who required three people at a time to hold her for three physical therapy sessions each week. Sarah felt she really knew this bird when the eagle was released back to the wild. Sarah is the Executive Director of the recently-founded Erie Bird Observatory, a conservation and research organization in Erie.
Paul Behnken, an accountant, presently holds the position of Director of Finance at EmergyCare, Inc. Aside from his professional endeavors, Paul is an enthusiastic runner who relishes various outdoor activities. Birdwatching has been his lifelong passion, and he typically keeps his binoculars and Audubon Field Guide within easy reach. His interest in Tamarack deepened after Carol Holmgren, Executive Director of Tamarack Wildlife Center, and her team rescued a pair of orphaned bunnies discovered in his family's backyard. He firmly believes in the paramount importance of safeguarding our vulnerable wildlife and preserving their natural habitat.
William Powers is an engineering manager for a software engineering contracting company near Pittsburgh. With his passion for the outdoors, wildlife, and technology, William founded PixController, Inc in 1999 for developing low-power motion-activated electronics to study wildlife. In 2013 PixController, Inc designed a custom cellular-based streaming camera system that live-streamed the well-known Pittsburgh Hays bald eagle nest. In 2017, William formed PixCams, Inc, an educational organization to use webcam technologies to connect people with nature. Today PixCams, Inc live-streams over 40 wildlife cameras, coordinates a citizen science data collection effort to collect bald eagle nesting behaviors, and has developed downloadable educational lesson plans to coordinate with the wildlife cameras. William enjoys combining his love of nature with his professional career and looks forward to seeing how technology can be used at TWC.
Donations and memberships are the lifeblood supporting Tamarack's work of healing injured wildlife and returning them to the wild. Tamarack does not receive government funding. The injured, orphaned, and sick wildlife survive because of the generous donations of folks like you. Sharing your time and skills with the center is always welcomed. Become a member of Tamarack, sponsor a wildlife ambassador, or make a memorial contribution. It's your donations that give these animals a second chance.