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SCCF welcomes new interns to team

By Staff | Sep 9, 2020

Juliana Koller. SCCF

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation reported that Juliana Koller has joined the team as a field biologist intern in the Wildlife & Habitat Management program, while Adam Tardif has joined the team as an intern with the SCCF Native Landscapes & Garden Center.

Koller will help to gather and manage data on departmental projects, particularly the freshwater and terrestrial turtle projects. It is her first experience working with turtles, and she is excited to be collecting data in the unique environment of Sanibel.

“I am looking forward to understanding Sanibel’s wildlife and ecosystems first hand, as well as learning data collection and processing techniques,” Koller said.

She is from Weston, Connecticut, and attends Colgate University where she studies environmental studies, geography, and psychology. Koller will serve as an intern for the SCCF for four months.

“My favorite topics include Geographic Information Systems (GIS), environmental ethics and intersectional environmentalism,” she said.

Koller previously assisted two professors with their research in Uganda studying antibiotic resistance. She also previously worked with domesticated animals as a vet technician and with sea creatures in the Long Island Sound as an instructor for school children.

“I hope to travel the world to study political ecology and to eventually work to prevent climate change through research and education,” Koller said.

Born and raised in Fort Myers, Tardif has strong roots in Southwest Florida and its ecosystems.

“My love for plants and the environment began in middle school after learning about beach and mangrove ecosystems during a summer program called Camp Aqua Trek,” he said. “I decided to take environmental science and marine biology in high school, and my passion kept growing in college when I took classes on sustainable food and the flora of Southwest Florida.”

Tardif has also interned at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium, where he led nature hikes and helped to build the science curriculum for the winter and summer camps. His senior research involved studying soil amendments on radishes in raised beds. Tardif graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2019 with a degree in environmental studies.

He is passionate about ecology, conservation and learning to reduce his ecological footprint. Spending his whole life in Fort Myers has given Tardif an appreciation and love for nature and its beauty that he is excited to share.

“I find it so fulfilling to be able to share my knowledge with others and continue to learn,” he said. “I’m extremely grateful for this internship opportunity with SCCF and excited to learn from and work alongside others that share my passions.”