Internships


Environmental Education Outreach Program
PO Box 5768
Flagstaff, AZ 86011
Phone: 928-523-1275
Fax: 928-523-1280


EEOP Internships

MEET our INTERNS

If you are a former ITEP intern, please contact ITEP to update your information. ITEP is interested in learning about your current academic and/or career endeavors.


2018 Summer Interns


Darrien Nikkole Benally

Darrien Nikkole Benally Darrien Nikkole Benally
Tulalip Tribes Healthy Homes Network
Seattle, WA

  • I am a Diné woman from Flagstaff, AZ. My mother's family is from Tonela, AZ. My clans are Manygoats born for the Mexican people clan.
  • Senior in B.S. Applied Indigenous studies program
  • Environmental Sustainability minor.
  • I enjoy hiking and fishing. I love to read books, both fiction and non-fiction.
  • I recently added skateboarding to my hobbies.


Megan Kerstein

Megan Kerstein Megan Kerstein
  • I will be working with the Nez Perce Tribe Air Quality Program in Lapwai, Idaho starting June 3rd
  • I am originally from Chicago, IL where I grew up with my older brother and parents
  • I received my Bachelors in Anthropology: Global Health and the Environment following the pre-medical track at Washington University in St. Louis; I am currently a graduate student in biomedical sciences at Boston University
  • For fun I love hiking, camping, running, aviation, learning new languages (I studied Spanish for 9 years and Arabic intensively for one year), and exploring new cities and towns


Michelle Pawlow

Michelle Pawlow Michelle Pawlow

This fall I will be entering my Junior year at the University of Michigan studying Environmental Engineering with an International Minor for Engineers. I grew up in Washington, DC but spent much of my childhood on a farm in Virginia developing my love for the outdoors and passion for protecting the environment. My experience working with the EPA last summer has given me a keen appreciation for the importance of government oversight and vigilance in environmental protection.
In my free time I enjoy traveling and running, and last summer I completed my first half marathon. At school, I am Vice President of the Engineering Honor Council and recently founded a Christian Ministry on campus. I am currently studying sustainability in France for the first half of the summer and am really excited to live with the Northern Cheyenne in Lame Deer, Montana beginning July 9th.

Sanober Mirza

Sanober Mirza Sanober Mirza
  • Originally from Rochester, MN
  • Graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Class of 2018)
  • Attending the University of Montana for graduate study in International Conservation and Development
  • Loves Geography and making maps
  • Working with the Gila River Indian Community Department of Environmental Quality
  • Started May 21st in Chandler, Arizona


Sherralynn Sneezer

Sherralynn Sneezer Sherralynn Sneezer
  • Hello, my name is Sherralynn Sneezer, and I am from Shonto, AZ. My parents are Rosalie Grass, Donald Sneezer, and Larry Gamble. My grandparents are Jones and Rose Marie Grass.
  • I am currently attending Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, and majoring in Environmental Studies. I graduated from Monument Valley High School in 2015.
  • My interests and hobbies include playing volleyball, reading, renewable energy, hanging out with my grandparents, and relaxing.
  • My host site is the Navajo Nation EPA in Window Rock, AZ. I will be starting my internship on June 25.


Zachary Frieband

Zachary Frieband Zachary Frieband
  • Student at Colorado State University
  • Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2019
  • Enjoys hiking, skiing, and anything outdoors
  • Double majoring in Environmental Health and Neuroscience
  • Interning at US EPA Office of Air and Radiation
  • Located at US EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC
  • Start Date: May 29th, 2018


Zaahir Howard

Zaahir Howard Zaahir Howard
  • Education: BS in Food Science and Technology from UC Davis
  • Extracurricular: Undergraduate Research, Black Community of Science Club
  • I enjoy: Cycling, Skateboarding, Exploring
  • Family: Youngest of 17 children
  • Fun Fact: I am an aspiring vegetarian



2017 Summer Interns


Elise Adams

Elise Adams Elise Adams
Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska
Unalaska, AK

I was privileged to be one of the ITEP interns for the summer of 2017. For my internship I worked with the Qawalangin Tribe on the island of Unalaska, Alaska. My time was split between field work on Unalaska and lab work in Flagstaff, Arizona where I am currently a graduate student at Northern Arizona University in the Biological Sciences Department. I had a wonderful experience as an ITEP intern. This internship made it possible for me to complete the field work portion of my Master’s project looking at PCB contamination in the Aleutian/Bering Sea Region of Alaska and distinguishing between local sources of contamination from formerly used defense sites and contamination coming up to the Arctic via global distillation. I loved working closely with the indigenous people of Unalaska on work that has important local and broad implications. It has opened the doors for future opportunities and collaborations. I love to travel and experience new things. I got to have the experience of a lifetime this summer spending time in an area that not many people see and doing things that not many people get to do. The ITEP staff as well as my host site took great care of me and wanted me to succeed. This internship has allowed me to grow both professionally and personally. I’m grateful for the opportunities this internship has provided.

Hailee Brown

Hailee Brown Hailee Brown
University of Arizona, College of Pharmacy, Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center
Tucson, AZ

Yá’át’ééh! My name is Hailee Brown. I am Navajo and of the Towering House & Many Goats clans. This summer I was an intern through ITEP NAU at the University of Arizona, College of Pharmacy, Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC). I had a great experience at SWEHSC as I learned a lot about being a professional, understanding environmental health, and working in Indian Country. Throughout my eight-week internship there was never a dull moment as SWEHSC has many ongoing collaborations and projects. I traveled a lot attending outreach events, meetings, and research sessions throughout Arizona. SWEHSC collaborates directly with tribes as well as indigenous organizations throughout Arizona. Additionally, SWEHSC has strong ties with the Native American organizations on campus. Throughout the summer, I worked on organizing outreach events, planning presentations, and researching data concerning environmental health. SWEHSC recognizes and researches the intersection between indigeneity and environmental science. Some of the topics I focused on this summer included: air quality, asthma, sun-safety, oil spills, toxicology, education, environmental policy, and traditional tribal teachings. The ITEP organization was very supportive and helpful of my work with SWEHSC. I encourage other students to apply for an ITEP internship as they will have very memorable experiences and gain valuable professional skills.

Steven Chischilly Jr.

Steven Chischilly Jr. Steven Chischilly Jr.
Pechanga Environmental Department
Temecula, CA

My internship experience was impeccable. Through ITEP I discovered other ascending tribal programs that are committed to the betterment of the natural systems. I extremely enjoyed the ability to move to another location, take up a task I am passionate about and meet other friendly goal oriented people. Experiencing the new location opened up my mind to new possibilities for my career. I got a taste of an employment opportunity that is incredibly viable for me.
The Pechanga Reservation is beautiful and a great bit of serenity nestled just outside of the urban community. The tribe has built itself up to a mighty position. The environmental department is always welcoming and has never failed to include me on important matters that surrounded the air program. Their input and conversations keep you well informed and any uncertainties are quickly sorted out in a friendly fashion.
The biggest takeaway from the Pechanga community is their focus on the youth. I was included in many activities that surrounded solely around the youth. It was very refreshing to see. I would not have traded the experience with ITEP and Pechanga for any other, it was an experience that will definitely leave an impression on me for the rest of my career.

Shaun Hudson

Shaun Hudson Shaun Hudson
Hopi Environmental Protection Office
Kykotsmovi, AZ

My name is Shaun Hudson. I’m a Navajo from a small community in Tuba City. I am a Graduate Student majoring in Climate Science and Solutions at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff Arizona. I currently completed an internship with the Hopi Environmental Protection Office in Kykotsmovi which is a small community on the Hopi Reservation. My duties included conducting studies involving environmental health studies with random home sites around the reservation. My study was a collaboration project with the University of Arizona School of Public Health which addresses environmental health disparities (particulate matter, arsenic, and uranium), evaluating environmental risk and water quality (locally and regionally), and observe the potential leakage of uranium and heavy metal waste from local landfills which could impact community health.
I have always been interested in preserving and protecting our natural resources on Native American lands. ITEP has given me the opportunity to expand on my interests working with the Hopi Tribe and allowing myself to progress in a field that I have been interested in since I’ve entered the environmental science program at NAU. Working with ITEP and the Hopi Tribe has given me the experience necessary to succeed in tribal environmental protection as well as becoming knowledgeable with the procedures in tribal environmental policy. Using the knowledge obtained from my graduate year at Northern Arizona University, I was able to utilize my education and have an impact on the orders and concepts with the Hopi EPA. This internship has given me the confidence to succeed in the ever changing environmental issues surrounding Native American lands.

Melanie Rose Keil

Melanie Rose Keil Melanie Rose Keil
Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley
Big Pine, CA

As an intern for the Environmental Department of the Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley, I spent the majority of my time conducting independent online research to develop curriculum for air quality and climate change environmental education outreach activities. I created lesson plans, worksheets, acquired, made, and tested materials for two hands-on, science based educational activities which I presented to tribal youth attending a summer session at the Tribal Education Center. My other major activity was planning and implementing a one-day field trip seminar designed to further tribal knowledge of local climate change vulnerabilities, mitigation, adaptation, and survival strategies. Additionally, on the technical side of things, I helped set up, take down and perform regular maintenance on the Tribe’s Emergency Beta Attenuation Monitor. I also helped to take down a meteorological station tower for troubleshooting and helped with the installation and set-up of a webcam that will eventually be used for live stream monitoring of air quality on the reservation. The internship gave me an idea of what working for a Tribal Department is like on daily basis and also provided me an opportunity to improve my interpersonal relationship skills and self-direction especially concerning time management and public speaking skills.

Natalie Shaw

Natalie Shaw Natalie Shaw
Central Arizona Project
Phoenix, AZ

During my time as an intern at the Central Arizona Project (CAP) in Phoenix, Arizona I had various opportunities to apply my knowledge, in addition to opportunities to further expand it. As a soon-to-be graduate student, this had been especially beneficial to my growth as student and professional within the field of environmental science and policy. Throughout my internship, I was able to network with other Native American professionals in addition to non-native professionals that work in various fields of work. Some of my work focused on water availability to Tribes with claims to Colorado River water and the consideration of various scenarios of water use and their impacts to water users of this important body of water. I worked with some amazing people who mentored me during my internship and I hope to remain in contact with. Unlike a classroom setting, where learning is mainly based off of textbook and lecture learning, an internship teaches you through experience, experience that you can carry with you to future careers or internships. You also aren’t limited to work on one topic, and you get the chance to branch out and learn from other different topics. During my internship, I not only worked on a scenario analysis project, but I also had a chance to visit a pumping plant, attend the Arizona Indian Chamber of Commerce luncheon, visit several tribal communities in the greater Phoenix area, not to mention the many opportunities for free food which is always appreciated by a college student!

