Welcome to the IIC Internship experience. Start your journey today by seeing why you should join the IIC. Be sure to regularly check our job postings for the latest IIC opportunities.
We want to welcome everyone to the 2015 Public Lands Employment Day, you don’t want to miss this event! There will be representatives from all of our partners looking to hire students for paid summer internships. Bring a resume and some questions for each of them. They respond well to people who show enthusiasm and interest. Try to do some research before you come, it will make you a better candidate. Above all, come with a willingness to learn and to talk to people. There’s something for everybody at the IIC.
“Let’s find a way to make this a game” is one of the first things I ever heard David Whitmore say. When he steps onto a mountain (or a river, or bike trail, or climbing route for that matter) you can see his eyes light up. He always has a smile and is ready to have fun in the outdoors. The Outdoor Recreation in Parks and Tourism major is from Richfield, UT and has a way of making everything fun but at the same time educational. David is the Wilderness educator for the Outdoor Engagement Center at SUU. His position was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
“I had a blast, it was a lot of work. I was doing things I didn’t really know how to do coming into it, but figuring them out and then implementing them was really rewarding,” Whitmore said. “I’ve had to learn a lot about graphic design, computer design, web design. I’ve had to learn to network and communicate with people from the school level clear on up to Chris Barns who is a national representative at the Carhart Center for the BLM. I’ve learned to do interesting things from creating vegan menus to creating links on web pages to everything in between.”
This is his third season with the IIC, he’s done some maintenance and trail work for Cedar Breaks, Kanab, and Pine Valley in some of his past internships. He told me this internship was a little different.
“I’ve been in an office at a computer doing emails and very little physical work and a lot of mental work. This internship has been good because it’s filled in a lot of the gaps where I didn’t have any experience at all. I could build a trail and work outside all day long but I was scared to death to write an email to an important person. So I’ve been grateful for this internship because of the skills it has taught me.”
Whitmore put on a 5k run and walk called Run Wild as part of his internship. The event had agency representatives with tables, barbecued hot dogs, fire building stations, and other fun things besides the run. He told me if he could, he wishes he could do it again. Because of all the things he’s learned through his experience he feels like he could do a better job, but he’s pleased with the way it has turned out. He is putting on a forum for Wilderness education on November 5-7 with corresponding activities throughout each of those days. He is constantly trying to get across the idea to celebrate the idea of Wilderness, no matter their background.
Because of his willingness to adapt and improve, he has been one of the most successful IIC interns to date. Many agencies already ask for him by name. He says anyone can have the same chances as he’s been given. “There’re opportunities out there to get experience where you need experience. If you’ll be diligent at finding those internships and then when you get them, if you’ll do your best to do a good job at those internships, it can provide experience that will serve you for the rest of your life, no matter what career you choose to go into.”
The future is bright for this bright-eyed guy from Southern Utah. Begin your journey through an IIC internship!
Dust covered and stout were the first things I noticed. His accent was also hard to miss. Rowdy Walch talked with me about his job as Range Tech overseeing wild horses. Wild mustangs roam the desert surrounding Enterprise (the small town where Walch is from). The Forest Service, in partnership with the BLM, is charged with managing and studying their movement. He’s no stranger to the hills he works in. He’s grown up searching the hills for wild horses, now he’s getting paid for it.
“I always have enjoyed working outdoors,” Walch says. “It’s something worth doing.” Though he’s been working with the Forest Service for several years, he has started attending SUU to get the education needed to secure a full time position with the agency. His internship through the IIC provides an opportunity to delve even deeper into his goals.
“It’s a really good deal, it helps me get through school, it gives me a job and it looks really good when you’re looking for employment. It comes from a credible source, with the University backing it.” Walch said.
He drives a Forest Service truck around the large area that is Dixie National Forest. Though he stays close to Enterprise and the Pine Valley area, they have him scout out back roads and canyons looking for horses. As we rode together on one of these rocky roads, he told me about the balance he hopes other land agencies can achieve through their management. Growing up on a farm himself, he sees things from both the rancher’s and public land’s perspective in dealing with variables like wild horses. The land, he told me, is supposed to be dealt with responsibly from all directions. He said his mentors have helped him learn that balance. “I’d say probably the most valuable is teaching the hands on. That kind of makes everything come together. You get to learn the ropes a lot better than you do learning in a classroom.”
We found some wild horses, but the wind wasn’t in our favor. They ran from us once they caught our scent. He said he’s seen the herd before and they’ll be back where he can get a better look at them. He seems to love his job, working hard, exploring the countryside he loves so well, and looking after the mustangs his family taught him to admire.
“It’s been a good summer, being out all the time and it’s just a good job, that’s all there is to it.” Walch says, “Everything from working with the ranchers, getting on the ground doing that type of stuff, to the management side, to the wild horse and burro program. It’s just great all the way around.”
His internship fits him perfectly for everything from his major to where he grew up. With hundreds of internships like this, it’s no wonder the IIC is an award winning program allowing students to pursue careers and passions.
The IIC was featured in the SUU Journal. If you want to read what they wrote about us, you can view it here.
The Representatives from the IIC receiving the Partners in Conservation Award from the Secretary of the Department of Interior, Sally Jewell.
From Left to Right: Dr. Briget Tyson Eastep, director of the Harry Reid Outdoor Engagement Center at the Southern Utah University; Seth Ohms, Internship Coordinator of the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative; Paul Roelandt, superintendent of Cedar Breaks National Monument, Carolyn Shelton, assistant monument manager at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument; Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior; Rosie Pepito, superintendent, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument; Steve Ellis, Deputy of Operations at the BLM; and Neil Kornze, Principle Deputy Director of the BLM. Photo: Tami Heilemann, DOI.
This is a great moment in history for SUU and the IIC, to not only be recognized by the Department of the Interior for their efforts, but to gain national recognition as a program that has truly made a difference in public lands management. The IIC’s exemplary performance as a conservation organization has been pressing forward with diligence and enthusiasm since its beginning in 2007. All of that hard work has paid off, Secretary Jewell said:
“The Department of the Interior is proud to recognize the accomplishments of those who are innovating and collaborating in ways that address today’s complex conservation and stewardship challenges…These partnerships represent the gold standard for how Interior is doing business across the nation to power our future, strengthen tribal nations, conserve and enhance America’s great outdoors and engage the next generation.”
The IIC will continue to move forward with even more constant and earnest effort, to achieve its vision, and live up to the nationally recognized organization it has become.