Carrie Harmon recently accepted the full-time position as assistant manager for the Refuge Nature Store operated by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. She, along with Chris Galloway, serve as support staff for store manager Ann-Marie Wildman.

A native of Casper, Wyo., Harmon moved to Sanibel from Fort Collins, Colo., with her then-fiancé Paul in August 2017, about two weeks before Hurricane Irma hit. The two married on Sept. 18, 2018.

“We gave out stainless steel straws as wedding favors and asked our guests, in lieu of gifts, to make a donation to CROW or Coastal Keepers,” said Harmon. “We had a dollar donation dance, to benefit the refuge planned for our reception, but we were unable to have it due to rain.”

Harmon worked previously as assistant store manager at The Bait Box on Sanibel Island. She also works part-time for the Condominiums Association of Sanibel Island and volunteers her time to a number of charitable events, including DDWS’ Go Wild for “Ding” fundraiser in February and “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament in May.

“We went to the Nature Store holiday shopping event in 2017 and not only took care of all of our Christmas shopping but also befriended many of the society and refuge employees,” said Harmon. “The evident passion and vibrancy of everyone involved with the refuge and the legacy of ‘Ding’ inspired us to find ways to give back to the refuge and help in whatever way we could. Driving through the refuge and kayaking the trail in Tarpon Bay are two of the things we make a point to do with visiting friends and family.”

“Carrie’s enthusiasm and energy have already proved invaluable in the Nature Store and beyond,” said Wildman. “She has quickly become an asset to the entire ‘Ding’ team.”

“On Sanibel, you live in nature and the wildlife is all around you,” Harmon explained her love for her new home. “It's wildlife first, people second. And we are all for it. I am slowly but surely learning to identify the seemingly endless variety of birds on Sanibel and loving all the opportunities to learn more about them through programs at the refuge.”