Southern Utah University and Bryce Canyon continue on-location learning experience for hundreds of students

From L-R: Bryce Canyon National Park Superintendent Linda Mazzu, Southern Utah University President Scott L. Wyatt. The two pose for a photo at Sunrise Point upon signing a five-year renewal of the the university and park Alliance for Education. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, fall 2017 | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University recently re-signed its Alliance for Education agreement with Bryce Canyon National Park continuing their mutually-beneficial partnership for five more years.

University President Scott L. Wyatt and Bryce Canyon Superintendent Linda Mazzu met at Sunrise Point to renew the cooperative partnership that allows them to leverage resources to make a difference for education, the landscape and the lives of those who live and work between the two, Nikki Koontz, marketing director for SUU, wrote in an email to media.

A group poses for this photo on the occasion of the signing of a five-year renewal of Southern Utah University’s Alliance for Education with Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, fall 2017 | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

“I can’t imagine a closer relationship between a national park and a university than what we have with Bryce Canyon,” Wyatt said in the news release. “The renewal of our Alliance for Education agreement helps us provide hundreds of paid internships for students every year, doing such things as scientific research, trail maintenance, communication, and accounting. There are possibilities for students of every major.”

For over 10 years, Southern Utah University has referred to Bryce Canyon National Park as its east campus. Through the alliance the two organizations have conducted research, created transformational learning programs and engaged students through conservation crews and internships.

“The alliance has welcomed classes from across campus, hosted the Wilderness First Responder for ten years, and it has gotten students involved with research in a number of different projects, including geology, archeology and recreation visitor use,” Director of Outdoor Engagement Briget Eastep said, according to the news release. “Every five years we renew the alliance, and this year there was really a sense of partnership and hope for the future.”

This alliance is to further the relationship and missions of both entities in serving the region by protecting park resources and providing enhanced visitor opportunities while educating students about park resources, the news release stated.

It’s just another example why Southern Utah University identifies itself as the “University of The Parks,” Koontz said.

The high-impact experiential learning opportunities are numerous and include internships, joint research, field trips, advocacy training and wilderness experience.

“Public lands are extremely important in the west,” Wyatt said, “and we get to be in the heart of all that our lands have to offer.”

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