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Refuge welcomes education intern

By Staff | Jan 6, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Anna Tursky will assist with refuge education programming through the school year.

On Dec. 2, education intern Anna Tursky joined the team at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel to help with staffing shortages through the current school year, thanks to funding from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge.

A native of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Tursky graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, with an emphasis in aquatic biology. Previously, she worked two summers as a research technician for the Wagner Lab at Michigan State University on a sea lamprey study and, in between those stints, at a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fish hatchery.

“I love being surrounded by so much protected land and wildlife, and that everyone at the refuge is passionate about this area,” Tursky said.

She looks forward to sharing her love of conservation with the nearly 8,000 students who visit the refuge annually on school field trips funded by the DDWS. The DDWS also provides living stipends and other benefits for about a dozen interns each year; the refuge supports them with free housing.

“Our interns bring youthful energy, enthusiasm and freshness to the refuge team,” Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland said. “At the same time, the program gives students and recent graduates an opportunity to learn hands-on about the environment and refuge operations while strengthening their ethic of conservation stewardship.”

For more information about internships, contact Westland at 239-472-1100 ext. 237. To learn about supporting the program, contact DDWS Associate Director Lynnae Messina at 239-472-1100 ext. 233.