SuzanneSuzanne Dorsey, PhD

Executive Director

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.

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!

 Caroline Shepherd

 Chief Financial Officer

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.

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!

Courtney Reese

 Courtney Spears

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.

Kendyll Collins

 Conservation Biologist- Environmental Education Coordinator

Kendyll was raised in Medford, New Jersey, where she was inspired by the uniqueness and fragility of coastal ecosystems. She joined the BHI Conservancy in 2011, after graduating with a Bachelor's of Science in biological environmental science and minor in psychology, from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Honors College. Kendyll has worn many hats from Intern to Environmental Educator to her current role as Conservation Biologist. Kendyll serves as the North Carolina State Representative for the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association, and strives to provide exciting, hands-on, relevant, and meaningful experiences for every BHI Conservancy guest. When she’s not working, you’ll often find Kendyll doing “work” related activities like beachcombing or birding, with coffee in hand!


 Jaymie 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.

Jordan Brewster

 Communications Specialist

While growing up, Jordan spent summers at Bald Head Island and credits the island for sparking her love of sustainability and the environment.  She graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in History and minors in Environmental Studies and Journalism.  After working on energy, transportation, and defense policy for a DC-based government relations firm, she decided to return to school. While completing her Master’s in Sustainability Management, Jordan worked with corporations to increase their sustainability efforts and in marketing at the World Wildlife Fund.  In June 2014, Jordan graduated from American University’s Kogod School of Business and started working at the BHI Conservancy.  When she’s not working, you can find Jordan cheering on the Washington Nationals and spending time outside.

 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. 

David R. Hall

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. 

 Dane Horowski

Deer Project Field Technician

Originally from Michigan, Dane studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. While most of his work experience has been with mammalian carnivores in the Western States, he is excited to be doing deer work here in North Carolina. Dane was drawn to our Deer Management project because of its promising experimental nature, unique island setting, and far reaching management implications. When he is not working, he can be found on/in the water, taking nature photos, or watching college football.

Erin Wood

Deer Project Field Technician

Erin will be one of the Conservation Deer Technicians running around the island this winter for the deer project. Originally from Massachusetts, she got her BSc in preveterinary medicine at the University of New Hampshire and has several years of biological field work under my belt. Erin spent four years doing shorebird work on barrier islands in Massachusetts and New York, two years in deer capture in Wisconsin, and two years of bear capture and management in Sequoia National Park in California and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. She is excited to get back to working with whitetails and look forward to getting to know Bald Head Island.

Current Vacancies

Environmental Educator & Barrier Island Conservation Academy Internship

Environmental Educator


The Bald Head Island Conservancy seeks a dynamic and innovative individual to engage the community and inspire environmental stewardship through educational programming and outreach activities. The Environmental Educator plans, creates and supervises day-to-day operations associated with the range of education and public outreach programs offered by the BHI Conservancy. The Environmental Educator is responsible for designing curriculum; scheduling, leading, and evaluating programs; writing, administration, and reporting for grants; and supervising education/outreach staff/volunteers. S/He works with BHI Conservancy staff, volunteers, and community members to develop education, outreach and engagement activities that integrate and support the BHI Conservancy’s strategic plan and the conservation goals of the organization. S/He develops productive relationships with local and regional teachers, schools, and other organizations and individuals. S/He coordinates with user groups (scouts, class trips, faith-based groups, etc.) to develop programming and facilitate trips to stay in the BHI Conservancy dorm. S/He ensures that all programs and partnerships meet the high standards of the Bald Head Island Conservancy.

The Environmental Educator is responsible for the education intern program, including the management of undergraduate interns. The Environmental Educator will collaborate with volunteer coordinators and volunteer educators to provide quality program throughout the year both outside, and within our built facilities.

This job requires work during weekends and holidays.  The position requires the ability to perform in a variety of weather conditions including hot/humid, rain, cold, and wind.  The position requires the employee to drive a variety of vehicles and work with sick and injured animals.


1. Develops, implements and maintains education/outreach program targeting youth groups, families and adults.
2.Coordinates and facilitates groups renting facilities on the BHI Conservancy Campus including overnight groups (scout groups, class trips, faith-based groups). Develops special programming to accommodate group requests.
Develops and implements programs that reflect The BHI Conservancy’s strategic goals and local conservation issues.
Writes and implements school aged programs aligned with National and State curriculum standards.
5. Recruits, supervises and mentors education/outreach interns and volunteers.

6. Evaluates program effectiveness using best practices of the environmental education profession.

7. Expands partnerships with local and regional educators and groups, including environmental education and youth organizations.

8. Participates in budget decisions for all BHI Conservancy education/outreach activities.

9. Oversees program registration system, development, maintenance, and schedule. Maintain program attendance and registration records. Maintain website’s events calendar.

