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.

Wild Horses

Rowdyandcorrals

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.

Wild Horses

“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.

Rowdyandmule

Department of Interior Partners in Conservation Award

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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

Trevor

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.