Meet Our Team

Christine Ellis, Executive Director

Christine joined Winyah Rivers as the Waccamaw Riverkeeper in August 2006. She led the organization's education and advocacy efforts until January 2014 when she took on the role of River Advocate, focusing on education and advocacy in the North Carolina portion of our Winyah Bay Watershed. In 2015, Christine's role was expanded to serve as Deputy Director of Winyah Rivers Foundation and in 2018 she took on responsibilities as Executive Director of Winyah Rivers. Christine has an MS in Environmental Management and a BS in Zoology (Biology) and has worked in the environmental field for her entire career.


Cara Schildtknecht, Waccamaw Riverkeeper

Cara joined Winyah Rivers as the Waccamaw Riverkeeper in May 2017. She leads the organization's education and advocacy efforts in the Waccamaw watershed in both North and South Carolina. Cara is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University's Master’s of Science in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies program. She received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and Bachelor of Arts in English at Shepherd University (SU) in Shepherdstown, WV.  Cara is the Field Leader for our Waccamaw River Volunteer Monitoring Program that we co-administer with Coastal Carolina University's Waccamaw Watershed and advocates for water quality protections in the Waccamaw watershed.


Jefferson Currie II, Lumber Riverkeeper

Jeff joined Winyah Rivers in August 2018 to watch over the Lumber River watershed in North and South Carolina. Jeff is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and a native North Carolinian. After graduating from UNC-Pembroke with a BA in American Indian Studies, he worked at the NC Museum of History as curator, historian and researcher, and completed the coursework for a Master of Arts in Folklore at UNC-Chapel Hill. he has worked on projects about textile mills, civil rights, music, fishing traditions, plants and gardening, labor communities, and the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Project, in addition to projects with many of NC's 8 state-recognized tribes.



Amanda Dickson, Bookkeeper

Amanda joined Winyah Rivers in spring 2019. She moved from New Jersey to Myrtle Beach in 2001 after college. Amanda met her husband at a local church; they have four children, two boys and two girls. Her niche is office administration, which has been focused primary in the engineering and architectural field. She has a passion for Scouts, and is a Den Leader and Assistant Cub Master at Pack 891.  She looks forward to taking what she is learning at Winyah Rivers and applying it to our local BSA Troops and Packs.



Emma Gerald Boyer, Land Officer (Contracted)

Emma joined Winyah Rivers as the Waccamaw Riverkeeper in 2015, leading the organization's education and advocacy efforts until May 2017 when she stepped down as a result of growing her family. At that time, Emma took on a part-time role with Winyah Rivers to advance our organization's involvement in the acquisition of the Rocky Point property on the Black River and the Singleton property on the Waccamaw River. Emma continues under contract as Winyah Rivers part-time Land Officer overseeing the Rocky Point Community Forest, property owned by Winyah Rivers in the Choppee Community on the Black River, and assisting with other conservation efforts within the greater Winyah Bay watershed. Emma has a Master's Degree in Environmental Science and Policy and a Bachelor's Degree in Biology.


Lisa Swanger, Coastal Waccamaw Watershed Education Programs Coordinator (Contracted)


Since 2014, Lisa Swanger has served as the Coastal Waccamaw Watershed Educations Programs Coordinator at Coastal Carolina University. In this joint position, she is responsible for coordinating the Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium and providing environmental education support to the Winyah Rivers Alliance's Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® Program (WRK). Her key WRK projects include coordinating the annual Waccamaw Conference, directing the RIVERKEEPER® Challenge youth water monitoring program, and delivering coastal watershed education presentations to diverse audiences. Lisa relocated to South Carolina from Oregon where she received her Master's Degree in Marine Resource Management from Oregon State University.



Riverkeeper Intern

Because of our close relationship with Coastal Carolina University and the location of our office at the Coastal Science Center, we welcome college students to intern with us and to assist in implementing our mission. We are happy to help train the next generation of conservation leaders!


To keep up with what we're up to, check out our newsletter.