Sherralyn Sneezer

Sherralyn Sneezer Sherralyn Sneezer
Honor the Earth
Callaway, MN

Hello, my name is Sherralyn Sneezer, and I am Navajo from Shonto, AZ. I am attending Dartmouth College, majoring in Environmental Studies. My ITEP internship experience was very important, helping me grow immensely. I had the opportunity to work at Honor the Earth this summer, and it was experience I will not forget. Renewable energy, especially solar, has been one of main interests for quite some time, because I would like to help the Navajo Nation transition to more renewable energy. However, I was unsure how or where I would get my start in renewable energy. I became aware of the Environmental Education Outreach Program (EEOP) and found this internship program.
Arriving at Winona’s house, I was not sure what to expect or what exactly my job would be. For the first few days, I was eager to get started installing solar panels and get hands-on experience with solar. I kept hearing about all the amazing solar projects Honor the Earth was working on: installing solar PV at the local school, manufacturing solar panel furnaces (SPFs), installing solar panel furnaces on homes, and a solar panel furnace installation training for 30 women. However, I still was not sure where I should focus my time. Pam, Special Projects and Events Coordinator, started me off on researching solar panel furnaces and the DEED (Department of Employment and Economic Development) Grant. My task was to help coordinate the SPF training for 30 native women from Pine Point and Leech Lake Reservation. I made flyers and posted them around town, hoping to find any women interested in solar. Even though I was an intern, I took the lead on coordinating this training with Pam. It was such a rewarding experience coordinating the training, and learning how to install SPFs at the same time. I learned important lessons and skills coordinating this training that I could not learn at school. It was slightly stressful, but I enjoyed working with the women. In addition, I met many people who could help me in the future, like people from Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL). I felt empowered, realizing that I could do a similar training on the Navajo Reservation. This internship has allowed me to see the potential in my community, and work toward change, allowing people to learn new skills and potentially create jobs. I am thankful for my experience for this summer working as an ITEP intern, because I have learned more about what I would like to do in my community. I would love to continue working with ITEP for future projects. Thank you.

Cydney Walters

Cydney Walters Cydney Walters
Navajo Nation EPA Air Quality Control Program
Fort Defiance, AZ

Shi ei Cydney Walters yinishe. Kinyaa’anii nishli doo Tsinjikini bashishchiin. Bii’ Bitonii ei da shi cheii doo Totsohnii ei da shinali. A’koteego Dine’ adzaan nishli. I am graduating from the University of Arizona in the spring of 2018, and spent summer 2016 in Washington DC doing an internship in the Geosciences Earth Sciences Department at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA. When making that transition from NSF to the Navajo Nation EPA in the Air Quality Control Program has been the most memorable and amazing experience, I have had. As an intern at NNEPA, I was able to travel to each of the monitoring sites, one in AZ and one in NM. I learned about how our air monitors work and how to calibrate and troubleshoot problems with the staff. I am a technician and I love to work with my hands and being able to work with the air monitoring systems was remarkable. I also got to take part in multiple outreach events in local communities at health and career fairs where I spoke to community members about the program and information we have on Open Burn. My main task for the entire summer was to create an outreach video addressing Open Burn, which is the burning of any household waste on the Navajo Nation and the issues caused by Open Burn, that covered topics from health effects to exempt activities. To anyone of you considering ITEP, or any other internship, I would strongly encourage them to take advantage of the opportunity. I learned a lot about the programs but myself as well. The opportunities are there and take advantage of it, it will take you far in life. I will continue to pursue environmental work and I hope to continue to work for the Navajo Nation and the community. I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing experience here at the Navajo Nation Air Quality Control Program. I couldn’t be anymore grateful and happy with this experience. A’xhee’, ITEP for this amazing opportunity.


2016 Summer Interns


Wilda Anagal

Wilda Anagal Wilda Anagal
US EPA Office of Air & Radiation
Washington, DC

Yá'át'ééh, my name is Wilda Anagal, I am of the Bitter Water clan born for the Black Sheep clan. My maternal grandparents are of the One Who Walks Around clan and my paternal grandparents are of the Mexican People clan. I am originally from Black Mesa, Arizona. In 2014, I received my BS in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Biology from Northern Arizona University. I am currently a graduate student in the PSM Climate Science and Solutions program at Northern Arizona University. My internship with the U.S. EPA Office of Air and Radiation has been a great experience and has expanded my knowledge in Tribal Policy and Tribal Air programs. The internship has also allowed me to learn what skills I need to enhance and it definitely has allowed me to strengthen my foundation of my future career. Upon accepting the internship offer, I was undecided which PhD program I want to pursue, now I decided that I would like to receive a PhD in Public Administration. Other than defining my educational goals, I have been inspired to work with EPA in the future. Interning in Washington, DC. I have realized that I could have a greater impact working with over 500 Tribes across the U.S. The internship has allowed me to recognize my passion and gives me motivation to succeed in the future both academically and professionally.

Nicole Forbes

Nicole Forbes Nicole Forbes
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK

Graduating college, though it is a monumental achievement, can be daunting. College can feel like being in a bubble from the rest of the world; your studies come first and everything else comes second. However, when you graduate, that bubble pops and the real world is suddenly very real. With graduation looming ahead of me after five years of school, I was quite unsure of where my path would take me. Did I want to go to graduate school? Did I want to get a job? What kind of job did I want? One thing that I was certain of was that I wanted to travel and get outside of Texas. I received an email from one of my professors at Texas A&M about internships with ITEP. I saw that there were a variety of internship positions in a variety of locations. I decided to apply, thinking that a two month internship would give me plenty of time to really think about what I wanted to do and give me some experience in my field. I ended up being offered an internship in Alaska that was exactly what I was looking for: research based with field and lab work along with some travel in Alaska. I spent two wonderful months working in the numerous labs, analyzing data, and even travelling to a remote village to complete some fieldwork.
However, though the work was incredible, that was not the best part of the internship. This internship provided me with insight to the real world and what I wanted my position in it to be. This lead to me deciding that I loved Alaska and working for Indian tribes in relation to environmental issues. I am now moving to Ketchikan, Alaska to work as the Environmental Specialist for the Indian community. I highly recommend ITEP internships not only for the amazing work you will get to do, the incredible people you will meet, and the wonderful places you will go, but also the opportunities that may come as the result of your experience.

Emily Fortier

Emily Fortier Emily Fortier
Tribal Healthy Homes Network
Marysville, WA

My name is Emily Fortier and I am a senior at Ole Miss majoring in anthropology and minoring in chemistry, with a drive and passion for public health. This summer I worked as an ITEP intern with the Tribal Healthy Homes Network in Marysville, Washington. My work this summer focused on indoor air quality in the homes on the Tulalip reservation, where I assisted in conducting healthy homes assessments to address indoor air conditions that could adversely impact occupants with asthma, lung disease or compromised immune function. I also spent time shadowing tribal housing inspectors to learn what information is most useful and how parts or pieces of a Healthy Homes assessment can be integrated into a standard home inspection. To expand my research outside of just Tulalip, I also conducted an indoor air quality survey of tribal housing departments from each of the EPA’s 10 regions. My survey was important in identifying current indoor air quality procedures and practices integrated into tribal housing inspections, as well as the knowledge, perceptions and barriers around indoor air quality as a necessary component of inspections.
I aspire to work in a career in public health because of the opportunity to apply science and humanities in a way that positively impacts the health and well-being of everyone. Working with ITEP and Tribal Healthy Homes has been such a great experience because it allowed me to work the science side of public health by working with mold and moisture issues in homes, and the humanities side in working with and for people who are suffering due to poor indoor air quality. Having the opportunity to learn and grow surrounded by such supportive colleagues has been the best way I could have spent my summer.

Autumn Harry

Autumn Harry Autumn Harry
US EPA Region 10 Alaska Operations Office
Anchorage, AK

My name is Autumn Harry. I am currently a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno majoring in Environmental Science. This summer I interned with The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10- Alaska Operations Office in Anchorage, Alaska.
EPA is providing assistance to help three Federally Recognized Alaska Native Tribes address current and future climate change impacts on their communities. Shishmaref, Shaktoolik, and Newtok are located within the Western coast of Alaska and are experiencing significant climate change impacts such as coastal erosion, increase in severe storms, and flooding.
Beginning in October of 2016, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) in partnership with EPA, through a grant, will conduct Healthy Homes Assessments within Shishmaref, Shaktoolik, and Newtok. My project involved partnering with ANTHC to help develop an expanded Healthy Homes Assessment tool to include other climate change impacts and concerns. The purpose of an expanded assessment will help to increase awareness of climate change impacts within Rural Alaskan communities.
Towards the end of my internship, I developed an example of an expanded assessment. The information I gathered for my report was based on Tribal documents, Tribal EPA IGAP project plans, and engaging directly with community members. This expanded assessment could potentially provide helpful data on how individual homes are being impacted by changes in climate, especially in at-risk communities. If successful, this could potentially be a good model for other communities who are experiencing climate change impacts. This would be one way to get household level impacts associated with climate change and would be an important step in an integrated community environmental response, whether they are working to protect water supplies, develop capacity for emergency response in individual homes, improving housing conditions, or improving food security.

Stephen Hilton

Stephen Hilton Stephen Hilton
Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley, Environmental Department
Big Pine, CA

I remember having a horrible realization: my time in college would end. All I could think about were times when people told me that college was the best time of their life and how they wished they never left. I had no idea what a full time job would be like or what people actually did when they weren’t in college. I needed an internship.
I looked at my college’s job finder, which I don’t think realized what my degree was because the top recommendation was “grief counselor”. I looked at internships that I heard about from others. Then one day I saw a forwarded email from the Institute of Tribal Environmental Professionals. I ended up interning with the Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley, which was having serious troubles with water rights and dust emissions due to water diversions and pumping to the LA aqueduct. Basically everything that I knew about the situation before came from the fact that I saw Chinatown once while I was busy. What I learned was much more than that (terrific) movie taught me.
In addition to getting a chance to live in a beautiful place that was not flat and humid, I experienced firsthand the resource struggles and environmental injustices many people have to go through. I got a glimpse of life on a reservation. I saw how one big decision (as well as others) affected almost every part of the Paiute’s lives and gained perspective on the struggles of many people. I witnessed how vulnerable places were that depended on diminishing snow and glacial melt were to climate change.
I learned many of the tasks a career in my field would entail. I spent time testing for particulate matter and considering meteorological trends. I went hiking. I applied my knowledge of climate change to a new area and a unique community. I went hiking. I put both the knowledge I had learned over my lifetime and my personality into outreach activities. I went hiking. I went to meetings and did many things that I might end up doing in the future. Like hiking.
Most importantly, this internship showed me how actions may have long lasting negative repercussions for others, which is a lesson anyone involved in environmental and natural resource management needs to learn.

