The friendly SCWF staff encourages contact with its donors. The SCWF may be small, but the staff work hard together and make a great team. They are very passionate about what they do and hope that same passion will rub off on all of SCWF’s supporters.
Sara Green, Executive Director
While working on her Bachelor of Science in Marine Science at the University of South Carolina, Sara started working at SCWF in 1997 as the Administrative Assistant. Upon graduation in 1999, she began serving as Director of Education where she developed programs to engage South Carolinians of all ages in habitat enhancement, citizen science, and outdoor recreation. As Executive Director, Sara is committed to honoring the sportsman roots of the organization and exploring ways to engage new audiences. Some outdoor activities that she enjoys in her free time are gardening, hiking, camping, kayaking, photography, beach-combing, and playing outside with her family and dog.
Shannon Leigh Keenan, Director of Development & Events
Prior to working for SCWF, Shannon Leigh worked in the public relations and marketing fields for both corporate and boutique agency organizations. She spent the last few years helping numerous nonprofits develop their branding and awareness in South Carolina and is always looking for new ways to engage the community for SCWF. A native to South Carolina, Shannon Leigh graduated from Hammond School before receiving her bachelor’s degree from Belmont University. She enjoys hiking with her husband and dogs, whitewater rafting, and camping.
Jay Keck, Habitat Education Manager
Growing up on Lake Murray, Jay has always enjoyed wildlife and the outdoors. After graduating from the College of Charleston in 2000 he worked in the private sector but always maintained a connection to the outdoors. His life took an unexpected turn in the summer of 2012 when he saw a Baltimore oriole for the first time. Since then, he spends most of his free time birding, learning about birds, and studying their various habitat needs. During the spring of 2014, he attended his first SCWF event. Being inspired by SCWF's mission, he earned his Palmetto Pro Birder certification, and has led bird walks for SCWF as well as Saluda Shoals park, Columbia Audubon, and private organizations. Even when he is golfing, hunting, or fishing, he is secretly birding. At SCWF, Jay coordinates the Gardening for Wildlife programs and the Wildlife And Industry Together (WAIT) program as well as leading birding classes for the Palmetto Pro Birder & Midlands Master Naturalist programs. He has a passion and love for all wildlife and hopes to inspire others to take a closer look at the life within our amazing planet.
Grace Allen, Community Outreach Assistant
Grace is a fourth year student at the University of South Carolina where she majors in Environmental Studies with a minor in Geography. Her studies focus on Geographic Information Systems and South Carolina Habitats. Grace grew up in Greenville alongside a family of outdoor enthusiasts who taught her a love and deep appreciation for the outdoors from an early age. After graduation, Grace hopes to use her passion and education to help protect wildlife and wildlife habitat while teaching others to appreciate the outdoors the way she does. When she’s not studying or working, Grace enjoys spending time with her two dogs, hiking, boating in the Lowcountry, fishing, and hunting.
Savannah Vanostrand, Office Manager
During her time at Clemson University, Savannah developed a deep understanding and passion for South Carolina’s many different habitats and species. She enjoyed learning about habitat management techniques, how to identify plants and animals, and participated in field studies where she photographed salamanders for a field guide that is being used by her very own alma mater today. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, she worked at a veterinary hospital and volunteered with an equestrian therapy center where she cared for horses and helped children with disabilities learn to ride. She enjoys fishing and kayaking on the Saluda river, hiking with her two dogs, traveling to coastal islands, horseback riding, and photography. Savannah hopes to one day get her scuba certification and use photography to communicate the importance of conserving sensitive marine habitats and species, particularly sea turtles and coral reefs.
Steve Gilbert, Fish & Wildlife Biologist, Special Projects Manager
Steve received his Bachelor and Masters of Biological Sciences/Marine Biology at Florida Institute of Technology. He is retired from a Federal Service career working and supervising for both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Ecological Services Division) working on wetlands, streams, rivers, fish passage and the Everglades Restoration; and the NOAA Coastal Services Center supporting coastal professionals. He is currently on the Board of Audubon SC and involved in National Audubon’s Marsh Migration (in light of sea level rise) Project. Favorite outdoor activities include diving, snorkeling, and downhill skiing.
Trip King, Government Relations Manager
A Columbia, SC native, Trip attended Wofford College and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where he earned a bachelors’ degree in political science. Trip worked as former U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings’ State Director for many years, did a stint as a development officer with University Libraries at USC and went on to serve as Vice President Biden’s National Political Director on the 2012 Obama-Biden re-election campaign. He is the principal in S.B. King & Associates, a Columbia, S.C.-based government relations and public affairs consulting firm. Trip is our point person on legislation at the SC Statehouse, and he assumes those duties as well for our conservation partner, Audubon South Carolina.