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Naples-area teens complete yearlong internship program at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida honored its first graduating class of Collier County students who successfully completed an innovative new career exploration program.

Exploring Conservation Career Opportunities, or ECCO, provides immersive, hands-on experiences in scientific research, volunteer opportunities, field trips and opportunities to learn from wildlife biologists and naturalists. The inaugural class of seven Teen ECCO students graduated on Jan. 9.

“The goal of Teen ECCO is to help pique students’ interest in STEM-related fields and expose them to potential careers as biologists, naturalists, conservationists, policy experts and researchers,” said Dr. Heather Skaza Acosta, education director for the Conservancy. “Each of these seven students had an exceptional opportunity to shadow Conservancy staff members and participate in our mission of protecting Southwest Florida’s water, land, wildlife and future.”

Students also were required to complete a scientific research project, and each teen presented a poster representing their findings at the graduation ceremony.

Registration for the Conservancy’s Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 Teen ECCO program is open through Jan. 25, and available to high school students currently in grades 9-11. Prospective participants must complete an application and submit two letters of recommendation. Additional details are available by visiting Conservancy.org/ECCO or calling 239-262-0304.

About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida:
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a not-for-profit environmental protection organization with a 55-year history focused on the issues impacting the water, land wildlife and future of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Conservancy accomplishes this mission through the combined efforts of its experts in the areas of environmental science, policy, education and wildlife rehabilitation. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, world-class Nature Center and von Arx Wildlife Hospital are headquartered in Naples, Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, south of the Naples Zoo off Goodlette-Frank Road. Learn more about the Conservancy’s work and how to support the quality of life in Southwest Florida www.conservancy.org.

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