Shundene Key

Shundene Key Shundene Key
Nez Perce Tribe ERWM Air Quality Program
Lapwai, ID

The interest of mine this summer has been how to make a connection, in American Indian communities, in a manner that includes western science and traditional knowledge. I have been able to use my creativity and interests to do outreach in Lapwai. Included was doing presentations for five weeks at the Boys & Girls Club, attending the Clearwater Sixth Grade Forestry Tour, and community events. At these places I had the opportunity to get to know community members, network with professionals, and learn about indoor and outdoor air quality.
Travelling throughout the Nez Perce community has been a motivator for my environmental enthusiasm. Watching the changes being made for air quality in homes by community members has been extraordinary to witness. Seeing grandmas make their own cleaning supplies, parents making changes to their homes to help make it a safe space for their child with asthma, and kids giggling every time they say ozone. The term, cultural exchange, is an understatement of the connections made on these beautiful lands. I have boundless hopes for the wellbeing of the Nimiipuu people. This summer has been a tremendous learning experience and I will take this optimism and apply it in my own community. It was the best summer I have had, also I hope each intern will have the same opportunity and outlook.

Rachel LaMantia

Rachel LaMantia Rachel LaMantia
Honor the Earth
Callaway, MN

I found myself performing a wide array of activities and projects as an intern for Honor the Earth under Winona LaDuke the founder of the organization in 1993. A couple weeks after my arrival to the White Earth reservation, home to the Anishinaabe people in Minnesota, the 4th Annual Love Water Not Oil Tour was about to begin, a spiritual 2-week horseback journey along the route of the proposed Sandpiper and Line 3 pipelines. It was during this tour that I learned a new set of skills that I never thought I would learn, from shoveling up horse poop to setting up a teepee.
The remainder of my internship work focused on making the villages on the White Earth reservation not only beautiful, but energy efficient, leading to the path of mino bimaatiziiwin…the good life. It all begins in Pine Point and is defined by three main items of focus: Solar, Local Manufacturing and Production, and Art. It is here that I was able to attend the third solar thermal panel install, perform site assessments, create a mock-up for solar on the Pine Point School, identify possible solar farm locations, conduct a climate report, research a design for a manufacturing—solar panels, hemp for silk screening and community sewing—building weaving traditional Ojibwe Wigwam housing strategies with modern strategies fit to the environment, and assisting artists in painting murals on the houses in Pine Point.
This internship has given me real life experience that has not only broadened my skill set, but has given me more awareness of the issues that we as Native Americans face, and the role we play in protecting our planet. There is great importance and value in living sustainably, and is what I envision myself doing in all aspects from here on out. Miigwech for this opportunity.

Michelle Phalen

Michelle Phalen Michelle Phalen
Alutiiq Tribe of Old Harbor
Old Harbor, AK

I am entering my senior year at the University of Michigan where I am studying Spanish and International Studies with a focus in Global Environment and Health. This summer, I was an intern at the Old Harbor Tribal Office in Old Harbor, Alaska. I am interested in public health, environmental justice issues, and how people interact with the environment, and this internship allowed me to combine all of my interests. My internship focused on raising awareness about indoor air quality and doing outreach through community events, which were directed towards both youth and adults. In addition to planning community events, I wrote several articles for the community’s environmental newsletter, produced informational materials to distribute to community members, conducted home assessments in several homes and provided homeowners with individualized recommendations, and wrote a grant proposal to request funding to purchase indoor air monitoring equipment to conduct more thorough home assessments. Throughout my internship, I spent time with community members and learned more about their needs and concerns. In addition to addressing indoor air quality concerns, I learned how Tribes function.
As an intern, I had a variety of assignments, which provided me with a broad range of skills and experiences. My experience in Old Harbor made me recognize the importance of raising awareness about indoor air quality because many people are unfamiliar with indoor air pollutants. I am happy to have shared what I learned with the people of Old Harbor, and I am eager to implement when I have learned in my own community as well.
In addition to professional and educational experiences, this internship allowed me to experience many adventures. Living in a Native Alaskan village for two months was a unique and wonderful experience, and I had the opportunity to hike, camp, fish, swim, pick berries, and explore beaches. I spent much time with the people in Old Harbor and enjoyed creating relationships with them, and I also enjoyed learning about Alutiiq culture. I am extremely grateful to have had this experience.

Natalia Shaw

Natalia Shaw Natalia Shaw
Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe Natural Resources Department
Kingston, WA

Boozhoo! Hello! My name is Natalia Shaw and this past summer I was an ITEP intern for the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe Natural Resources in Washington State. My main tasks as an intern focused on indoor air quality and climate change work. Some of my day to day tasks included: coordinating meetings with the health housing tribal departments to discuss indoor air quality concerns within the community, creating educational materials, distributing and collecting surveys to tribal employees, engaging in conference calls with representatives from the American Lung Association, planning and putting together an indoor air quality training for employees, researching different methods for measuring sea level rise and applying in to the local area, meanwhile working with experienced staff from different organizations, and networking with environmental scientists form different tribes. This was my second summer as an ITEP intern, and I chose to apply to be an ITEP intern for a second time because of the great experience, basis for acquiring applicable knowledge, networking opportunities, and relationship building opportunities I had. As an environmental science major, and native person, one of my career goals is to help tribes advance their environmental programing in order to increase sustainability and community health. ITEP has provided me with great experience in which I have had an opportunity to learn, first-hand, about working for an environmental office, doing field work, engaging and involving community members, education and outreach, and how to build partnerships with other environmental organizations. As an ITEP intern you are not doing work that involves filing papers, organizing files etc. you are doing work that will give you experience in working for tribal or non-tribal organizations, and while you work you have the opportunity to learn how to work independently and with co-workers, and community members. ITEP is a great internship for anyone who is interested in gaining work experience, especially those interested in public health or environmental science and working with tribal communities.

Chanelle Tilden

Chanelle Tilden Chanelle Tilden
Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency Air Quality Control Program
Fort Defiance, AZ

Shi ei Tsinaajinnie nishli doo Naaneshtazhi Tachiinii bashishchiin. Naakai Dine’e ei da shi cheii doo Tabaahi ei da shinali. Chanelle Tilden yinishye. A’koteego Dine’ nishli. I graduated from Arizona State University in fall 2015, and spent spring 2016 in Washington DC doing an internship in the Office of Environmental Justice at USEPA. Making that transition from USEPA to the Navajo Nation EPA in the Air Quality Control Program has been, by far, such an amazing experience. I went from working with the Tribal Program Manager at USEPA HQ learning about tribal environmental programs, tribal policies, and environmental justice issues that affect not only indigenous people in the United States, but indigenous people in other countries as well to actually working for a tribal environmental program for my tribe, learning about our own policies and regulations, and most importantly, doing outreach in communities that I grew up in.
As an intern here, I got to travel to each of our monitoring sites, one in AZ and two in NM, where I learned about how our air monitors work and how to calibrate them. I also got to go on a water sampling trip with the NNEPA Water Management, which was such an unforgettable experience. I also got to take part in multiple outreach events in local communities at health and career fairs where I spoke to community members about the program. My main task for the entire summer was to create an outreach video addressing indoor air quality issues caused by wood stoves, that covered topics from stove maintenance to proper Burnwise techniques.
To anyone considering ITEP, or any internship, I would strongly encourage them to take advantage of the opportunity. Both internships I got to attend this year complimented each other so perfectly and have certainly affirmed for me that I am on the right path. I will continue to pursue environmental work, especially in ways that I can contribute to Indian Country, and I couldn’t be anymore grateful and happy with both experiences. A’hxehee, ITEP.

Emmett Tsosie

Emmett Tsosie Emmett Tsosie
GRIC
Sacaton, AZ

My experience here at the Gila River Indian Community Department of Environmental Quality in Sacaton, Arizona gave me an opportunity to excel at my writing and research skills, my environmental fieldwork skills, and expand on my sampling and processing skills in a laboratory setting. This was possible because I was able to participate in six (6) projects for this tribal entity during my 8-week 2016 ITEP summer internship.
This includes: 1.) Environmental evaluations on tribal and allotted lands throughout the community. Fieldwork includes; inspecting proposed sites for future development, documenting solid and hazardous waste concerns in these areas. 2.) Identifying climate change impacts, adaptive capacities, vulnerabilities, risks, and adaptation strategies within the community. Researching and developing a plan that will identify and evaluate the resources that are most vulnerable to climate change and those that can best address it. 3.) Developing and integrating a green building initiative, which is based on GRIC Resolution GR-141-15, which is part of an initiative the EPA Region 9 has offered enhanced coordination and support to the community specifically to advance the communities sustainability goals around building housing, energy, and transportation. 4.) Assist with ecosystems restoration in The Pee Posh Wetlands Ecological Characterization Project. The Pee Posh wetlands is being restored and protected so that future generations of Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) will have a chance to remain connected to these precious areas that do still remain. This project introduced me to a real world scenario of an ecosystems restoration project. How an ecological restoration project is accomplished in the field. 5.) Assist the GRIC DEQ Wildlife and Ecosystems Management Department in the surveillance of Aedes aegypti (mosquito). The primary objective of the Aedes aegypti surveillance and control is in response to the risk of introduction of dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever viruses in the community, the prevention of the spread of these viruses. This project furthered my skills in a laboratory setting. Identification, sampling, and processing, of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. 6.) The GRIC DEQ Wildlife and Ecosystems Management Department winter bird count research- the research involved searching the departments winter bird count related documents from the years 1998-2015; locating files related to yearly bird count activities, checking all documents for information, raw bird count data, compiling new Excel spreadsheets, and furnishing a summary on the research and findings.

Gabriella Frankhouser

Gabriella Frankhouser Gabriella Frankhouser
Pueblo of Santa Ana Department of Natural Resources
Santa Ana Pueblo, NM

This summer I had the opportunity to intern under the supervision of Maxine Paul, the environmental program manager at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on the Santa Ana Pueblo in Bernalillo, New Mexico. My internship involved updating the Pueblo’s air quality report which was completed using state and national databases of air monitoring data. Some of this data is collected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and some is collected by state-run agencies, such as the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). Throughout the summer I studied intricacies of the clean air act, how it’s changed over time, and the infrastructure in place now to support National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). I also compiled data for the different criteria air pollutants over the past fifteen years, (2000-2015). The work I did was somewhat of a continuation from a report written in 2000 where there was actual onsite monitoring being done by the DNR. This was a fantastic internship and I learned so much more than I ever expected to.
In addition to updating the Pueblo’s air quality report, I have had several opportunities to work with other DNR employees and programs within the Pueblo. Some of these outside experiences include participating in the Pueblo’s hydrology summer camp camping trip to Jemez Springs, as well as participating in macroinvertebrate sampling in the Rio Grande with the DNR’s Water Resources Division. While these activities have only taken up a small fraction of my time in the Pueblo, they have provided me a greater understanding of how the Department of Natural Resources functions, and how each employee is really a part of a greater team of folks working on a variety of projects. I would suggest this internship to anyone who has a passion for the environmental sciences and wants to gain experience in the natural resource management field.


