YEMASEE, SC (WCDB) – On Saturday, the Nemours Wildlife Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary and cut the ribbon for the new Ernie P. Wiggers research lab in Yemassee, SC
The state-of-the-art $ 2 million facility aims to expand its wildlife research that has been carried out for more than a quarter of a century. The facility is named after Dr. Wiggers, who served as the organization’s president and CEO for 22 years.
âWhen Eugene duPont, III, created the Nemours Wildlife Foundation, he did it out of love for this place,â said President Mike McShane. âIt is this same passion that drives our work twenty-five years later. Thanks to donations from many supporters, we are confident to invest in an on-site facility to support the extensive wildlife research taking place on the ground. Most importantly, we are in a better position to develop the next generation of land managers.
The 3,200 square foot facility includes indoor and outdoor spaces with areas for washing, drying and storing test samples, a fume hood, freezer and desks. The organization intends to use the facility for on-site research.
âStudents from across the country come here to put what they have learned into practice in their campus classrooms,â says Dr. Ernie Wiggers. âWe have studied a multitude of upland and wetland habitats, and our findings have significantly increased our knowledge of their ecology and how to manage them.
One of the Nemours Wildlife Foundation’s first interns was Heather Venter, who now works as a conservation land manager for the St. John’s River Water Management District in northeast Florida.
âMy time at Nemours not only taught me how to become a better biologist, but it also gave me the foundations to be successful in the field,â says Venter.
The Nemours Wildlife Foundation also offers outreach activities and partnerships with other wildlife biology university programs, in addition to developing educational programs for schools and communities in the region.