Staff & Job Vacancies



SuzanneSuzanne Dorsey, PhD

Executive Director

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Dr. Suzanne E. Dorsey, earned her doctorate in coastal oceanography and has been working in research and education for over 15 years.  Communicating the importance of our coastal ecosystems, particularly Barrier Islands, is a primary focus for Dr. Dorsey.  She feels that the first step to promoting conservation and preservation, of these critical coastal habitats, is forging a connection between the people who live and visit our beaches and the senstive habitats found here.  The Smith Island Complex encompasses so many examples of rare and sensitive habitats, and the mission of the Bald Head Island Conservancy provides a perfect opportunity to not only educate people but to promote effective stewardship of these environments.  She enjoys working with people and sharing her passion for nature.  Her spare time is devoted to her husband and two children.

nickiNicki Dardinger

Director of Conservation

Nicki brings over fifteen years of experience in the environmental conservation, research, and education world to the Bald Head Island Conservancy, where she serves as the Director of Conservation.  She earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University, and her experiences have included working as a State Park Naturalist in both New York and Ohio, conducting research on the endangered Massasauga rattlesnake, working with a raptor education program at Cornell, writing grants for Central Piedmont Community College, and leading the education team at Carolina Raptor Center, a non-profit organization focused on the conservation of birds of prey.  She is thrilled that working at the Conservancy allows her to combine her passion for conservation research and environmental education with her love of working with people. She believes strongly in the power of environmental educators and scientists to have a meaningful impact on their communities and help people understand how their everyday choices can have a positive impact on the environment.

Poul Lindegaard

Director of Operations

Poul was born and raised in Denmark and graduated from the Danish Technical University with a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering. He is married to Dee from England and have two kids, Sebastian 18 and Louise 16 who were both born in the US. Poul worked for a Danish biotech company for approx. 25 years, primarily heading up technical organizations with responsibility for North America. He has been coming to BHI for more than 10 years, been a property owner and a life member of the Conservancy for approx. 5 years and have been a board member and volunteering in various capacities for the conservancy for the last year. He is exited to join the Conservancy full time, as the new Director of Operations. When he is not at the Conservancy, you will likely find him at the golf course or on the beach swimming and fishing!


CarolineCaroline Shepherd

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Caroline Shepherd joined the Conservancy in 2008 as Financial Manager.  She feels this is the perfect opportunity to share her love of nature while using her professional skills to further our important mission in the effective stewardship of barrier island environments.  After serving in the Charlotte area as a CPA in CFO positions for a variety of industries, she became an island girl to enjoy the benefits of sunny coastal living full time. She enjoys any free time spent on or near the water, walking, fishing, preparing the catch of the day for good friends, and reading.


Kendyll Collins

Conservation Biologist- Environmental Education Coordinator

Kendyll graduated with a B.S. in environmental science, minor in psychology, and departmental honors, from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In May 2011, she came to the Conservancy as a summer intern. Kendyll paired environmental science and psychology because the ultimate goal of environmental education is behavioral modification. While in school, Kendyll interned with the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. When shes not working, Kendyll enjoys beachcombing, swimming, running, reading, and drinking coffee. Through exciting education programs, she hopes to inspire youth to alter their harmful behaviors to prevent the escalation of environmental epidemics. 


JaymieJaymie Reneker

Conservation Biologist- Sea Turtle Program Coordinator

Jaymie grew up in a small town outside of Des Moines, Iowa. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Iowa State University with a minor in Animal Ecology. Even though she spent her whole life in a landlocked state, she has always been passionate about the oceans and the animals that inhabit them. Jaymie joined BHIC as a Sea Turtle Intern in 2012 and will continue to work with us as our Sea Turtle Program Coordinator. She is excited to continue her work with sea turtles and the community of Bald Head Island. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with friends, beachcombing and being outdoors.


Courtney Reese

Courtney Colwell

Conservation Biologist - Coastal Ecology Program Coordinator

As a trained scientist and outdoors enthusiast, Courtney brings with her great passion and respect for the environment. Courtney grew up in coastal North Carolina, attending UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Wilmington to earn her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Duke University for her Masters in Coastal Environmental Management. Her professional experiences include working as a field researcher for endangered species conservation, an environmental educator, and a coastal resources scientist focused on community resilience. Outside of work she enjoys hiking, kayaking, diving, and volunteering. She is eager to share her experiences with the community and use science and education to help inspire environmental stewardship.

