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Higher Education Internships

Creating the next generation of warriors

Stripping eggs at Nez Perce TribeColumbia Basin tribes have a growing share of responsibility for protecting and restoring the region’s natural resources. An important reason for their success is a commitment to holistic, multi-disciplinary management.

Science, mathematics, technology, education, business and the law combine with the tribes’ traditional ecological values to make up the bedrock of sound resource management.

Success in this enterprise demands an educated and skilled workforce to fill specialized positions. A goal of all Columbia Basin tribes is to fill these positions with their own members.

The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission’s internship programs aim to foster the educational pursuits of the tribes’ student population by providing experience, research, mentoring, and opportunities to explore career options in fisheries and natural resources at all levels.

Conducting a stream survey.

Conducting a stream survey.

The tribes and CRITFC are helping create the next generation of warriors. By acquiring knowledge and skills, coming generations can be effective actors in protecting the resources their cultures depend on.

CRITFC offers a variety of internship/externship opportunities. They range from hands-on fieldwork and individual work projects to legal and technical research and more. Each experience provides connections to mentoring and to professionals in the field.

Internship Goals

  • Increase exposure of tribal members to professional careers protecting tribal resources
  • Promote retention of tribal students in pursuing professional and technical degrees
  • Provide a research or hands-on internship experience and mentoring
  • Increase professional interactions with faculty advisors, tribal mentors and/or professionals in the field
  • Encourage employment in fisheries and natural resources

Learning Objectives

  • Gain a deeper understanding of environmental and governance issues faced by tribal agencies
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the interplay between tribal values and the student’s chosen professional field
  • Acquire familiarity with graduate school and employment processes
  • Explore career and educational goals


There are no internships available at this time.

2015 Intern

Truman Merrifield
surveyed tribal forestlands and recorded environmental data. His project sought to learn whether logging and climate change were acting synergistically to alter habitat conditions. He works for Warm Springs Natural Resources Department and plans to major in Environmental Science at Oregon State University.
Tribe: Warm Springs
School: Central Oregon Community College (COCC)
Year: Sophomore
Major: Forestry Resources Technology
Advisors: Rebecca Franklin, COCC, and Jon Treasure, Warm Springs Tribe

2014 Intern

Brittani Bisbee

used geographic information system (GIS) data to help Nez Perce Tribal Fisheries prioritize salmon habitat. She conducted her research with Joe Oatman, fisheries’ deputy manager. Brittani plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems.
Tribe: Nez Perce
School: Lewis Clark State College
Year: Senior
Major: Natural Resources
Advisor: ↑Assoc. Professor of Natural Sciences & Mathematics Jennifer Light