10. Collaborates with marketing staff to prepare marketing materials and communications content.

11. Collaborates with development staff to raise funds needed to support education/outreach programs.

12. Works with management staff on strategic planning to guide program direction.

13. Identify and apply for grant funding to support education program initiatives;Oversee acquisition, care, and maintenance of education equipment and facilities including BHIC’s live reptile and saltwater animal collection, classroom storage closet, and wet laboratory closet;
14. Assist with the development and maintenance of educational displays in all BHIC facilities

15. Assist with responding to wildlife emergencies and marine strandings on BHI;

16. Assist with conservation monitoring and research activities including deer alligator, and turtles;

17. Perform other duties as assign


- Bachelor’s degree in education, biology, marine science, or a related field.
- A minimum of two years experience in the field of environmental education or a master’s degree in a related field.
- Willing to work long, flexible hours as needed, including holidays, weekends and evenings.
- Knowledge of best practices for informal science education.
- Must thrive in a team setting and have strong, demonstrated interests in nature, wildlife and children. 
- Self-motivated, able to follow directions, multi-task and work independently.
- Previous experience teaching people of different ages and backgrounds.
- Excellent leadership, interpersonal, organizational and communication skills.
- Knowledge of scientific concepts and conservation issues.
- Proficiency with computers, Microsoft Office, and standard office equipment.
- Regular and child First Aid & CPR certifications or willing to become certified.
- Valid driver’s license.
- Experience managing volunteers and/or interns preferred.


- This position is full-time, exempt.
- Salary approximately $25,000 to 30,000; commensurate with experience.


- Work requires physical exertion and strain and exposure to all seasonal conditions found on a barrier island.
- Must be able to lift a minimum of 50 pounds.
- Must be able to work in cold, hot, humid, and buggy conditions in all types of outdoor environments including marine, forest, and salt marsh.
- Must be willing to work with injured or dead animals and respond to all matters of wildlife calls including but not limited to marine mammals, sea turtles, birds, and alligators.
- 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.


Please submit the following in one word document or pdf to, with subject 'Environmental Educator':

- Cover letter describing your aspirations for working in the environmental field and relevant qualifications
- Resume including contact information for two references

Barrier Island Conservation Academy Internship

February 2015- September 2015

Bald Head Island, North Carolina


The BHI Conservancy’s internship program provides recent graduates 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 spring will be spent assisting with educational programs and conservation monitoring field work, this position will also work at Turtle Central Gift Shop, staff BHIC’s information center, and help with administrative projects.  This position will conduct an individual research project and present the results to the community, at the end of their internship. This intern position will assume additional responsibilities during the summer months, as they will oversee and mentor 15 undergraduate college interns, with the assistance of Conservation Biologist staff.


1. Enforce all dormitory rules, safety protocols, and cleanliness, as outlined in user group and summer internship program agreement documents;
2. During the summer months, this position will evolve into an after hours staff supervisor position. Duties include responding to dorm issues, wildlife emergencies, equipment malfunctions, and managing all aspects of internship program from scheduling to conflict resolution;
3. Accept increased responsibilities during summer season including becoming a leader in managing BHI Conservancy conservation monitoring projects and education programs;
4. 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;
5. Conduct conservation monitoring programs, including vegetation sampling and monitoring, dune transect measurements, water quality monitoring, and wildlife population studies;
6. Assist with the care and maintenance of animal enclosures, exhibits, and classroom space;
7. Assist with other duties as necessary, including working in the Turtle Central Gift Shop, the Information Center, and the BHI Conservancy Office;
8. Develop, conduct, and present an individual research project; prepare a follow-up proposal based on the individual research project results;
9. Promote and practice stewardship of the Conservancy’s facilities, properties, and research equipment;
10. Assist with special events activities;
11. Other duties as assigned.


• Recent graduate from any accredited college or university, with majors in biology, marine biology, environmental science, education, or a related course of study.
• Excellent listening and communication skills. Good public speaking skills, comfortable speaking to diverse groups of people.
• Ability to be self-directed and work within a team environment.
• Ability to work in physically challenging environment including intense heat, humidity, and insects while keeping an upbeat personality with the visitors.
• Must possess a valid Driver’s License.
• Background check will be required.
• Experience as an R.A. or equivalent leadership position.
• Computer proficiency with knowledge of MS Office applications.
• Experience driving and maintaining ATVs preferred.
• Current First Aid/CPR certification required


• The term of this position is from February through September. Interns should be able to arrive on BHI and begin work on February 1st.
• BHIC interns will receive a stipend of $5300; this amount is pre-tax. In addition to the stipend, utilities including wireless internet, parking for a vehicle at the Deep Point Marina, a weekly ferry ticket for trips between the island and the mainland, and housing are included, valued at $560 a month.


Please submit the following in one word document or pdf to

• Cover letter describing your aspirations for working in the environmental field
• Resume including contact information for two references
• A 1-page research project proposal for a question you would like to investigate during your time here. NOTE: Topics can include anything from social science to ecology. Please be creative and include the following: your question, a short description of methods, and the benefit to the community.

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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: 33 nests, 32 hatched

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