2015 Summer Interns


Kelly Anderson

Kelly Anderson Kelly Anderson
EPA OAR Tribal Air Program, Washington D.C.

I am an undergraduate student in Environmental Science and International Relations at the University of San Diego. My internship was at the EPA Office of Air and Radiation, Tribal Air Program, in Washington D.C. I organized and presented an educational session directed at 35-40 EPA OAR employees on consultation, treaties, and environmental justice and how EPA employees should approach these topics in relation to Tribes. I invited another ITEP intern, as well as four other Tribal EPA interns, to participate in the presentation and to share their experiences. I also coordinated the program measures for the National Program Manager Guidance, State and Tribal Assistance Grants, and Indian Environmental General Assistance Program, to streamline the measuring strategies and to determine the best ways to measure the success of Tribal Air Programs. I compiled a comprehensive reference and guidance document that EPA employees will use to educate themselves on the specifics of the Tribal Air Program. I also drafted several formal communication efforts and participated in consultations with the Nez Perce and Navajo Nations and EPA administrative staff and attended the 2015 National Tribal Caucus Meetings.
At the conclusion of my internship, I gained a greater sense of self-confidence and a deeper understanding of the hurdles and environmental injustices Tribes face on a daily basis. I also gained an appreciation for the importance of cooperation between Tribes and EPA for the greater goal of improving public health through monitoring and improving air quality.

Marquel A. Begay

Marquel A. Begay Marquel A. Begay
U.S. EPA/OAR/OAQPS/OID/CTPG

Yá'át'ééh, shí éí Marquel Begay yinishyé. Shí Dine'é nishlí. Tséníjíkiní doon'é nishłįigo. Honágháahnii bashishchiin. Tł’iziłani éí dashicheii dóó Tábąąha éí dashinálí.
My name is Marquel Begay, and I am proud to say that I am Diné (Navajo). I am a member of the Honey-Combed Rock People, born for the One Who Walks Around clan. My maternal grandfather is of the Many Goats People and my paternal grandfather is of the Water Edge People. I am from Black Mesa, Arizona.
For the summer of 2015, I completed an eight-week internship with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Radiation (OAR) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. In particular, I assisted the Community and Tribal Programs Group (CTPG). CTPG focuses on working with tribes, Environmental Justice, and other communities to protect public health and the environment.
For the course of my internship, I conducted the Tribal Air Quality Monitor Study which is designed to identify the various types of air monitor networks operating within or near tribal areas in Indian Country. The study provides a GIS tool that consists of maps and data to further assist EPA in improving tribal air monitoring efforts.
I appreciate NTAA and ITEP for providing me the grand experience to intern with the U.S EPA OAR. Through my internship I gained great insight, worked on interesting projects, visited spectacular places, and created-life-long friendships. The internship has influenced my career path in becoming an environmental leader for my tribe in regards to environmental law, justice, and renewable energy development. I encourage individuals interested in tribal environmental issues to apply to various programs ITEP offers as it will provide an excellent experience for individuals to better understand the relationship between tribes, states, and the federal government, and how to make a difference within tribal communities.

Jackson King Chastain

Jackson King Chastain Jackson King Chastain
Nulato, Alaska

During this internship I experienced a ton of things. The first few weeks while I was in Nulato I was experiencing living in a small native village. As the weeks carried on I helped packaging up white goods and E‐waste to be back hauled out. I also was evacuated from Nulato because the forest fires that surrounded the town. Then I was transferred to Fairbanks to work at UAF and help with their research on road dust and the use of synthetic fluid palliatives in villages. While I was at UAF I learned how to use a DustTrak II aerosol monitor that I would use in back in Nulato to help monitor their problem of road dust. After my time in Fairbanks was up I was headed back to Nulato. The last few weeks I was here I started doing my air monitoring in 3 locations where many people pass by each day. Overall this internship was a great adventure, learning experience, and place to be located this summer.

Autumn Harry

Autumn Harry Autumn Harry
Tanana Chiefs Conference - Office of Environmental Health

I am an undergraduate student at University of Nevada, Reno where I am studying Environmental Science. This past summer, I interned with Tanana Chiefs Conference- Office of Environmental Health in Fairbanks, Alaska. Throughout my internship, I had the opportunity to travel to five rural villages, where she assisted in providing environmental health education in relation to indoor air quality. During my travels, I was trained to provide rabies vaccinations, assisted in mold home assessments, and conducted clinic environmental health surveys. One of my primary tasks was to adapt a healthy homes assessment survey, which will make it easier for community members to self-assess mold and ventilation issues within their homes. I also completed an indoor air quality activity book for village youth. This activity book will be used to educate the youth about the importance of maintaining healthy indoor air quality. I enjoyed my time traveling to rural villages, viewing wildlife, exploring the scenic Alaskan landscapes, and visiting with the local Athasbascan people.

Charles T. James

Charles T. James Charles T. James
NNEPA Fort Defiance, AZ / Air Quality Control

I have worked with many interns during my time at college. So far I have been to two different institutions and been to two different internships. I think it is great to experience time, ideas, and explorations together. It is even better after working hours. One of the greatest things I have ever done with fellow interns was climb a 14,000 ft. mountain or surf the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado. Working with a mentor is also something great because they can show easier ways of confronting problems or looking at a situation in a different light. Being around other minds was insightful too. To collaborate with some info with the other interns was interesting because we are all from different backgrounds. I was cool to get some of their ideas, especially deciding which image to use on my pamphlet assignment. When we traveled to different sites, we got to know one another. Everyone has special goals in life. I can’t wait to see what life brings next.

Brittany McConville

Brittany McConville Brittany McConville
U.S. EPA Headquarters Indoor Environments Division (POLICY)

This summer, I had the privilege of working as a ITEP Intern at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Indoor Environments Division in Washington, DC. The public health topic I worked on this summer was with Tribal communities and their indoor air quality issues including radon, mold, pests, dust, wood burning stoves, and carbon monoxide. These present several problems in adults and children including asthma, lung cancer, and even death amongst others. The approach that the EPA took with me this summer was to participate in many indoor air quality groups’ conference calls and helping where I can, while also working on several tribal success stories to document on the EPA website. This is a way for other Tribes to see the incredible IAQ programs around the nation while highlighting different government grants and resources they can pull to complete their own programs. My main finding is that there are many avenues to leverage resources but there isn’t a good way to disseminate this information. I was also able to participate in the Northwest Tribal Asthma Project Team and helped edit and create documents for their efforts. I contributed in an intern panel to inform the Office of Air and Radiation on Tribal consultation and environmental justice issues. Finally, I attended the Region 6/7 Tribal Stakeholder’s Meeting in Wyandotte, Oklahoma and learned about various indoor air quality topics, success stories, and ways to leverage funds. This conference also included a full day of indoor air quality training that was presented by NAU ITEP. In conclusion, our nation is in need of driven public health professionals who are passionate about eradicating indoor air quality issues in Tribal nations.

Jessie Mroz

Jessie Mroz Jessie Mroz
Chickaloon Village Traditional Council (CVTC)

I am a graduate student at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs studying Environmental Science and Public Affairs. I worked with the Chickaloon Village Traditional Council (CVTC) in Sutton, Alaska and developed an Indoor Air Quality program for the CVTC Environmental Stewardship Department. I drafted a Resolution on Indoor Air Quality signaling Council support of future IAQ projects and grant applications. This passed unanimously by Council, along with a comprehensive Green Cleaning Policy for all CVTC buildings, limiting the use of toxic cleaning products and standardizing the cleaning process for healthy indoor air. I created a Mold Policy for residents of Tribal housing, which provides new tenants with extensive information on mold health hazards, prevention, and remediation. Two ordinances I drafted on Speed Limits in Tribal Housing and No Idle Zones for all CVTC campuses are going through internal revision and approval process, but were positively received by the Chickaloon Council. I supported future IAQ research by gathering IAQ baseline data from CVTC buildings and Tribal and community homes. I also created informational flyers and brochures on IAQ hazards to distribute to Tribal members and the greater community. I couldn’t have imagined a better internship than I had at Chickaloon this summer. My supervisors were supportive, which enabled me to get a lot of good work done and learn directly from some really amazing people. My projects were well-planned and robust, giving me a professional development opportunity as well. This has been such a great experience that it has inspired me to pursue a future career advocating for Tribal environmental programs.

Janessa Roy

Janessa Roy Janessa Roy
During my internship with the National Nuclear Security Administration in Washington, D.C. I was assigned with the Office of Leadership and Career Management. My supervisor gave me two main projects. One was to go through a data set of all the courses that Supervisors in the organization took and total the hours of supervisory training for each. This information was emailed to the supervisors. The second project was to go through the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results to come up with recommended courses that would bring up the positive rates in the survey. Overall, I was a wonderful time in Washington, D.C. and spent many hours visiting the museums and memorials.

Trey Saddler

Trey Saddler Trey Saddler
EPA R9 Office of Air, San Francisco, CA

I am a recent graduate of Salish Kootenai College and an enrolled member of the Chippewa Cree tribe of Montana and I spent this summer working with EPA Region 9 Office of Air. The purpose of my internship was to help establish a Region 9 Tribal Indoor Air Quality and Health Network. This network would be designed to facilitate the sharing of resources, information, and to help foster working relationships between tribes, governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations to improve indoor air quality on reservations within the region. I spent time researching current work being done, contacting potential partners, and developing the framework for this network. In the future, I hope to attend graduate school for environmental toxicology and work with tribes to improve their overall environmental health.

Nicolette Slagle

Nicolette Slagle Nicolette Slagle
Honor the Earth

The ITEP internship allowed me the opportunity to achieve several long-term goals. Through this program, I was able to work with Honor the Earth and become engaged in a number of land-rights issues facing Tribes. This experience has taught me a lot about how environmental regulations are failing Tribes and the jurisdictional rights some Tribes are starting to claim. Part of my internship included working with the White Earth Tribal Department of Natural Resources on their Treatment as a state paperwork. I have also worked with their pesticide officer to determine sampling sites to install groundwater monitoring wells. Since Honor the Earth is a national organization, I have been able to learn about several other national campaigns, such as the Intertribal Utilities Council and other renewable energy projects. I also got to help with several community-based projects, including a lacrosse camp and various community meetings. The ITEP program was an amazing opportunity, and I would recommend it to other students interested in Tribal issues.

