Cascades Raptor Center

Did You Know?

Louise traveled for 2 months in 2003 visiting Raptor Centers and Nature Centers around the country.

From that she gained valuable insights that are helping CRC -- how others conduct education, rescue and rehabilitation.

Special Thank You to the Kinsman & Ahrens Foundations for funding of positions described on this page.

CRC Staff

Louise Shimmel, Executive Director,
Louise Louise founded and manages the day-to-day operations of CRC. A state and federally licensed rehabilitator since 1985, Louise has substantial experience in wildlife rehabilitation, has participated in all the Skills Seminars offered by the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC), done short externships at the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota School of Veterinary Medicine, completed the radiographic certification class required by the state, and worked closely with local veterinarians on wildlife cases.

She has substantial non-profit administration experience, including four years as president and/or executive director of a general wildlife rehabilitation organization which, during her tenure, saw a 15-fold increase in average annual income, an increase in annual patient load from 100 to 2000 animals, and established a central care facility. Ms. Shimmel has nearly 30 years experience in presenting educational programs for all age groups.

Her BA (Stanford) in Drama & English and an MBA (University of Chicago Graduate School of Business) in finance and accounting have both helped in her non-profit work. She also has several years of business experience including four years as an international commercial banking officer for one of the nation's largest banks; as well as substantial writing and editing experience.

Louise served for seven years on the board of directors (two as president) of IWRC, the primary professional association in the field; served for fifteen years as the assistant or an associate editor of The Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation, for five years been an instructor of IWRC's Basic Skills class, teaching classes in the western US and Canada; and has presented conference papers and authored articles on emaciation protocol for raptors, blood transfusions, and other topics; and authored a chapter on raising neonate hawks and vultures in Hand-Rearing Birds edited by Laurie Gage, DVM, and Rebecca Duerr, DVM. Locally, Ms. Shimmel was co-founder and first president of Oregon Wildlife Rehabilitation Association, and assisted the state Department of Fish & Wildlife to improve standards for wildlife care by re-writing the state licensing exam. Louise started and manages RaptorCare, an email listerv for raptor rehabilitators worldwide, with some 500 participants from 23 countries. She was awarded the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.

Laurin Huse, Rehabilitation Director,
Laurin Laurin has been with Cascades Raptor Center since 2000, spending one year as a volunteer and demonstrating a remarkable dedication to the birds and the work we do. To 'reward' her, we kicked her upstairs, giving her the title of Assistant Director and 'doubling' her salary. In early 2002, however, we were able to get her position funded as an AmeriCorps volunteer, and in 2003, with a three-year grant from the Kinsman Foundation.

Laurin is an excellent rehabilitator - having taken the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council two day Basic Skills and many of their advanced skills seminars, and state certification training for taking x-rays. She assisted in the clinic for years, spent five weeks during 2010 at the oil spill response centers in the Gulf, and spent time visiting other rehab centers around the country. Laurin became our Rehabilitation Director in late 2010.

Laurin has an eclectic background, growing up in Fairfax, Virginia, but spending almost every summer with relatives on Kauai, Hawaii. She has attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts in Portland, studying primarily textile design and print making. She brings a great new artistic vision to much of what we do. Having Laurin on staff has provided a fresh outlook, a greater depth of management, another eye on the birds and ear for the volunteers, and a commitment of long term continuity for the organization.

Kit Lacy, Education Director,
Kit Special Thank You: Our sincere gratitude to the Ahrens Foundation for funding this position for the first two years.

Kit was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. After attending universities in Wisconsin, she headed west to Oregon. She enrolled at the University of Oregon and began working in an ecology lab. She completed a master's degree in biology, specializing in communication and social behavior of iguanas. Kit began volunteering at Cascades Raptor Center in January of 2002, has taken the two-day IWRC basic skills class in wildlife rehabilitation, and has been part of the CRC education team since its beginning. Kit also taught biology at LCC for many years. She especially loves training the birds to be ambassadors for their species and also enjoys sharing her love of all things wild with nature center visitors of all ages.

Kit has also become a master videographer, creating funny or endearing pieces for Facebook or programs. Her skill in training volunteers and birds culminated in capturing a natural behavior ('kiting' by our white-tailed kites), putting that unique foraging behavior on cue for programs, and the video she made of that process won CRC the 'Behavior of the Year' award at the 2012 conference of the International Avian Trainers and Educators Association in Minnesota.

Carrie Sigloh, Operations & Volunteer Coordinator,
Carrie Carrie is a native Eugenian, having grown up at the Eugene Saturday Market and attending South Eugene High School. She moved to Corvallis and graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor's degree in Zoology in 2008. That August she began volunteering at Cascades Raptor Center and has been hooked ever since.

In October of 2009 she traveled to South Africa where she volunteered for three months at C.A.R.E., a baboon sanctuary in the African bush. Though she always dreamed about working with primates, while in South Africa Carrie found herself continually looking up in the sky and wondering about the raptors she saw there. She knew then that raptors had become her calling. Upon returning, she joined CRC's education team, completed IWRC's two-day basic wildlife rehabilitation course and began volunteering around 20 hours a week.

