Melissa with Max

Melissa Moore
Executive Director

Melissa has been working in the fields of wildlife education and rehabilitation since 1984. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, she started as an intern with the World Bird Sanctuary when she was a teenager, and later presented seasonal bird shows at various zoos around the country. After obtaining her degree in Biology from Tufts University, Melissa finally landed in Rapid City, South Dakota, where she worked as Curator of Birds for seven years at the Black Hills Reptile Gardens. In 2000, Melissa became the founding Director of a nonprofit organization called Wildlife Experiences. Also while in South Dakota, she was a licensed falconer for 20 years, eventually earning her master level license and flying several species of raptors. She has served two terms on the board of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators’ Association and is a regular presenter at their annual conferences. Additionally, she served one term on the board of the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators and was editor of their quarterly professional publication for ten years. Melissa lives in Santa Fe with her husband, two dogs and one Senegal parrot, Sammi.

Shawna L Protze
Education Animal Curator

Shawna L Protze started her career in high school while volunteering at a local nature center. She was handling an opossum in front of a family with small children when she realized that that was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. 18 years later and she has turned her passion to educate about wildlife into a career that has taken her form California to New Mexico. For over 16 years she has been a professional wildlife interpreter and animal caretaker working at several small nature centers and museums in the greater Northern California area including Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek.  She has showcased animals at public events such as State and County fairs and on local television news programming. In 2010 she became a licensed falconer, furthering her education and passion working with wild captive raptors. Despite focusing more on raptors the past decade, she also has a special affinity for reptiles and cats. With two AS degrees in Anthropology:Native American Studies and Biology, she is hoping to complete a BS in Zoology. She has handled and cared for over 40 different species of animals in her career, including free flying numerous species of birds of prey and working with a North American Porcupine. We are very excited to have Shawna’s unique experiences and skill set as part of the NMWC team!

Hilary DeVries
Wildlife Rehabilitator

Hilary is from Tulsa. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. After receiving her degree, Hilary began working at the WildCare Foundation in Noble, OK where her wildlife rehabilitation career began. Since working at WildCare, she has also been a veterinary technician at an emergency vet clinic and daytime practices. Prior to accepting the position at NMWC in November 2017, Hilary was working in the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation as a park ranger. Hobbies include: guitar, violin, hiking, exploring, bike riding, and reading.

Haley Sharpe
Wildlife Rehabilitator

Haley is a native of Wisconsin where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a minor in environmental science from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Her wildlife rehabilitation career started in 2013 at the Green Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and continued at the WildCare Foundation in Norman, OK. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, camping, crocheting, reading and learning how to cook in her spare time. Haley has worked with the New Mexico Wildlife Center since February 2018.

Dawn Wright
Office Manager

Dawn has a background in teaching, service-learning, and general office management. She grew up in Michigan, attended college in Indiana, and lived in Texas several years before moving to the Santa Fe area. Her love of animals comes from a childhood surrounded by pets and wildlife of all kinds. She was taught early on to respect animals and learn from them. As you can see from her picture, Dawn is really fond of wolves!