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Refuge assists with middle-school project

By Staff | May 8, 2019
PHOTO PROVIDED Jeremy Conrad, lead biologist at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, helps Frances “Bee” Eckels with her research.
PHOTO PROVIDED Frances “Bee” Eckels received help on her research from staff at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Last month, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge hosted a young student and future conservationist, Frances “Bee” Eckels, and her family. Bee reached out to the refuge from Vermont to enlist its help in completing a capstone project that culminates middle school in preparation for high school. Her topic was the importance of sea turtles and the conservation efforts that protect them. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge and refuge staff came together to help Bee learn as much as possible, thanks to the coordination of Assistant Refuge Store Manager Chris Galloway. Refuge Biologist Jeremy Conrad and refuge volunteer Nancy Riley, who is also a sea turtle permittee for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, spent an afternoon sharing their knowledge. Bee and her family were overjoyed with the response, stating that it was far beyond their expectations.