Maria Thompson

Maria Thompson Maria Thompson
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

My internship was through the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Natural Resources Department in L’Anse Michigan. The tribe is located next to Lake Superior and therefore unsurprisingly many of their efforts revolve around cleaning and maintaining the lake and its surrounding environment. Throughout the course of the internship I was exposed to new technologies and an alternative way of doing things.
During the internship my primary responsibility was to establish the community’s energy baseline so that they would be able to assess their energy efficiency efforts and set goals for the future. However, I was also able to assist with water sampling, fish surveying, and wildlife management projects. Overall the internship broadened my knowledge in a multitude of fields relative to environmental management, and has positively influenced my future career goals.

Jacklyn Velasquez

Jacklyn Velasquez Jacklyn Velasquez
Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley- Environmental Department

After completing my first year in law school I decided to get some environmental experience in an area that wasn’t a law office. Though a little unconventional, I wanted to see how ‘real life’ application of environmental law is applied on the Tribal level as compared to the theory I learned from class. What I found was an experience that helped me learn and grow tremendously in a different way than the classroom offered. Learning in an office full of professionals like the ones here in Big Pine is a drastically different experience than learning in a classroom. Here, the passion for environmental protection is high and the workload is also. Things you learned in theory you get to see in actual practice. That’s my favorite part, getting to apply what I’ve learned. It makes all those early morning and often riveting lectures feel so much more valuable. I didn’t bring my Code of Federal Regulations book but I wish I had! Now that I’ve learned material in these two different ways I feel more prepared and more excited than ever to get back to work on my legal education.
To any student interested, I absolutely recommend working with this group of professionals, especially if you’re looking for Tribal experience. The history of Owens Valley Paiute is so rich that it would intrigue any person to pursue learning and advocating for environmental justice. Interning with the Big Pine Paiute Tribe is really an amazing experience.

Christopher B. Yazzie

Christopher B. Yazzie Christopher B. Yazzie
Central Arizona Project

I worked at Central Arizona Project on an assignment that created profiles of Arizona Indian tribes that obtain water from the Colorado River. I utilized data from Central Arizona Project and the Bureau of Reclamation to create historical water delivery and usage reports. The project I participated in will aid Central Arizona Project in stakeholder relation, specifically Arizona Indian tribes.
The internship provided me with the experience of working in an office with water resource professionals. I also learned about the issues Arizona Indian tribe face with utilizing water obtained from water right settlements. Overall, working at Central Arizona Project allowed me to expand my working experience as an Environmental Engineer and learned how my career goals can be used to contribute to Indian tribal water resource management.


2014 Summer Interns


Krystle Chapman

Krystle Chapman Krystle Chapman
Navajo Nation EPA Air Quality Control Program
Fort Defiance, AZ

I enjoyed working with the Navajo Nation EPA Air Quality Control Program. I learned so much during this internship. I learned about air monitoring and the different pollutants that the Navajo Nation is monitoring. I learned about particulate matter and their different sizes. I was given background information on how long the program has been around and the services that they provided. Throughout this internship, I was able to see that I became more confident in my work. This was such a great opportunity. I loved working at this internship and am looking forward to applying what I have learned here to school. I am really thankful for my mentor. She was an amazing teacher who gave me so much experience with things that I have never attempted before. I know that the things I have done here are what I am considering doing as a long term career goal.

Sunshine Claymore

Sunshine Claymore Sunshine Claymore
Nez Perce Tribe ERWM Air Quality Program
Lapwai, ID

I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science from Sitting Bull College located on the Standing Rock Reservation in North and South Dakota. Through the internship at the Nez Perce Tribe Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Program (ERWM) department I was able to apply the knowledge learned from my secondary science education courses to specialize in outreach and teach about various aspects and impacts we interact with as we breathe. I had ample opportunities to create air quality presentations and hands-on outreach activities to share with the local youth and adults. I was able to learn more about the tribal burn permit program and how they determine whether the air quality is adequate or if there needed to be a public release.
Some of the main objectives of this internship were to develop and present air quality presentations to the various summer schools, camps, Boys and Girls Club, and at least three local libraries. As for adult outreach this was focused on setting up display boards about air quality, burn permits, and personal/environmental health while participating in community events. As supplemental objectives I attended three tribal/ environmental education symposiums. This internship was a great opportunity to strengthen environmental awareness while developing human relations skills.

Justin Harter

Justin Harter Justin Harter
Gila River Indian Community Department of Environmental Quality
Sacaton, AZ

I am a graduate of Business Administration at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, KS. I interned at Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Air Quality Program in Arizona. During my internship I learned about the operations of one of the most comprehensive air quality regulatory and monitoring agencies in Indian country. I (1) coordinated and assisted in implementing the US EPA School Flag Program within the community, (2) developed presentations and outreach materials for adults and youth, (3) assisted in compliance inspections of point source emissions facilities, (4) assisted in the sampling and collection of ambient air quality data, (5) performed QA/QC technologies; such as, audits and calibration of O3 analyzers and PM10 monitors, (6) and studied environmental policies and issues relating to Indian country and the consequences of climate change in specific tribal communities. While I was interning, I was able to take part in two modules within the Tribal Environmental Management and Planning online course through ITEP at Northern Arizona University.

Tyesha Ignacio

Tyesha Ignacio Tyesha Ignacio
UCS EPA Region 9 Air Permits Office
San Francisco, CA

This internship experience has been very enlightening and was largely made by the staff who has been very open to answering any questions, involving me in activities, and have always been willing to share their experience and opinions. Although, my internship was with the Tribal Air Permitting office in the Region 9 of the EPA; I have been able to be involved with the Environmental Justice, Tribal Programs, and Civil Rights, GIS coordination, Superfund Offices, and Navajo Nation also and expand my overall knowledge of the USEPA. Prior to this internship I can say that I knew little to nothing about how the EPA worked, air permitting, or even much about the Navajo Nation EPA. All of my projects and interactions involved a tribal element, which I believe made all the difference. In addition, because a majority of my projects circulated the Navajo Nation I believe that gave my work an extra layer because the community was not something separate from me. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Summer Regional Tribal Operations Committee meeting, in which tribal officials to meet and discuss environmental issues unique to their tribes' and how they plan to address them with the help of EPA.
I learned so much from my time at EPA. It was a really an all-encompassing internship experience. The projects I worked on pushed my critical thinking skills and helped me further develop my writing skills. I also became more aware of environmental issues on a national, state, and tribal level. I believe this internship helped me develop my professional and educational skills by allowing me to work in a professional office and defiantly influenced my future career and educational goals.

Darienne Nez

Darienne Nez Darienne Nez
Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
Odanah, WI

As an intern at the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) my main project was to ensure Chairwoman Karen Diver was up-to-date and prepared to fulfill her duty as a member of President Obama’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Change on Preparedness and Resiliency. My supervisor and I worked to ensure that the recommendations received by several different Native American tribes were adequately represented in each subgroup as well as formatted and edited in a presentable and professional manor. The four different subgroups I was able to work on included Natural Resources & Agriculture, Built Systems, Disasters Recovery & Resilience, and Communities: Human Health & Development. Working with the Task Force Team has challenged me professionally in every aspect. I was responsible for intense reading, writing, and researching on various issues of climate change, solutions, environmental programs, and tribal law and politics.
I was also fortunate enough to work with the GLIFWC Lake Superior Fisheries Department and Public Information Office. The fisheries department allowed me to gain field work experience, where I was able to collect and learn about several different types of fish in the Great Lakes as well as the techniques for collecting data and fish.
All my projects and activities heightened my awareness of the rising issues of climate change. I was able to gain skills in and out of a professional setting and have been challenged to do amazing things for all Native American Tribes in my future career.

Amber Reano

Amber Reano Amber Reano
US EPA Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Clean Air Markets
Washington, DC

Ya’at’teeh! Hello, my name is Amber Reano and I was an intern at the USEPA Clean Air Markets Division in Washington, DC. I am originally from Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico and I am a rising junior at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. I heard about the internship through a faculty member at Brown University and she encouraged me to apply because I am a public health major interested in environmental health. I was selected for the ITEP internship and took advantage of the opportunity to head to DC because I knew I would gain important experience working with the USEPA; which I did.
I worked specifically with the CASTNET monitoring program and their affiliates to develop essential communication and accessibility of data for tribal environmental communities. I took on four main projects which included generating web content for the tribes to view tribal monitoring sites and its data/information (will be published on the CASTNET website upon completion of my internship), attending majority of CASTNET-related/tribal-related meeting while at EPA headquarters, developing a poster for the National Ambient Air Monitoring Conference in August, and writing an article for the Climate Change Division of the EPA.
The opportunity to intern at EPA headquarters was unequivocally one of the best experiences I could have hoped for. This internship gave me the confidence, communication skills, first-hand knowledge, and much more to continue my academic and professional journey in the future. I want to thank my supervisor and mentor for all of their advice and mentorship over these last two months. I also would like to thank all my family, school, and the individuals at ITEP and EPA who made my internship possible. Ahe’hee!

Natalia Shaw

Natalia Shaw Natalia Shaw
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Environmental Office
Santa Ynez, CA

I was initially looking to expand my knowledge and gain experience in an environmental related field, but I never imagined that it would happen in such a short time while working for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Environmental Office. I participated in a wide range of projects and activities, from writing up important documents for grants to sampling water in the local creek to going along on a home assessment to search for energy efficiency issues and possible indoor air quality problems. Through every project I was able to learn something new and gain that experience that I had been seeking. My work also taught me how to teach others and how to implement all that I have learned, and that is a very important aspect in all areas of life. I have had the opportunity to share my knowledge with tribal members and youth through several outreach opportunities and have been able to see, first-hand, the benefits of education on environmental issues.
My internship has helped me develop vital skills that I will be able to use in all aspects of my life, especially in school and any future career I may obtain in the field of environmental science. Every project provided a new learning opportunity and a challenge that led the way for new skill development. I have gained an understanding of environmental issues, especially concerning indoor air quality, which I would not have obtained if it were not for my internship. This ITEP internship provided me the chance to be in a new environment, one in which I have been able to thrive and grow professionally. No classroom setting could replace the experience I have had working for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and all of the knowledge I have been able to obtain.

Tara Weston

Tara Weston Tara Weston
Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan Environmental Services Division
Sault Ste Marie, MI

Working with the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan in Sault Sainte Marie, MI was a great opportunity to gain experience with air quality. I had a variety of assignments working with ambient and indoor air quality with three Michigan tribes. Conducting emissions inventories was a large part of my summer. This information would provide guidance when implementing new regulations regarding air quality. The inventories helped to sharpen my research skills while working in the office and my communication skills when visiting facilities in the field. I also gained experience working with Partisol-Plus Model 2025 Sequential Air Sampler monitors and a Model 703E photometric ozone calibrator. Changing and picking up filters, assisting in audits, and replacing drying chambers were some of the tasks I had at the monitoring site. Experience working with ambient air monitors will be valuable when I enter this field after I graduate. The inspections we conducted on a visit to Mount Pleasant gave me experience with indoor air quality. Assessing the moisture issues in tribal buildings and informing the staff of these problems gave me practice with this process and I was able to convey my professional opinion on how to mitigate their air quality issues.
This internship allowed me to put my classroom knowledge into real world use. I also got to experience what it would be like to work with tribes to improve their environmental quality. The skills I have gained this summer will help to develop my resume and gives me a competitive edge after I graduate. What I ultimately took away from this internship was that I would love to work for an agency like the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, but with assignments with more fieldwork opportunities.

