DDWS Welcomes Latest Intern

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Ali Reece recently arrived from Indiana State University in Terre Haute to join the team of interns from around the country helping J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) with their conservation efforts on Sanibel Island as the Harkey Development & Communications Intern.

Originally from Cambridge City, Ind., Reece was previously working in the Office of Sustainability as outreach and communications student project manager at the university, from where she graduated in May 2022 with a degree in marketing and a minor in sustainability. Prior to that, she worked on Sanibel Island at CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) from June to December 2020 as the conservation education and marketing intern.

“I have been coming to Sanibel with my family for as long as I can remember,” said Reece. “I love how Sanibel represents and supports conservation and values habitat restoration and conservation over development. ‘Ding’ has always been one of my favorite places to come and visit, and it is a dream come true to work for a place that helps preserve this beautiful island.”

Through June 2023, Reece will be assisting DDWS with its fundraising efforts, development, and programmatic efforts to support the refuge, particularly in the areas of social media, graphic arts, and other communication tools.

“I’m so grateful to the Harkeys for making my internship at ‘Ding’ Darling possible,” said Reece. “I’m looking forward to learning more about nonprofit management and communications during my time here at ‘Ding.’ I’m also very excited to help plan fundraising events and be a part of such a great team.”

“Laurie and I have always been fans of the outdoor and wildlife, and this is a way to support public education and environmental and wildlife protection while we are still around to see the results,” said Bill Harkey, who serves on the board of directors. “The society’s intern program is crucial to the refuge’s mission. We have witnessed firsthand the challenges at the refuge with staffing and managing the nearly one million annual visitors, visiting school children, restoration, research, and overall conservation work.”

“We are grateful to the Harkeys for supporting our interns, who bring youthful energy, enthusiasm, and creativity to the refuge team,” said DDWS associate executive director Sierra Hoisington. “Our friends group works hard to assist the refuge, through monetary support, with conservation work and messaging, community outreach, and programmatic and staffing needs. These are all important skills our interns learn and take with them into their professional lives to continue impacting conservation wherever their career paths take them.”

For more information about the refuge’s internship program and to make a donation in support of it, contact Sierra Hoisington at 239-472-1100 ext. 233.

As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop profits. To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit dingdarlingsociety.org or contact Birgie Miller at 239-292-0566 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.

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