The Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative (IIC) at SUU is here to help students get paid and receive class credit all while exploring Mother Nature.
According to iicinternships.com, the IIC is a partnership between SUU, the Land Management Agencies and Native American Tribes of Southern Utah, Northern Arizona and Eastern Nevada.
The program began in 2007 with a goal of providing internships for outdoor recreation majors while strengthening the ties between SUU and land management agencies.
The IIC currently places more than 200 students in internships each year. The internships are designed to get students close to nature and give them “real world” work experience.
Internships the organization provide are often tailored to the student’s academic field of study while emphasizing the importance of land management and stewardship of the southwest’s resources and land.
Director of the Outdoor Engagement Center Briget Eastep, an associate professor of outdoor recreation, stressed that the IIC internships were for everybody, not just outdoor recreation majors.
“We have engineering students working on the Dixie (National Forest), we have IT students working in Zion, we have history students working in interpretation across the board (and) we have education majors working with youth programs,” Eastep said.
Eastep said a lot of students find internships that suit their academic field of study, but some just do it to get a different perspective. Others use the internship through the IIC for their EDGE project.
According to Eastep, the internships provide students with skills employers look for including being able to take initiative, problem solve, communicate with others and work as a team.
In addition to internships, the IIC also runs a program called the Conservation Crew Program. In the program, college students are given the opportunity to become crew leaders. As crew leaders, students work with high school students on conservation projects across southern Utah.
For more information on what the IIC does or for information on how to join, visit iicinternships.com or come to Public Lands Employment Day on Feb. 7.