Andrew Walde - Chief Operating Officer
Andrew Walde was an active Board Member of the TSA until 2017 when he resigned his Director’s position to become the TSA’s Chief Operating Officer. Andrew now coordinates most of the TSA’s day-to-day business, as well as leads the field programs in India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, and North America. He was formerly a Research Biologist with Walde Research & Environmental Consulting based in Atascadero, California. He obtained a B.Sc. from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario and a M.Sc. from McGill University (1998) in Montréal, Québec, Canada. He is on the Executive Committee of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, as well as the Turtle Conservation Fund. He also serves as the Co-Chair for the Annual Symposium on Conservation and Biology of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles. He is an Editor on the updated Turtles in Trouble, The World’s 25+ Most Endangered Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles and serves as an Editor for Herpetological Conservation and Biology. While passionate about chelonian ecology and conservation, he is interested in all aspects of natural history, having worked throughout North America on projects involving restoration ecology, avian research and impact studies; as well as numerous surveys in entomology, ornithology, and herpetology.
Amy Carter - Director of Development
Amy Carter joined the Turtle Survival Alliance as Director of Development in September 2020. Prior to joining TSA, Amy worked as Chief Advancement Officer for Lowcountry Land Trust and Director of Development and Marketing for Charleston Parks Conservancy where she led all fundraising, marketing, and communications efforts. She also spent several years in Washington, D.C. at the National Ocean Service and in Santa Cruz, California managing conservation, philanthropy, and marketing programs for the Planning and Conservation League Foundation and Island Conservation. A native of Colleton County, South Carolina, Amy grew up exploring the fields, forests, marshes, and beaches of the South Carolina Lowcountry and developing a love for its wild landscapes, plants, and animals.
Amy holds degrees in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston and a Masters in Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. Through the last fifteen years of her career, Amy has been intimately involved in building both international and community-based organizations focused on preventing extinctions as well as conservation of natural resources and open spaces. She received the US Department of Interior’s Partners in Conservation award in 2009 for her work at Island Conservation and is a graduate of the Fred. R. Sheheen Non-Profit Leadership Institute at Francis Marion University and Leadership Charleston 2019. She has served on volunteer steering committees for Surfrider Foundation, Spoleto Festival USA, and Possibilities Without Borders and chaired several Junior League of Charleston committees. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, camping, stand-up paddleboarding, live music, and enjoying Charleston’s great outdoors.
Jan Holloway - Administrative Coordinator
Jan Holloway is originally from Pulaski, a small town in upstate New York near Lake Ontario, and has been a lover of all animals since a very young age. Her true passion was horses though, which led her to earning her AAS in Equine Studies from Cazenovia College, NY before continuing her education, earning her BA in English, Creative Writing. After graduating in 1988, she moved to South Carolina to take a position as the Breeding Manager at a large Saddlebred horse farm outside of Columbia, SC. She later explored other career fields including Sales/Marketing and Print Media and Publishing. Most recently, before accepting her position as Administrative Coordinator at the Turtle Survival Alliance in December 2017, she was the Activity Coordinator at another local non-profit agency for nearly five years. She has always been a reptile enthusiast, and bearded dragons, aquatic turtles, and non-venomous snakes have been among her most recent pets. Jan also currently serves as the TSA Board Secretary.
Carol Alvarez - Veterinary Care Manager and Operations Specialist, TSC
Carol was born with a love for animals and has always gravitated to the "underdogs." She was given her first pet turtle at age 7 and by age 9 she was training domestic animals, followed by exotics, and then working with wildlife. She worked for Dr. Seashole as a veterinary technician, followed by clinic manager, for more than 12 years. Carol even managed the former occupant of the grounds of the current Turtle Survival Center (TSC) when it was the Cross Wildlife Center. There she cared for and rehabilitated a menagerie of animal types and species. Due to her father having a construction company, Carol had a background in construction as well, so when Cross Wildlife Center closed, she did construction and electrical work for five years. During this time she also earned certificates in medical assisting, phlebotomy, and CPR. Carol started her tenure at the TSC as an especially enthusiastic volunteer, because she truly believes in our mission. She now loves being able to use all her talents to benefit the turtles and tortoises at the TSC as the full-time Veterinary Care Manager and Operations Specialist.
Clinton Doak - Assistant Curator, TSC
Clinton Doak, has been interested in reptiles and amphibians for the majority of his life. Growing up in rural Michigan, his passion for herpetofauna started at an early age where he could be found in swamps and ponds looking for turtles. After receiving a Bachelor's of Science degree in Zoology at Northern Michigan University, he relocated to Arkansas to begin a career in zookeeping. Initially a keeper in the Education Department at the Little Rock Zoo, Clinton's primary interest in herpetology drove him towards a more reptile-focused career. Clinton's work as a professional herpetologist began with a swing keeper position in the Reptile Department at the Little Rock Zoo, which would soon graduate to a full-time position in the Fort Worth Zoo's world-class herpetarium, The Museum of Living Art (MOLA). While working in MOLA, he worked with some of the most endangered reptiles in the world, including a variety of Asian species such as Indian Gharial, Painted Terrapin, Pan's Box turtle, Southern River Terrapin, and Narrow-headed Softshell Turtle.
