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   Home » Internships » SSI » 2011 Internships

Meet our Interns and Learn about their Internships

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.

2012 Summer Interns:

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 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 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 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.


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 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 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.


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."




2011 Summer Interns:

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
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."


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.



Mali'o Kodis (left) standing with a local resident by a Hi-Vol.
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 during his internship in Cordova, Alaska.
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 during an outreach activity.
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."


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."


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."




2010 Summer Intern:

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
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 (right) during her internship with the Navajo Nation EPA.
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."


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
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 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."


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 (standing) presenting on air quality issues to a group of students.
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."




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


Contacts: Mansel Nelson, EEOP Program Coordinator, Mansel.Nelson@nau.edu, Phone: 928/523-1275.



Environmental Education Outreach Program
PO Box 5768 * Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5768
Phone: 928/523-1275 * Fax: 928/523-1280 * email: eeop@nau.edu

Last updated: November 4, 2013

Norhtern Arizona University Insitute for Tribal Environmental Professionals Environmental Protection Agency