SUU IIC Introduction

Welcome to the IIC Internship experience.  Start your journey today by viewing our video and learning about internship success stories below.  Be sure to regularly check our job postings for the latest IIC opportunities.

An introduction to what has been done in the past, what kind of students have worked with us, and what school and agency leaders have to say about the program.

Department of Interior Partners in Conservation Award


The DOI Press Release  

The video for the Award Ceremony

The BLM Tumblr about the IIC

KCSG News Spot

Iron County Today News Spot

SUU News Spot

The Spectrum News Spot

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.

Washington DC Adventures

Some of the leaders of the IIC set out on adventures to do some sightseeing while in Washington DC to receive the Partners in Conservation award from the Department of Interior:

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Heston Smith

Heston N Trevor

GIS (Geographic Information System) Intern

Zion National Park

Heston is from the Kanosh band of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah (PITU).  He graduated from Millard high school in Fillmore, Utah then went to Weber State University.  While attending Weber State as an undeclared undergrad student Heston struggled and almost quit college.  He went to Robert Depoe, the Education Director for the PITU, and discussed his options.  Robert suggested he look into the GIS Program at Southern Utah University (SUU).  Heston really liked the program and excelled as a student in the program.   He was then recommended by his GIS Professor for the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative (IIC) Youth Internship Program (YIP) GIS Internship at Zion National Park.  He successfully completed his internship during the summer and fall of 2010.  Part of Heston’s internship was to map Zion Peregrine Falcon eyrie sites.  This project was so successful it was also adapted for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA).  Heston graduated from SUU, and because of his many experiences with the IIC, went on to complete a Master’s of GIS at the University of Arizona, Tucson.  From almost dropping out to completing a Master’s degree, Heston exemplifies how an IIC internship can change the course of a life.

Trevor Lopez


Law Enforcement Intern

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Motivated by his IIC internship, Trevor attended the NPS Law Enforcement Academy with plans to start a career as a National Parks Law enforcement officer.  However, fate had a different plan for Trevor as imperfect eyesight precluded a Law Enforcement career with the Park Service.  Not to be deterred Trevor re-assessed his goals and was hired in a permanent position at the monument working with fees and other critical programs at the Monument.  This was in large measure due to his broad experience as and IIC Intern at Cedar Breaks.  Trevor has become a critical member of the Cedar Breaks Staff.

Danessa Whittier


Crew Member of the CIC

Bryce Canyon National Park

Danessa has moved through the IIC tier programs, from a crew member on the IIC’s Career Internship Corps (CIC) to her present position as a multi-year vegetation Intern at Bryce Canyon National Park.  She has improved her interpersonal skills significantly through these experiences.  Upon her initial application for a crew member position several years ago, her interview skills were poor and SUU administrators were hesitant to approve her hire.  However IIC’s staff members saw her potential and  indeed it was greatness they found.  Beginning work with the CIC crew, Danessa quickly put to rest any doubt that she was indeed IIC material.  She worked very diligently and earned a reputation as a hard worker.  Through her success as a crew member, coupled with mentoring from her crew leader and IIC staff, she was able to build her confidence and drive to achieve more.  Danessa worked so well for Bryce in 2012 as an IIC intern, that they were insistent on getting her back for the 2013 season as an invaluable member of Bryce canyon’s Vegetation monitoring team.   We look forward to seeing Dannessa continue to progress into a career with the NPS.