Some of DDWS's 2018 scholarship winners with check presenters
Some of DDWS's 2018 scholarship winners with check presenters

Application deadline for a number of scholarships from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge, ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 each, is March 31. High school seniors, college students, and graduate students in or from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades counties pursuing degrees in environmental-related studies can apply.

The scholarships will be awarded at a special ceremony at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island in June 2019.

Now in its 13th year, the DDWS scholarship program presented its first awards in 2006 from Tarpon Bay Explorers, the refuge's official recreation concession. To date, the program has awarded $116,700. 

“Tarpon Bay Explorers started the program by offering two $1,000 scholarships in 2005,” said DDWS executive director Birgie Miller. “When four applicants turned out to be highly deserving, they doubled their commitment that year. Through the years, co-owner Wendy Schnapp has increased her annual contribution to $5,000 and has awarded 46 scholarships. We applaud Tarpon Bay Explorer’s commitment to conservation education, always generous support of the refuge, and effective seeding of a program that now annually awards up to $15,000 to local students.”

Interested students can find more information and printable application forms at www.dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/student-scholarships.

It is still possible to honor friends and family members in 2019 with a conservation scholarship in their name. To learn more, contact Birgie Miller at 239-472-1100 ext. 4 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.

Named scholarships to date for 2019 include:

  • Richard Bailey Memorial Scholarships
  • Mike and Terry Baldwin Scholarship
  • Dr. Andrew and Laura Dahlem Scholarship
  • Dr. H. Randall Deming Scholarship for Conservation and Environmental Studies, a permanently endowed scholarship
  • Hans & Leslie Fleischner Scholarship
  • Mary Elaine Jacobson Memorial Scholarship
  • Francine & Barry Litofsky Scholarship
  • Tarpon Bay Explorers Scholarships
  • Jane Werner Environmental Scholarship, a permanently endowed scholarship