David R. Hall

Conservation Biologist – Field Technician

 David was born in coastal Florida, and raised in the Appalachian mountains of Western North Carolina. He developed a passion for the outdoors and the environment at a young age, and first pursued a career in outdoor adventure leadership, which took him to several Central and South American countries. After witnessing first-hand the environmental devastation of many coastal ecosystems, he shifted his career towards Marine Biology and Conservation, which he pursued at UNC Wilmington. Dr. Suzanne Dorsey personally selected David for employment from her Barrier Island Ecology and Management Honors course taught at UNCW, and he has been with the Conservancy since April 2013. He plans to continue his pursuit of an advanced science degree in Island Biology, Ecology and Conservation. In his spare time, David enjoys surfing, diving, gardening, traditional archery, and traveling. 

Elyse Brown


Director of Retail Operations

Originally from Ohio, Elyse has lived in St. Louis, Baton Rouge, Boston, Chicago, Tokyo, Japan and Sparta, N.J. She has recently worked for Bald Head Island Limited as a Sales Executive in their real estate office, but has diverse background starting in Retail and then in Data Processing as a computer programmer/EDP Auditor/Consultant. For many years she participated in a variety of volunteer activities which include: raising funds for non-profit organizations, chairing a variety of town events and committees, and managing/buying for two non-profit gift shops. Elyse graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Biology and a minor in Computer Science and also took graduate courses in Marketing and Accounting at Washington University in St. Louis.

Mike Thomasen

Campus Maintenance Director and Jr. Naturalist

Mike was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up on Long Island, NY.  He has a lovely wife, three beautiful children, and three precious grandchildren.  Mike first came to BHI in August 2003 joining the Transportation Dept. as a ferry mate.  Prior to 2003, he worked for 30 years in Marine Transportation for an oil company in the north east.  Mike looks forward to participating in the growth of the BHI Conservancy and getting involved with the preservation of the island.  


Sandy Rowe

Director of Development

Sandy Rowe has deep roots here in coastal Carolina. She grew up in Wilmington, and spent her childhood on Wrightsville Beach. She attended UNC School of the Arts and received her bachelors degree from Florida State University. With 20 years experience in nonprofit Development she is thrilled to put her professional skills to work for the Conservancy. After traveling to beaches all over the world she can honestly say none compares to NC's barrier islands and she is passionate about protecting them. She has a daughter, Savannah, 21 and a son, Garrett, 18 and loves spending her free time with them sailing on... relaxing beside... and diving under the ocean.




Conservation Technician- White-Tailed Deer Project

The Conservation Technician for the Bald Head Island Conservancy’s White-tailed Deer Management Project is a member of the Conservation & Education Team and is responsible for conducting the fieldwork needed to accomplish the island’s immunocontraception program for white-tailed deer.  These positions are funded by the Friends of Deer organization and are dependent on successful completion of summer fundraising efforts.


  1. 1. Maintain project equipment and supplies, including dart gun, transmitter darts, receiver, spotlights, and medical supplies
  2. 2. Manage bait sites, including site selection and volunteer coordination to maintain appropriate bait (corn) levels
  3. 3. Conduct deer darting operations using dart gun and transmitter darts
  4. 4. Mix and administer drugs used in darting operations
  5. 5. Locate and assess tranquilized deer. Duties include tracking darted deer using radio telemetry receiver, application of ear tags and radio collars, blood and parasite collection, physical measurements, and vaccine administration
  6. 6. Install and maintain wildlife cameras and evaluate camera images
  7. 7. Track collared deer to monitor health and location on the island
  8. 8. Work closely with project interns on deer tracking and assessment activities
  9. 9. Assist with project communication efforts including website updates, social media, newsletter articles, and public meetings
  10. 10. Perform necropsies on deer, as needed
  11. 11. Perform other duties as assigned


  • -Bachelor’s degree in biology, wildlife science, animal science, environmental science, or a related field.
  • -Previous field experience and a strong interest in wildlife management.
  • -Knowledge of best practices for wildlife management.
  • -Previous experience with large mammal capture, firearms, and radio tracking preferred but not required.
  • -Computer proficiency and technical aptitude with knowledge of MS Office applications.
  • -Ability to be self-directed and work within a team environment.
  • -Excellent listening and communication skills.