LeManley Gishie

LeManley Gishie LeManley Gishie
Central Arizona Project
Phoenix, AZ

My internship was a success. Interning in the Environmental Department at the Central Arizona Project (CAP) opened my eyes to the issues we are currently facing, and also the issues we will be facing. With the shortage of water, there is a crisis on the rise. Beginning to understand these issues has helped me to prepare and study for purpose. The environmental issues will not go away, so there needs to be a solution. Working at the CAP showed me that the resources are actually real, and unless you are up to date on environmental issues, the general public will not even know about issues until they are being fined, similar to what is happening in Los Angeles, CA. My experience has taught me to be resourceful and every little bit to help the environment helps.
Learning how the tribal laws interact with the outside companies has helped me to know tribes still have some work to do in order to properly regulate activities within the reservations; to protect not only earth but also the health and safety of the public. Helping the CAP to understand the local tribal regulations has helped the tribes. It helped to improve the relationship between tribes and the CAP. So, when the tribes improve their environmental regulations, the CAP will be ready to work with them. My time spent here will serve as a basis to build upon to help both the company and the tribes.
I would advise all future interns to apply to intern at the CAP, it's a great company and you will learn so much more than about water. I am grateful for the opportunity I had as an intern at the CAP!

Brenda Gail Bergman

Brenda Gail Bergman
Chugach Regional Resources Commission
Anchorage, AK

I interned with the Chugach Regional Resources Commission (CRRC) in South-central Alaska. CRRC is a tribal nonprofit organization established by seven tribes of the Chugach region to address environmental and natural resource issues. My role was to help CRRC conduct Climate Change Adaptation Planning. I visited tribes and facilitated meetings with tribal representatives to document tribal observations, concerns, and priorities regarding climate change. I also conducted discussions with the range of other agencies and organizations engaged in climate change work in Alaska and the region, to discern their current priorities, plans, and avenues for deeper coordination with Chugach tribes on matters of climate change. This information laid the foundation for a process of CRRC and Chugach tribes to prioritize climate change actions in a way that addresses local priorities and provides tribes the opportunity to participate in broader discussions and decision-making on climate change in the region.

Christiana New Holy

Christiana New Holy
Blue Star Studio
Pawhuska, OK

I am an Exercise Science Major at Ft. Lewis College. This internship was an experience that took me out of my element and truly educated me on environmental defects that affect Indian country of the Great Plains. I interned at Blue Star Studio Inc., an Indigenous American business enterprise dedicated to quality design and smart community building. This internship’s focus was indoor air quality. I learned to navigate new information that I have never fully understood such as radon, particle pollution and mold invasion as well as the plans that EPA has put into effect because of it. I gained practical, hands-on experience in the planning and design of Resilient and Healthy Native Communities as it pertains to air quality. I am growing fond of these kinds of environmentally focused ideas. The information I have attained and collected will be helpful when I have my college degree. I plan to partner with other entrepreneurs to start successful health and wellness centers on reservations across Indian country.
I have also become knowledgeable of Federal and Tribal housing and development policies. I have witnessed design and construction practices take place in meetings. I have learned that design of buildings and homes specifically impacts human health and the environment. If you are looking for an internship that can intermix research focused on indoor air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and indigenous lifeway’s the Resilient and Healthy Native Communities Internship is your top choice.


2013 Summer Interns


Autumn Harry

Autumn Harry Autumn Harry
Honor the Earth
Callaway, MN

This past summer I completed a 10-week internship on the White Earth Reservation located in Minnesota working for native led environmental organization, Honor the Earth. I spent my time researching several environmental issues such as fracking, coal extraction, mining, and tar sands pipelines. Much of my work was dedicated to understanding how tribes are being affected by these issues on both the cultural and environmental level. Some of my completed tasks include providing awareness, creating billboards, and presenting facts. I am about to start my fourth year at the University of Nevada, Reno where I will continue to pursue my environmental education.

Dana Krementz

Dana Krementz Dana Krementz
Wisdom of the Elders, Inc.
Portland, OR

Thanks to the Inter-Tribal Environmental Professionals’ Summer Internship Program I was honored with the ability to spend the summer before my senior year at Northern Arizona University working for a Native American non-profit called Wisdom of the Elders in Portland, Oregon. For ten weeks I learned about Pacific Northwest Indigenous culture, gained experience in working in the field non-profits, and turning grants into reality. Like any internship, my projects and tasks around Wisdom of the Elders covered a vast and diverse range, spanning from facilitating community fundraisers, planning professional development trainings, and assisting in logistical development of oral history recordings throughout Alaskan Native communities. However, my personal project and greatest source of accomplishment came from my development and implementation of a four week summer field science camp for low income Native and non-Native youth. Teaching topics of environmental degradation and climate change through an Indigenous cultural lens, this project acted as synthesis of western and traditional ecological knowledge. By incorporating measurable scientific climate change data, oral history and storytelling from local Native elders, and combining hands on, interactive lessons with multimedia education, this camp aimed to present global topics in a relatable way that not only informs youth on their relationship to an environment in need but facilitates their future engagement with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. Yet, more than I come away from this summer with a laundry list of accomplishments and insights, I come away with real world skills that will not only guide my educational and career pursuits but strengthen my ability to positively influence the world around me. Although my time working for Wisdom of the Elders was limited, the experiences I gained throughout the summer will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Chanbopha Amy Sen

Chanbopha Amy Sen Chanbopha Amy Sen
US EPA Region 9
San Francisco, AZ

This summer I interned at the US EPA Region 9 office in San Francisco, CA. The internship was designed to give me the opportunity to understand the process of air permitting with respect to tribal communities and also encouraged me to get involved in the process. Some tasks I worked on throughout my internship were creating outreach and briefing materials aimed at owners of tribal minor sources and EPA employees to inform about the tribal New Source Review. I also created a list of minor sources on tribal lands and mapped them out using a geographic information system (GIS) so it could be used as a reference by EPA. I felt that I have accomplished a lot during my time in the agency. After working at the EPA, I realized how important it is to work in groups. Having help and opinions from other people enriches your work and solidifies it. It helped me feel more comfortable to speak up and share my thoughts. After interning here for 10 weeks, I can strongly say that EPA is a great place to work.

Althea Walker

Althea Walker Althea Walker
Gila River Indian Community Department of Environmental Quality
Sacaton, AZ

Through the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals-Environmental Education Outreach Program (ITEP-EEOP), I completed a 10-week internship with the Gila River Indian Community Department of Environmental Quality (GRIC DEQ). The internship’s primary goals were to become knowledgeable in the recycling process, assist with expansion and implementation of a newly-developed recycling program, and build partnerships with tribal departments, as well as with local, state and federal entities. The internship was a very valuable experience to my future career as an environmental professional. It allowed me to become more knowledgeable in the environmental issues my community faces. The staff at the GRIC DEQ welcomed me with no hesitations and allowed me to grow as an individual, a student, and a professional. This opportunity has opened doors for me and my appreciation to the ITEP-EEOP and the GRIC DEQ cannot be expressed enough. I encourage all students to find and use all their resources and opportunities will surely present themselves. Network, introduce yourself to as many people in the room as possible, because you never know which of those people will expose you to an opportunity that will change your life for the better. Now that my internship has been completed, I will be finishing up my summer courses at Arizona State University, as well as attending two environmental training events before the fall semester begins. I will be graduating in the spring with my B.S in Environmental & Resource Management.

Michael Halgonnie

Michael Halgonnie
US EPA Region 10
Seattle, WA

The core focus of my summer research was contacting organizations both in tribal and non-tribal communities to research their outreach approaches. I used the information I gathered to determine what methods were effective and which were not. I am walking away from EPA with a lot of new skills and experiences. The 10-weeks were busy and went by fairly quick. We decided to do a final report catered to Tribal Air Team Unit at EPA. I want to thank the people at NAU, the sponsors from ITEP, and the staff here at EPA for a truly rewarding, enriching, and fun internship experience. I know I have gained a lot, both personally and professionally.

Burrell Jones

Burrell Jones
Navajo Nation Air Quality Control Program
Fort Defiance, AZ

The Navajo Nation EPA Air Quality Control and Operating Permitting Program internship opened a new perception of the Navajo Nation government in action. The ten weeks taught and gave me insight about the scientific and political culture in the Navajo Nation. While on my internship, I learned the purpose of government, land and the people. This internship was very helpful in departing my comfort zone, adapting to another environment, and most of all introducing a "desk job". This would be my first encounter with working in an office space. After networking with my supervisor, outreaching opportunities and meeting other people that worked for the tribe within other offices, it seemed like school doesn’t teach everything. I found that this was an experience to indulge in and figure out the system of government. I felt like this was my first baby step to my career goal. My dream in life is to be like Tecumseh, Sitting Bull, Chief Seattle, Chief Manuelito, Crazy Horse and many great leaders who sought the perseverance of identity. In that case, I believe earning a legal education can help broaden my understanding of a law abiding society. I enjoyed meeting the people from various parts of the reservation and I look forward to helping my home progress in the future. Thank you for this opportunity and experience.

Carrie Joseph

Carrie Joseph
Central Arizona Project
Phoenix, AZ

As part of the NAU-EEOP and Environmental Educations Outreach Program, I was able to complete a summer internship with the Central Arizona Project located in Phoenix, Arizona. For the ten-week internship I worked on a project that focused on Native American communities located on the Colorado River that use Colorado River water. I evaluated the potential vulnerabilities that these Native American communities face in regards to climate change and their Colorado River water supply. To evaluate how climate change will impact the water resources of these native communities a hydrologic modeling tool was used to project water demand scenarios up to year 2060. Overall, the summer internship at the Central Arizona Project (CAP) was insightful and I am honored to be the one of the first tribal interns to complete this program. The knowledge that I gained and the work I produced will be a valuable resource for the tribes that were a part of this study as they consider future water resource planning and management plans. To those Arizona tribes who were not a part of the study it will serve as a model for water resource planning. I was fortunate to be a part of a knowledgeable and helpful team whom were always approachable through the duration of my internship. I felt that I was treated with respect and they were truly interested in learning about who I was, where I came from, and the work that I was doing. More importantly this was an opportunity to develop professional relationships, which will no doubt be valuable as I continue my graduate program at the University of Arizona.

