U.S. second gentleman visits SUU interns at Bryce Canyon, talks about importance of public service

The United State second gentleman visited with Southern Utah University interns in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, July 2, 2021 | Photo courtesy of SUU, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Douglas Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, met with Southern Utah University student interns on Friday during a visit to Bryce Canyon National Park.

Sandstone arch over state Route-12 in Red Canyon, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Bryce Canyon Country, St. George News

The students are part of the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative partnership between SUU, various land management agencies and Native American tribes. Emhoff encouraged the students to continue their pursuit of a career in  public service and especially protection of America’s natural resources, according to a press release issued by the university.

“It’s great to see young leaders, I see that all over the country. I love to see people who are starting a career in public service, which is what I’ve seen all day today at Bryce Canyon National Park,” Emoff said in the news release. “We need clean water and clear air to drink. That’s why it’s important to have a new generation committed to a career in public service.” 

Emoff met with interns Sergio Vasquez and Kezli Floyd, and they explained the importance of the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative program to both their future careers and their interaction with youth during visits to federal parks. 

“Mr. Emoff’s visit is a great thing for both the IIC program and Bryce Canyon National Park,” said Floyd, a recent education major graduate at SUU. “His visit is great because more people  will now become aware of the IIC program, do internships and learn more about land management.” 

File photo: Southern Utah University campus in Cedar City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News

Floyd and Vasquez are two of the 11 student interns currently working in Bryce Canyon. Typically more than 250 SUU students serve in internships in the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in Southern Utah, northern Arizona and eastern Nevada, the release states.

Internships are offered in fields such as biology, accounting, wildlife, natural  resources, maintenance, engineering, interpretation, recreation and administration. 

In the news release, Dr. Briget Eastep, executive director of Outdoor Pathways at SUU, said interns in the program have contributed hundreds of thousands of hours to conservation work in the region’s public lands.   

“In addition, SUU also holds many research permits and research oriented cooperative  agreements to further engage students and faculty in public land research, monitoring, and front line operations,” Eastep said. “Our partnership work has been about creating opportunities for students, faculty  and staff while making a positive difference for public lands.” 

Last year alone, this internship program celebrated nearly 100,000 conservation hours with 182 interns and crew members earning $1.4 million in wages and benefits over the summer. 

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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