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DDWS funds two new refuge interns

By Staff | Dec 4, 2009

“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) has provided funding for living expense stipends for up to seven interns at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in the 2008-09 fiscal year. Two new interns recently joined the staff.

A German native but a Cape Coral resident for 13 years, Conny Spurfeld arrived late September to serve as a biology intern. She graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) two years ago with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and since then has been learning about the evasive Nile monitor lizard through an expedition to Africa and by trapping “zillions” in Cape Coral. She will be putting her trapping expertise to good use researching the Sanibel rice rat on refuge lands.

In October, Cindy Clairy stepped into the education intern position, just in time to assist with “Ding” Darling Days. She lives in Fort Myers and will be attending FGCU to work on a Masters degree in Environmental Science. Her undergraduate studies in environmental science policy and regulations took place at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, Texas.

“These individuals are doing essential work for the refuge while gaining valuable experience,” said Refuge Manager Paul Tritaik. “The refuge, as always, is indebted to the ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society for making the funds available for this program.”

DDWS is a non-profit, friends-of-the-refuge organization that supports the Education Center and other educational and biological/habitat programs and services at the refuge.

To join DDWS and become a friend of the refuge, stop in at the Refuge Education Center, call 472-1100 ext. 233 or visit www.dingdarlingsociety.org.