Education & Husbandry Staff

Stephen I. Schabel

Director of Education

A native of South Carolina, Stephen joined the Center in 2003 after completing his M.S. degree in Environmental Policy at the College of Charleston. Prior to graduate school, he spent several years exploring various teaching opportunities outside the traditional classroom, as well as a career as an accomplished mandolin player and vocalist for a variety of groups in the Charleston area. Stephen’s background in education and environmental policy along with his lifelong passion for the outdoors -especially birds – offers a unique and relevant foundation for his role as Director of Education. Stephen oversees the care, husbandry, and training of the Center’s educational resident bird collection as well as the design and implementation of conservation educational programs offered by the Center throughout South Carolina and beyond. Stephen particularly enjoys the aspects of “lure flying” falcons and conversing one on one with visitors about issues related to the conservation of birds and other wildlife.

Audrey Poplin

Husbandry Coordinator / Educator

Audrey began working at the Center as a Volunteer Staff Member in 2008 and completed an undergraduate internship with the Education Department in 2009. Upon graduating from the College of Charleston with a B.S. degree in Biology, Audrey joined the education staff. Throughout her childhood, Audrey had opportunities to work with wildlife in a variety of settings, including caring for injured and orphaned animals. Her growing passion for animals and their welfare led directly to her career in animal husbandry and education with the Center. Audrey’s responsibilities include managing the annual Hawk Migration Survey, daily care and feeding of the permanent resident birds, training owls and other raptors for flight demonstrations, and conducting on-site educational programs.

Meghan Sparkman


A native of Huntsville, Alabama, Meghan joined the Center in October of 2013 after graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Animal Sciences.  During her time at Auburn, Meghan volunteered at the Southeastern Raptor Center where she developed a passion for birds, especially vultures.  In her role as an educator for the Center, she is responsible for delivering programming to visitors as well as assisting in the husbandry and training of the educational collection of birds. Meghan has also been instrumental in evolving the Center’s highly effective Volunteer Staff program.

Natalie Hendrickson


Natalie joined the Center in 2013 after a year with the interpretive collection of the Cincinnati Zoo. Prior to her zoo position, she earned her degree in Wildlife Management from Eastern Kentucky University. As an educator for the Center, Natalie is responsible for delivering programming to visitors as well as assisting in the husbandry and training of the educational collection of birds. In addition to training birds, Natalie hones her behavior modification training skills on her two hounds “Jake” and “Elwood.”