Jordan Gray - Communications and Outreach Coordinator
Jordan joined the TSA in February 2017 as the new Communications Coordinator. A native of Virginia, he has lived in numerous American states and abroad, all of which have provided various opportunities for him cultivate his passion for chelonians. Involvement with conservation and wildlife research began early for Jordan as he would regularly accompany his father into the woods to perform field research. While studying at Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia, Jordan cofounded the Terrapin Educational Research Program of Savannah (T.E.R.P.S). After graduation, he relocated to become an animal care and outreach technician for the Houston Zoo. There he began working with the Turtle Survival Alliance through the North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group. Ultimately, Jordan hopes to utilize his passion for educational outreach to foster an appreciation for turtles and tortoises as well as promote stewardship of their habitats.
Cris Hagen - Director, TSC
In 2010 Cris Hagen became the TSA's first Director of Animal Management and is responsible for the strategic development and management oversight of captive turtle assurance colonies throughout the U.S.A. to support the conservation mission of the TSA. Cris has been an active member of the TSA since its inception. He was instrumental in the formation of the TSA's Turtle Survival Center (TSC) in South Carolina in 2013 and assembled one of the rarest collections of endangered turtle assurance colonies in the world. A true turtle connoisseur, Cris has been studying turtles of the world since he was 4 years old and has an extensive background in herpetology spanning over 35 years that includes a mixture of herpetoculture, animal collections management, biological sciences, taxonomy, field and lab research, teaching and environmental education. Cris was formerly employed (2002-2013) as a genetics and herpetology research technician at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL). While at SREL he maintained dozens of turtle species and over 1000 individuals in assurance colonies. His personal and professional interests have taken him to over 25 countries on 5 continents to study natural history and he has co-authored 5 taxonomic descriptions of turtles. His life-long fascination with the Malay Archipelago has lead him to make several exploration trips to the region since 1998, resulting in natural history and conservation notes on the Sulawesi Forest Turtle (Leucocephalon yuwonoi) and Rote Island Snake-necked Turtle (Chelodina mccordi).
Rachael Harff - Chelonian Keeper
Rachael joined TSA in March 2021 as a Chelonian Keeper. Rachael knew she wanted to have a career working with animals from a young age. She pursued her passion by obtaining a BS in Animal Science from Illinois State University. While in college, Rachael became particularly interested in animal husbandry. She first gained experience in this field through volunteering at Miller Park Zoo and working part-time at a local dog rescue in Bloomington, Illinois. Following graduation, Rachael relocated to South Carolina in 2018. She began working at a local veterinary clinic, working her way up to lead veterinary assistant. Rachael then began a resident 6-month biology internship with the South Carolina Aquarium, focusing in herpetology, mammalogy, and ornithology. There, she became particularly passionate about working with reptiles and amphibians. She continued to volunteer in the aquarium's herpetology department through mid-2020. She also began volunteering weekly as an animal keeper at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens Zoo & Nature Center. Rachael is fully devoted to animal care, and is particularly passionate about conservation of endangered species.
David Hedrick - Digital Content & Community Coordinator
David has been looking under rocks since he could walk and has spent as much time in the water as out. He grew up and still lives in the biodiverse Southern Appalachian region of East Tennessee. During his seventeen years in zoo herpetology in Nashville and Chattanooga, he cared for and grew a collection of a broad range of species, also working with Hellbender Salamanders in zoos and in the field. Conservation social media began as a volunteer effort building accounts for Caribbean Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (CaribPARC) and Hellbender Conservation in the American South. For several years David grew the social media presence of the International Iguana Foundation and began doing the same for the TSA in 2015. He is the point person for TSA’s popular Drink Beer. Save Turtles.® events and partnerships, maintains the Turtle Survival Alliance website, and has been part of the team that brings the Annual Symposium on the Conservation and Biology of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles to the world on virtual platforms. David also serves on the TSA’s Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Committee.
Chelsea Rinn - Development Coordinator
Chelsea, a Virginia native, moved to Charleston to join the TSA as Development Coordinator in March 2021. Her longtime love of animals began when she was a child as her parents, in an effort to keep her summers constructive, enrolled her in a variety of animal-centric day camps. Later, after completing her undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech, she advocated for homeless pets as the Development Assistant at the Roanoke Valley SPCA in Roanoke, VA. There, she found her calling in nonprofit development and a passion for working with animals. She completed a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership Studies from the University of Lynchburg, while working at Zoo Knoxville in Tennessee. Her tenure at Zoo Knoxville further cultivated a love for conserving wildlife and wild places. Chelsea loves to be active and do anything outdoors. When she’s not outside, she enjoys reading, watching baseball and spending time with her family.