  • -This position is contractual for five months (September 2014 – January 2015)
  • -The Conservation Technician will work evenings, overnights, and early morning hours.  Field work will be weather dependent.  Weekend and holiday work will be required.
  • -The Conservation Technician will be paid $1,800/month and receive housing at the BHI Conservancy. Technicians will be housed in a dorm-like facility, which will be shared with other technicians, staff, interns, and visiting students and researchers. Parking and ferry expenses will be covered.


  • -Work requires physically demanding fieldwork for long hours and exposure to all seasonal conditions found on a barrier island.
  • -Must be able to work in hot, humid, and buggy conditions in all types of outdoor environments including dunes, forest, and salt marsh. Must be able to work in cold, wet, and wintry conditions in all types of outdoor environments.
  • -Must be willing to work with injured or dead animals.
  • -Must be able to lift a minimum of 50 pounds.
  • -Must maintain physical condition appropriate to the performance of assigned duties and responsibilities.
  • -Must have the ability to work flexible/overtime hours, as needed.
  • -Requires valid driver’s license and ability to drive vehicles including golf carts, UTVs and other vehicles as necessary.

To apply, please submit resume, cover letter, and three references to Courtney Spears by July 18, 2014.


Conservation / Education Internship


This BHI Conservancy’s Conservation / Education internship program provides interns with environmental education and conservation field work experience, as well as experience with working at a small non-profit organization.  While the majority of the fall will be spent assisting with educational programs, conservation monitoring field work, and sea turtle activities, interns will also work at Turtle Central, staff BHIC’s information center, and help with administrative projects.  Interns will also conduct individual research projects and present the results to the community at the end of their internship. 


  1. 1. Lead a variety of environmental education programs for the public, including but not limited to, kayaking, hands-on dissections, nature hikes, island nature tours, animal encounters, and short lectures on such topics as invertebrates, alligators, sea turtles and barrier islands; For a description of each program that we offer, please visit;
  2. 2. Conduct conservation monitoring programs, including vegetation sampling, dune transect measurements, water quality monitoring, and wildlife population studies;
  3. 3. Conduct nighttime spotlight surveys of white-tailed deer and American alligators to determine population size and sex ratios;
  4. 4. Monitor the island for recurrence of beach vitex (Vitex rotundifolia), an invasive dune plant species, and spray new growth with an approved herbicide;
  5. 5. Support the BHI Conservancy’s white-tailed deer immunocontraception project, including tracking and assessing captured deer
  6. 6. Assist with the care and maintenance of animal enclosures, exhibits, and classroom space.
  7. 7. Assist with other duties as necessary, including working in the Turtle Central Gift Shop, the Information Center, and the BHI Conservancy Office.
  8. 8. Develop, conduct, and present individual research project; prepare a follow-up proposal based on the individual research projects.
  9. 9. Promote and practice stewardship of the Conservancy’s facilities, properties, and research equipment. 
  10. 10. Assist with special events activities.
  11. 11. Other duties as assigned.


  • -Recent graduate or working towards a degree from any accredited college or university, with majors in biology, marine biology, environmental science, education, or a related course of study.
  • -Good public speaking skills, comfortable speaking to diverse groups of people
  • -Computer proficiency with knowledge of MS Office applications.
  • -Ability to be self-directed and work within a team environment.
  • -Excellent listening and communication skills.
  • -Ability to work in physically challenging environment including intense heat and humidity and insects while keeping an upbeat personality with the visitors.
  • -Must possess a valid Driver’s License.
  • -Background check will be required.


  • -The term of the fall intern is for a period of four months: from mid-August to mid-December. Interns should be able to arrive on BHI the week of August 11th.
  • -BHI Conservancy Fall Interns will receive a monthly stipend of $600; this amount is pre-tax. In addition to the stipend, shared living quarters in the BHI Conservancy dorm are provided, as well as weekly ferry tickets for trips between the island and the mainland, and parking for a vehicle at the mainland ferry terminal.

To apply, please email a resume, cover letter, and a list of three references to Kendyll Collins by July 18, 2014.

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BHI Conservancy is an independent, nonprofit, 501 (c)(3) organization. We are able to continue our work through the generosity and commitment of our many members, volunteers and supporters. Your support is necessary to fulfilling our mission of barrier island conservation, education and preservation.

2014 BHI Turtle Nest Count: 31 nests, 5 hatched

Photos courtesy of and ┬ęCopyrighted to: Maureen Dewire, Donna Finley, Andy Gould,
Doug Ledggett, Joe Lemeris, Denny Sorber, Lindsay Rice, Staff
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