Refuge Welcomes Photo Intern

Provided to the 

Visitor services photography and videography intern Sam Warren arrived recently to help the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island with staffing shortages and special projects this summer, thanks to funding from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS).

Sam Warren

Warren, who will graduate from Ohio University, Cleveland, in May 2023, studies photojournalism in the School of Visual Communication and has done extensive work as a freelance photojournalist covering a variety of topics and issues.

“I’m looking forward to helping ‘Ding’ revamp informational videos about the refuge and important info for volunteers and guests, as well as photographing wildlife and events to help share with the public the importance of what we’re doing here,” said Warren, a Cleveland, Ohio, native who has been vacationing on Sanibel Island and visiting “Ding” Darling for many years.

“With his past experience on the island and his great skills in capturing visual moments, Sam will fill a crucial need, in this day and age, for social media content and instructional videography,” said Toni Westland, supervisory refuge ranger.

“It feels amazing to be working as a part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and to use my skills to help aid in the important mission of the refuge,” said Warren. “I just love the peace and quiet and natural beauty of Sanibel.”

“We welcome Sam and his talent to our dynamic team of nature-lovers and doers,” said Westland.  “We are so thankful to our friends group. Without them, our internship program would not be possible.”

DDWS provides living stipends and other benefits for more than a dozen interns each year. The refuge supports interns with free housing.

For more information about the refuge’s internship programs, contact Westland at 239-472-1100 ext. 237. To learn about supporting the refuge intern program, contact Birgie Miller, DDWS executive director, at 239-472-1100 ext. 4.



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