‘Ding’ appoints Wolff new education ranger
Becky Wolff arrived at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in early June to take the position of Environmental Education Specialist vacated by Toni Westland, when she was promoted to Supervisory Refuge Ranger in September 2009.
Wolff comes here from Cherokee, Ok., where she served as the Outdoor Recreation Planner at Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge.
“I was in charge of their visitor services division and was involved in several partnerships with other wildlife refuges, state parks, and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation,” explained Wolff, a graduate from Ohio State University in Animal Sciences and History Education and a confirmed Buckeyes fan.
She did her internship at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, followed by a two-year term position there.
Born and raised in Streetsboro, Ohio, Wolff’s appreciation and education of nature began early in life.
“I was raised to love the outdoors and appreciate nature’s blessings,” she says. “My pappy – my grandfather — always told me ‘unless you love walls, never work behind them’ — a statement that I took to heart. Now my classroom is nature and I’m the interpreter.”
Wolff’s love of birding and aspirations to become a lead environmental educator eventually ended her up here at “Ding” Darling NWR.
“I’m a birder at heart, so it is so amazing driving to work every morning and seeing osprey, frigate birds, pelicans, and the terns,” said Wolff. “Oh, the birding is amazing! I just love learning about this place.”
Getting acquainted with a new ecosystem and the local science teachers are the biggest challenges facing the new EE specialist at this point. She’s happy to be leading a summer program, and once she gets into the swing of things plans to “try out new things and ideas,…. add some ‘Becky Flair’ to things,” she said. “I have a lot of goals that I want to do here at ‘Ding.’ My main goal is to be worthy of the honor of working at such an amazing refuge.”
The environmental education program at “Ding” Darling is funded in part by “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge, a non-profit organization that supports the Education Center, “Ding” Darling Days, and other educational and research programs at the refuge.
To join DDWS and become a friend to the refuge, stop in at the Refuge Education Center or visit www.dingdarlingsociety.org.