Board members & staff


Wildlife Center of the North Coast operates with a small staff & a large, dedicated team of volunteers.

Josh Saranpaa

Executive Director

Josh was born and raised in rainy Astoria, Oregon. He started volunteering with the Wildlife Center in the summer of 2008—the summer between his sophomore and junior year of high school. In 2010, he tested for, and received his ODFW State Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Permit, and was working, on a volunteer basis, as the Assistant Director of the facility. September of 2015, Josh was appointed Executive Director of WCNC following the death of long-time Director and Founder, Sharnelle Fee. When not working, Josh enjoys spending his free time in nature with his crazy dog Puffin.

Kari Henningsgaard

Admin Coordinator

Kari grew up in Astoria, and has lived here most of her life aside from college years spent in Southern California, and Eugene, Oregon. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies & Geography from the University of Oregon where she developed a passion for environmental education and conservation. Her favorite activity is spending time in nature with close friends and family.

Ginger Nealon

Wildlife Coordinator

Ginger is originally from Virginia and has received their Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics; Classical Studies from William & Mary. After relocating to the Oregon Coast, they found their passion for wildlife rehab through volunteering for WCNC. They quickly excelled in the field, and was hired to work in the clinic as a Wildlife Rehabilitator in early 2020. In September of 2021, they accepted the position as Rehab Coordinator overseeing hospital operations and animal care for WCNC.

Erica Long

Wildlife Rehabilitator

After learning of WCNC by helping construct an enclosure for WCNC's resident ambassador, Odin, Erica applied for and joined the Animal Care volunteer team in 2020. She was a quick study, and played a crucial role in helping WCNC operate with minimal volunteer aid during the pandemic. Erica was accepted into the internship program in early 2021, and by Spring had accepted a position as a staff Wildlife Rehabilitator for WCNC.

Board of Directors

Wildlife Center of the North Coast Board of Directors are a group of talented community members volunteering their time to promote the growth of the organization. 

Jen Zamon

Board President

Although raised primarily in the Show-Me State of Missouri, Dr. Jen Zamon is now a marine ecologist working with NOAA Fisheries in Hammond, OR at the Point Adams Research Station. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY where she became interested in studying oceanography and the ecology of marine predators. She continued doctoral graduate training at the UC Irvine working with fisheries acoustics. In addition to serving as Board President with the WCNC, Jen is involved with her community as a firefighter/EMR with the Lewis and Clark Fire Department, Vice-President of the Lower Columbia Danish Society, Secretary for the Clatsop County Firefighters Association, and a founding member of the Astoria French language club Le Cercle. Last but not least, Jen enjoys spending far, far too much time hanging out with her rowdy flock of hens and roosters in the Youngs River valley.​

Kyleen Austin

Board Member

Kyleen has a life-long love of the outdoors and wildlife. She has worked in the hi-tech, environmental, agricultural, performing arts and watersports worlds, and currently owns, guides, and coaches for Columbia River Kayaking in Skamokawa, Washington and is a professional musician. She has BAs in Music and English, and an MBA. In 2019, Kyleen undertook a three-month 1100-mile solo kayaking journey from Ketchikan, Alaska to her home in SW Washington State which she shares with her constant canine companion, Gaston, and a multitude of riparian wildlife.

Nikki Fowler

Board Treasurer

Nikki works as the Director of Finance/Operations and Director of Human Resources for the Newberg School District, previously she help similar positions with Knappa School District and Warrenton-Hammond School District, in addition, she worked as Assistant Finance Director for Clatsop County. Nikki received her Bachelor's degree from Eastern Oregon University in Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership, Organization and Management and a certificate in Public Management from Willamette University. Nikki began her work with WCNC when she was recruited due to her experience in finance and human resources. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Eric Owen

Board Member

Eric Owen completed his bachelor’s degree at Oregon State University in 2014, where he majored in environmental science with a minor in writing. In addition to his passion for conservation ecology, his interests include mycology and mushroom hunting, soccer, surfing, playing music, and brewing beer. Eric was born in Grand Junction, Colorado, grew up in San Diego, and lived in northern California for several years before moving to Oregon in 2010 to be nearer to his immediate family, who all live in the state. He lives in Warrenton and works for North Coast Land Conservancy, where he has been the Land Steward since 2015.

Melissa Lahti

Board Secretary

Melissa (Missy) Lahti has lived in the Pacific Northwest for the past 35 years. During the last 20+ years she has worked as a restaurant server in multiple locations throughout Clatsop County. In 2017 she earned her Associate of Arts Degree from Clatsop Community College. Currently, she works for Buoy Beer Company as the Community Involvement Coordinator, as well as the Sustainability Committee leader. She developed a love for animals at a young age, especially kittens, which she occasionally “rescued” from the neighbor’s barn. Today her love for wildlife and the environment has spurred her enthusiasm for conservation. A few of her favorite ways to spend time is gardening, reading, foraging for wild plants and mushrooms, rock-hounding and hiking with her family.

Interested in joining the board?

We’re looking for passionate individuals that want to donate their time and talents to helping wildlife in need. Fill out a Board Member Application & someone will contact you!

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Interested in donating your time and talents to the Wildlife Center of the North Coast? We’re always looking for more volunteers to join the team!

Volunteering Opportunities