As an employee, Carrie wears many hats, both education and rehabilitation, and has completed the radiographic certification class required by the state so she can take x-rays. Carrie brings to CRC her passion for animals, personable attitude, dedication, hard work and willingness and eagerness to always learn and to share her knowledge with others.

Brian Schug, Facilities Manager,
Brian Brian was born in the small town of Sandwich, Illinois, but spent much of his formative years in the Southwestern US. He studied voice (gorgeous voice! And great at mimicking owl calls…) at Arizona Western College. He became a plumber in 1993 and taught plumbing at Lane Community College for several years. He started at CRC as a dedicated volunteer, contributing over 1000 hours annually since 2007: on our Animal Care Team, taking our raptor rehabilitation intensive class, being shift supervisor, and doing rescues; on the Education Team, handling birds and doing presentations; and as 'Staff Support' giving staff a day off.

As Facilities Manager, Brian focuses on CRC's ongoing construction, renovation, repair and site improvement needs/goals. In addition, he organizes and manages our team of Special Projects volunteers, as well as continuing to supervise Animal Care volunteers and helping with Education. Our sincere gratitude to rhe Kinsman Foundation for funding this position for the first two years.

Amanda Atkins, Visitors Services Manager,
Amanda Amanda has had a bit of wander lust since birth, having left her hometown of Chicago, IL at just a year old and traveling around much of the west (and beyond) with her mother as a child. As a young adult, she assisted in the management and operation of her family business, having since racked up nearly 20 years of experience in the affordable housing industry. She settled in Eugene, OR in 2004 and has been in love with the local community ever since. After taking over the family business upon her mother's retirement in 2009, she realized her love of wildlife and educating the public as well as her BS from the University of Oregon in Environmental Studies and Environmental Education would be better put to use volunteering on a local level. She came on board as a CRC animal care volunteer in early 2014 and joined staff as the Visitor Services Manager in April 2015. Her organizational skills matched with her desire to educate the public are wonderful additions to the CRC mission and goals.

Amber Brazil, Adoptions Coordinator/Administrative Assistant,
Amber Amber was born and raised in Eugene and as long as she can remember, has had a love of the natural world. While attending The University of Oregon in May of 2012, she began volunteering at Cascades Raptor Center. It was here that Amber discovered her great love for raptors and passion to help further our mission to bring people closer to wildlife. After graduating from The U of O in March of 2015 with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies, she spent 4 months living in Thailand working with elephants. She then travelled around Southeast Asia, realized her heart was with the birds, and returned to our center as a volunteer. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Biology through the Global Field program of Miami University. She has happily joined our team of staff as the Adoption Coordinator while also aiding the center as an Administrative Assistant. As a lover of animals, Amber spends much of her free time in the company of her chickens and her dog, Winston. She enjoys music on cloudy days, backyard gardening, and hiking wherever it's green.

Zachary Zeneberg, Training & Education Coordinator,
Zach Originally from Michigan, Zach has been "Hooked-on-Raptors" since he saw his first outreach program in the second grade. His love of nature and working with animals led him to study Environmental Science at the University of Michigan. After graduation, he worked at the University as Teaching Assistant for a Wetland Ecology field course, discovering that the one thing he likes more than the natural world is teaching others about it! Zach spent his free time hand-rearing songbirds and cleaning raptor enclosures as a volunteer with local rehabilitation organizations, eventually gaining his first exposure to working with Birds of Prey and earning his environmental education chops by doing hundreds of outreach programs for school-aged kids as a Raptor Educator at the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor, MI. In 2011, Zach moved to Florida to work for Steve Martin's Natural Encounters as an Avian Trainer at Disney's Animal Kingdom. There he learned to train and care for a variety of new species, including parrots, corvids, and hornbills. He also had the opportunity to study Applied Behavioral Analysis and Operant Conditioning with some of the best animal trainers in the world in a hands-on setting. These experiences helped him earn his professional designation in 2012, when he became a Certified Professional Bird Trainer (CPBT-KA.) Zach joined the Cascades Raptor Center team in May of 2015 as the Training and Education Coordinator, bringing to the Pacific Northwest (his favorite place!) his enthusiasm for environmental education and his passion for empowering animals living under human care.

Julie Weismann, Development Director,
Julie Julie joined our team full-time in June 2015. She brings a wide array of talents to our organization: fund-raising, sales and marketing, small business management, non-profit governance, event management and more! She has consulted for non-profits over a number of years in the areas of fund-raising, volunteer coordination, board training, strategic planning, vision and mission, and organizational structure. She has also served in a leadership position on a few non-profit boards. After moving to Eugene from the San Francisco Bay Area, and seeing her youngest son out of high school, Julie decided to return to college. She completed her Bachelor's in Political Science at the University of Oregon in 2014, and received her Master's Certificate in Non-profit Management in 2015. Julie has hit the ground running, working with the Raptor Center Board of Directors, managing events, and raising funds.

  ANCA Member

Cascades Raptor Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization (Federal ID No. 93-1038827) dedicated to wildlife rescue and public education to enhance appreciation, respect, and stewardship of the natural world.


CRC logo art by Jeanne Hammond-Elliott.  Drawings by Barbara Gleason & Karl Edwards.  Photographic sources noted as provided.