Ariel Richardson

Ariel Richardson
Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California
Gardnerville, NV

This summer I enjoyed working in the Washoe Environmental Protection Department for the Air Quality Program. This internship has been a great learning experience for me. Even though I didn’t have much experience with the air program I was excited and eager to learn. The two main tasks that I was to fulfill while working for the WEPD this summer, was to update the emissions inventory for the four Washoe Communities, assist the WEPD staff with developing a QAPP based on the completed research from the emissions inventory, and to assist with operating the PM 2.5 air monitor. The new experiences I encountered was working for a different tribe, learning about the equipment used and what it does, the policies/procedures followed while using the equipment, meeting new connections, learning about the environmental issues the tribe faces, and what projects are being done to protect their natural resources. Updating the TEISS project came with many new experiences. I used my sources and researching skills throughout this project and was able to sharpen my communication skills, office skills, field work skills and time management skills in order to accomplish this project.

Steven Tallas

Steven Tallas
Nez Perce Tribe ERWM Air Quality Program
Lapwai, ID

During my internship I worked with the Nez Perce Tribe ERWM Air Quality Program to develop and disseminate air quality outreach and educational materials to youth and adults on the Nez Perce Reservation. Overall this internship was really helpful in enforcing my next steps in my future education. It also solidified my interests in the environment and also with working with another tribe was a great experience. I saw the many different issues and also many of the same issues that affect the Nez Perce tribe and my tribe of the Navajo. I meet so many great people that it expanded how I thought of an issue. The experience I had was once in a life time.


2012 Summer Interns


John Begay

John Begay John Begay
John is an undergraduate student in Environmental Science – Applied Geology at Northern Arizona University. John interned at the Navajo Nation Water Management Program in Ft. Defiance, Arizona. John assisted with a project that aims to create a climate change adaptation plan for the Navajo Nation and lay groundwork for implementation of an adaptation project on a pilot scale. John assisted in developing an adaptation plan with the following information: 1) information on the challenges climate change will pose to community security; 2) data and resources necessary for adaptation planning; and 3) assistance in defining what strategies will be effective based on the scientific information available.

Leticia Delgado

Leticia Delgado Leticia Delgado
Leticia is an undergraduate student in Environmental Engineering at Northern Arizona University. Leticia interned at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 Office in Seattle, Washington. Leticia assisted with tribal clean burning outreach and education and research. The tasks included the distribution of outreach materials; research current levels of woodstove use on Reservations in ID, OR, and WA; adapt education and outreach materials for use in Alaska (in coordination with AK Healthy Homes workgroup); and assist in developing a webinar for Tribes in Region 10 on clean burning. In her own words, Leticia said, "I think EPA is a great place to work and even though they mostly work from the Seattle office, they collaborate with other agencies and individuals to get problems resolved and are very good at connecting people with the resources they need. In the future, I'd prefer to work for a Tribe’s Air Program in order to have a more hands-on role and get to work with the community."

Autumn Harry

Autumn Harry Autumn Harry
Autumn is an undergraduate student in Biology at the University of Nevada – Reno. Autumn interned at the Navajo Nation Air Quality Control Program in Ft. Defiance, Arizona. Autumn assisted with the Navajo Nation Emission Inventory (NNEI) project. Autumn reviewed the point source emission inventory and updated the Navajo Nation area source estimates. Autumn participated in compliance evaluation inspections at Title V facilities and reviewed inspection reports, organized files and updated the database. Autumn collected and analyzed air monitoring data. Autumn developed outreach materials for public meetings and schools. In her own words, Autumn said, "I've really enjoyed my time here on the Navajo Nation. I have enjoyed every single task that has been assigned to me and this internship has influenced my decision of going into the environmental science field."

Thomas Jones

Thomas Jones Thomas Jones
Thomas is a graduate student in Natural Resources Studies & American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona. Thomas interned at the U.S. EPA Region 9 Office in San Francisco, California. Thomas supported 1) a significant rulemaking action that will propose whether new air pollution controls should be required on a coal-fired power plant located on the Navajo Nation and 2) the implementation of a new Clean Air Act permitting program in Indian Country, known as the Tribal New Source Review (NSR) Rule. Thomas worked to facilitate public involvement and outreach for permitting and rulemaking actions, and worked to develop rule implementation materials.

J. Malcolm Mossman

J. Malcolm Mossman J. Malcolm Mossman
Malcolm is an undergraduate Student in American Studies & Sustainability at the University of Notre Dame. Malcolm interned at the Nez Perce Tribe Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (ERWM) Air Quality Program in Lapwai, Idaho. Malcolm assisted the Nez Perce Tribe ERWM Air Quality Program in developing and disseminating air quality outreach and educational materials to youth and adults on the Nez Perce Reservation. Malcolm (1) developed presentations and activities for youth, (2) developed presentations and outreach materials for adults, (3) learned about the Nez Perce Tribe's climate change and energy activities, (4) learned about FARR smoke management and burn permitting, and (5) gained experience related to operating an ambient air monitoring network. In his own words, Malcolm said, "This internship has been a wonderful experience. I also learned plenty about the EPA and the assessments, measurements and federal laws that come along with running an air quality program for a certain region. Amongst all that, I gained fuller responsibility and received a crash course on how to organize outreach programs. My human relations skills were only strengthened by this and confidence in my ability to teach others about our environment grew."

Eric Latendresse

Eric Latendresse
Eric is an undergraduate student in Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado – Boulder. Eric interned at the Southern Ute Tribe's Air Quality Program in Ignacio, Colorado. Eric assisted the Southern Ute Indian Tribe (Tribe) Environmental Programs Division with their air quality and water quality projects. Eric assisted the Tribe's Air Quality Program (AQP) monitoring staff with weekly checks, periodic verifications, and calibrations of air monitoring equipment located at two air monitoring stations on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Eric assisted with updating Title V source information permitting database and filing permitting correspondence. Eric periodically assisted the Water Quality Program (WQP) staff with the collection of baseline water quality field data for §106 program sampling efforts. Eric periodically assisted the §319 program with the monitoring and maintenance of stream restoration projects and implemented agricultural best management practices. At the conclusion of his internship, Eric said, "The work that was given to me was very interesting and relevant to my studies. I was given work that was directly related to tribal policy. I gained so much knowledge about how the Clean Air Act and Tribal New Source Review influence the decisions that are made and allowed in Indian Country."

Darick Melvin

Darick Melvin
Darick is an undergraduate student in Environmental Studies at Northern Arizona University. Darick interned at the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) in Scottsdale, Arizona. Darick assisted the SRPMIC's Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Division in developing a comprehensive air quality shed understanding including air quality pollution levels, past/future air trends, air pollutants origin, and what actions the community can implement to mitigate the current air quality issues. Darick also assisted with collecting air quality monitoring data and community outreach.

Hayley Moen

Hayley Moen
Hayley is an undergraduate student in Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. Hayley interned at the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Environmental Department in Ste Marie, Michigan. Hayley assisted in interpreting air quality monitoring results, wrote articles for submission to the Sault Tribe newspaper, and helped develop and conduct a community workshop to promote awareness of this critical issue among tribal members.


2011 Summer Interns


John Begay

John Begay John Begay
John is an undergraduate student in Environmental Science – Applied Geology at Northern Arizona University. John interned at the Nez Perce Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Air Quality (ERWM) Program in Lapwai, Idaho. John interned at the Nez Perce Tribe ERWM Air Quality Program in developing and disseminating air quality outreach and educational materials to youth and adults on the Nez Perce Reservation. John (1) developed presentations and activities for youth, (2) developed presentations and outreach materials for adults, (3) learned about the Nez Perce Tribe's climate change and energy activities, (4) learned about FARR smoke management and burn permitting, and (5) gained experience related to operating an ambient air monitoring network.

Virginia Blue - Ramirez

Virginia Blue - Ramirez Virginia Blue - Ramirez
Since her internship, Virginia graduated from the University of New Mexico with a graduate degree in Public Health. Virginia interned at the Sac & Fox Nation of Missouri Environmental Department in Reserve, Kansas. Virginia assisted with the collection, compilation and entry of data for the 2011 emissions inventory. Virginia assisted with the design and development of outreach materials for the air quality program. Virginia assisted with ambient air quality monitoring. In her own words, Virginia said, "I learned a lot about each department and about the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska. Every week was a learning experience and everybody was great to work with."

Mali'o Kodis

Mali'o Kodis Mali'o Kodis
Department of Environmental Conservation in Anchorage, AK


Mali'o's internship focused on monitoring road dust before and after the application of dust suppressants.

When asked about her internship, Mali'o said, "By working in the Air Quality Monitoring office for 10 weeks, I have gained knowledge about the way the state monitors air quality, and of the different regulations in place to ensure that the data collected is consistent, reliable, and unbiased. Air monitoring requires a deep knowledge about chemistry and physics, as well as technology, computer data analysis programs, construction and mechanics, and statistics. The work that is done by only approximately ten people in the Air Monitoring departments both here in Anchorage and in Juneau is work that is critical to thousands and thousands of individuals statewide. The efforts of this team are omnipresent in almost everyone in the state's lives, but this work is largely behind the scenes and nearly invisible to the common citizen.

Having had experience in environmental conservation, I was aware that the state government had staff in place to maintain a healthy living environment for citizens, but have only this summer become acutely aware of the extent of positive influence that this sort of work has on so many people."

Simeon Haynes

Simeon Haynes Simeon Haynes
Native Village of Eyak in Cordova, AK


Simeon's internship focused on increase awareness of burnable materials. The city of Cordova currently operates a burn pit. This burn pit is used by local residents to burn waste wood and other burnable materials. The burn pit operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The amount of burnable materials is highest during summer months when the population of Cordova doubles due to the fishing season. A recent survey of the burn pile showed that roughly 68% of all items being burned are wood or other burnable materials while 32% was not burnable (plastic, styrofoam). The burn pile is currently producing a significant amount of toxic fumes due to the burning of plastic and other non-burnable materials. Cordova could reduce the amount of air pollution emitted from the burn pile by educating the community on the negative effects of burning plastic.

When asked about his internship, Simeon said, "This internship with the Native Village of Eyak (NVE) has been a life changing one. I have learned a great deal of information about the different types of renewable energies such as air power, biomass and even diesel fuel from melted plastic that could be used to power a community. I also learned about conducting research, gathering data and composing it all into a presentable piece of work. I experienced the work that is required to conduct a research project and I loved it! This project was way more exciting to work on than the pretend projects they give us in my college classes. At the end of each day I spent working on that project I knew I was helping out community with its energy and environmental problem and by doing this I felt it was much more satisfying than an "A" on a class project."

Dana Krementz

Dana Krementz Dana Krementz
Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indian’s Environmental Department in Sault Sainte Marie, MI


The internship focused on promoting the use of air sealing to reduce energy consumption in homes owned by tribal members. Dana worked with local utilities to help promote their demand-reduction programs, including distribution of free or low-cost air sealing products if available, and she developed outreach materials.

When asked about her internship, Dana said, "I had a really cool job working for the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indian's Environmental Department in Sault Sainte Marie Michigan on Indoor Air Quality Outreach. Only one year into my college career I managed to find something I thought would take a lifetime to discover; a job that truly combined the three aspects I wanted to work with. I got to spend my summer conveying to people how environmental factors affected their health and simple measures they could take to improve their lives and the lives of their families while maybe even saving money on their energy bills in the process! During my time in Sault Sainte Marie Michigan I was able to refine my ability to research and condense large amounts of information into short concise messages, I was given the opportunity to share this important information with Sault Tribe members at various powwows and safety fairs, but above all I had the ability to learn valuable skills that I will be able to use for the rest of life. Working for ITEP allowed me to gain first hand experience working in a professional tribal environment as well as allowing me to truly apply the knowledge and skills I have gained throughout my schooling. I felt this internship was the first time I was able to research an issue of concern, dedicate myself to a solution, and utilize the resources around me in order to address these concerns to the best of my ability. Spending my summer working for the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indian's Environmental Department was more than just a summer job; it was my gateway into the professional world."

Joy Tso

Joy Tso Joy Tso
Joy was an undergraduate student at Northern Arizona University in Speech-Language Pathology and Environmental Sciences. Joy interned at the ITEP TAMS Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joy updated an air quality course. The course is designed to help teach tribal air quality programs on how to manage air monitoring data including criteria pollutants. Joy edited the content then reformatted the course for compatibility with a new delivery system. Joy also assisted with various tasks in the radon and gravimetric lab. When asked whether she would recommend the internship to other students, Joy said, "This organization was very welcoming and helpful from the start of the internship and continued throughout the internship. Every person I worked with always made it a fun-filled and learning enriched environment. When I needed any help, I felt very comfortable in seeking help. As for communication, the lines were always open for questions and comments. These are essential aspects for a successful internship."

Brian Cunningham

Brian Cunningham
Since his internship, Brian graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Liberal Studies. Brian is currently a graduate student at the University of Arizona majoring in Environmental Sciences. Brian interned at the Air Permits Office, U.S. EPA, Region 9 in San Francisco, California. During his internship, Brian supported 1) a significant rulemaking action that will propose whether new air pollution controls should be required on a coal-fired power plant located on the Navajo Nation and 2) the implementation of a new Clean Air Act permitting program in Indian Country, known as the Tribal New Source Review (NSR) Rule. Brian worked to facilitate public involvement and outreach for permitting and rulemaking actions, and worked to develop rule implementation materials.

Marilyn Nelson

Marilyn Nelson
Marilyn is a graduate student at Northern Arizona University in Public Management. Marilyn interned at the Navajo Nation Air Quality Control/Operating Permit Program in Ft. Defiance, Arizona. Marilyn assisted with the Navajo Nation Emission Inventory (NNEI) project. Marilyn reviewed the point source emission inventory and updated the Navajo Nation area source estimates. Marilyn participated in compliance evaluation inspections at Title V facilities and reviewed inspection reports, organized files and updated the database. Marilyn collected and analyzed air monitoring data. Marilyn developed outreach materials for public meetings and schools. Marilyn said, "The overall internship has enhanced my knowledge of air quality issues, and how it is regulated. I understand the importance of air monitoring on the Navajo Nation. I feel that this internship has increased my understanding about air quality."


2010 Summer Interns


Emily Backes

Emily Backes Emily Backes
Since her internship, Emily graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point with a degree in Land Use Planning. Emily interned at the Yakama Tribe & Tribal Air Program in Seattle, Washington. Emily developed a mapping tool that contained all the known sources of air pollution on the Yakama Nation. The tool shows where the air pollution sources are located and how they are influencing the airshed under varying conditions. This tool will be used to help better understand which areas are being impacted most by air pollutants. Emily said, "Over these ten weeks I have gained a lot of valuable professional and life experiences that will allow me to be prepared for my future career, which in that I believe is an accomplishment."

Virginia Blue-Ramirez

Virginia Blue-Ramirez Virginia Blue-Ramirez
Since her internship, Virginia graduated from the University of New Mexico with a graduate degree in Public Health. Virginia interned at the U.S. EPA OAR/OAQPS Office in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Virginia assisted with the Sustainability for the Seventh Generation Initiative. The purpose of this initiative is to help Tribal communities reduce their emissions and promote sustainability with the goal of cleaner and healthier air. Virginia developed educational materials and conducted outreach to tribes to disseminate information on voluntary actions, such as the use of dripless gasoline nozzles, to reduce emissions, improve ambient air quality and promote environmental sustainability.

Justine Chaco

Justine Chaco Justine Chaco
Navajo Nation EPA Air Quality Program in Ft. Defiance, AZ


Justine's internship focused on assisting with the Navajo Nation Air Quality projects.

When asked about her internship, Justine said, "This internship has been a great experience for me. I am currently a senior in Environmental Engineering, and I really felt that this internship put a lot of my knowledge to the test. I studied for hours and hours on end in school and there were times I felt like school was too tough and I did not want to continue. But through this invaluable experience, I have come to realize that all of these hours of hard work really paid off once I am in the workforce. I was expected to know how to work equations, write technical papers, and work with people."

Jason Marmon

Jason Marmon Jason Marmon
Since his internship, Jason graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Environmental Sciences. Jason interned with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Harbor Springs, Michigan. Jason assisted the Air Quality Specialist with quality assured sampling of PM2.5, which included the shipping of PM2.5 filters to/from the TAMS Center for analysis and data entry/organization responsibilities. Jason assisted with monthly PM2.5 monitor audits. Jason assisted the Air Quality Specialist with the review of data from regional ozone monitoring projects; and reviewed EPA and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) standards and proposed rules for ozone. Jason also researched National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone.

Joy Tso

Joy Tso Joy Tso
Nez Perce Tribe Air Quality in Lapwai, ID


Joy's internship focused on disseminating information on air quality to the youth and adults on the Nez Perce Reservation. Her internship objectives were to produce presentations and outreach materials for youth and adults, learn about FARR and burn permitting, and gain experience related to operating an ambient air monitoring network.

When asked about her internship, Joy said, "My overall experience was amazingly great. I learned so much about air and I now know that being educated about air is really essential. Air pollution is everywhere, including small communities such as Native American reservations. Air pollution is very hazardous for our health and the environment. Educating about the air is not only important, but it is also very hard because everyone takes air for granted and they think it is unlimited or that air pollution does not affect them. Being a part of this internship has really opened my eyes to all the negative impacts that are affecting our health and environment with each new day. Being educated about the environment has also helped me reflect on my ways of living and also helped me find new ways of living that will not affect the environment."

Shannon Deasy

Shannon Deasy
Since her internship, Shannon graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Environmental Sciences. Shannon interned at the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan Environmental Services Division in Saulte Ste Marie, Michigan. Shannon assisted with monitoring the ambient air quality on and near the Tribal Reservations to compare to the NAAQS. Shannon assisted the MITC Air specialist with the day to day operation of the three ambient air sites. Shannon helped with the energy capacity project by assisting the coordinator with the alternate energy workshops. In her own words, Shannon said, &I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to work for the Inter-Tribal Council. I can't think of a more worthwhile way to have spent ten weeks of my summer term away from school. What I’ve learned from actually working on issues that I care about builds upon what I study in school, but is also many times more valuable than anything I have studied in a classroom setting."

Cristina Maddux-Gonzalez

Cristina Maddux-Gonzalez
Since her internship, Cristina graduated from Northern Arizona University with a graduate degree in Environmental Science and Policy. She is currently employed with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals. Cristina interned at the U.S. Geological Survey Central Regional Energy Service Center in Denver, Colorado. During her internship, Cristina assisted Margaret Hiza with analyzing data from completed dust samples. Cristina also assisted with dust sampling through the placement and collection of any additional dust traps on the Navajo Nation. Cristina assisted other staff in the field that placed and collected the dust traps. Cristina assisted the Denver scientists with submitting the selected samples for elemental analyses (including sample preparation) and laboratory leaching to determine solubility and bioavailability. When asked if she would recommend the internship to other students, Cristina said, "The USGS staff scientists can offer students a wealth of information on a diverse range of topics. Indeed, during my internship I was able to meet and speak with the foremost authorities on the topic that I am investigating for my thesis. An additional benefit of working with the USGS, is that as an agency with highly rigorous scientific standards, the USGS promotes the use of replicable, defensible scientific analysis among its student mentees."

Simeon Haynes

Simeon Haynes
Simeon is an undergraduate student at Humboldt State University in Environmental Engineering. Simeon interned with the Southern Ute Air Quality Program in Ignacio, Colorado. Simeon assisted with the Air Monitoring Program. Simeon developed and presented air quality outreach and educational materials. Simeon assisted with updating and importing major and minor source information into the Tribal database. When asked about his internship, Simeon said, "This internship has given me great insight and understanding of what it would be like to work in an air quality career. Not only has this internship familiarize me with the different types of instruments used to monitor the air quality, but also taught me about EPA's standards for criteria pollutants and what is considered to be unhealthy air conditions. The experience I gained and the connections I have established will surely give me a "leg up" when I graduate and looking for job opportunities."


2009 Summer Interns


Justine Chaco
Undergraduate student at Northern Arizona University in Environmental Engineering
Interned with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in Ignacio, Colorado

Dominick DeBari
Was an undergraduate student in forensic psychology at Seattle University
Interned with the Makah Tribe’s Fisheries Management Department in Neah Bay, Washington

Krystyn Gonzales
Graduated from Bradley University in Environmental Science
Interned at Blue Lake Rancheria in Blue Lake, California
Currently a PLM Analyst for EMSL Analytical, Inc.

Nathan Guidas
Graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Environmental Sciences
Interned with the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indian’s Environmental Protection Office in Pauma Valley, California

Raymond Kaffer
Undergraduate student at Seattle University majoring in Liberal Studies
Interned at the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California’s Environmental Department in Gardnerville, Nevada

Chayla Rowley
Graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a degree in Civil Engineering
Interned at the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Harbor Springs, Michigan

Kathryn Alicia Thompson
Graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Applied Indigenous Studies
Interned at the EWRM Nez Perce Tribe Environmental Office in Lapwai, Idaho

Elisa Weiss
Graduated from The Evergreen State College with a degree in Environmental Science
Interned at the Region 9 Air Division in San Francisco, California
Currently employed as an ecologist with the National Park Service

For more information, please contact:
Mansel Nelson
928-523-1275
Mansel.Nelson@nau.edu