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Two-year paid internships at CMC Leadville, Steamboat Springs, Spring Valley to train workforce

Intern Katie Soulliere in the Routt National Forest

Katie Soulliere earned a certificate of completion in public lands management at CMC Steamboat Springs. Here, during her Rocky Mountain Land Management Internship in 2018, she uses a Trimble GPS device to map the inlet of the Allen Basin Reservoir on the Yampa Ranger District of the Routt National Forest. Soulliere now works full time as a realty specialist on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests.

Colorado Mountain College and the USDA Forest Service are together offering a valuable opportunity for those interested in land management, sustainability, and outdoor recreation careers.

The Rocky Mountain Land Management Internship program is a two-year paid internship. The program gives participants experience working part time for the forest service while studying at CMC to prepare for land management jobs.

CMC will be accepting applications for the program’s next cohort starting Feb. 1. The application deadline is March 15. The program begins in fall 2021 and ends in late summer 2023.

“This program provides an ideal opportunity to launch a career with the forest service,” said Dr. Nathan Stewart, CMC associate professor of sustainability studies and program director for the Rocky Mountain Land Management Internship.

Based at CMC Steamboat Springs, CMC Leadville or CMC Spring Valley, interns will study with college faculty while participating in intensive fieldwork with forest service personnel. Steamboat Springs students will work on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests, while Leadville and Spring Valley students will conduct their fieldwork on the White River National Forest.

Who can apply?

In addition to current Colorado Mountain College students studying biology, environmental science, geology, natural resource management, outdoor recreation leadership, ski area operations or other related fields, the internship is open to those willing to apply to CMC for a bachelor’s degree program, or to those who currently hold a bachelor’s degree (or higher) with at least 24 successfully completed science courses.

Interns accepted into the program will either be CMC students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in sustainability studies or a certificate in public lands management. Opportunities to earn certification in geographic information systems is also offered during the internship.

Success stories

The Rocky Mountain Land Management Internship launched in 2018, winning the Regional Forester’s Honor Award for creating and implementing the partnership. Five graduates from the program’s first cohort are now working full time for the forest service. All are working in natural resource or recreation specialist positions, all of which offer competitive salaries. Three graduates are working on various forests in Colorado, one is working on the Mendocino National Forest in California and a fifth is working on the Chugach National Forest in Alaska.

Shelby Pierce earned her bachelor’s degree in sustainability studies from CMC Steamboat Springs in 2018 and completed her internship last year. She is now is a natural resource specialist with the Clear Creek Ranger District on the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests.

Even with the district office closed due to the pandemic, Pierce has stayed employed through the past year. Her work is focused on permitting and managing outfitters and guides, as well as serving as a forest service liaison at Loveland Ski Area.

“The internship gave me hands-on training,” Pierce said. “Many forest service staff who have a position like mine have master’s degrees. I was able to get this job right after I finished my internship, which is pretty unheard of in the forest service. CMC and the internship gave me the indispensable training that allowed me to step into my position confidently.”

For more information go to Rocky Mountain Land Management Internship.

Prepare for a career with the USDA Forest Service

Intern Brittany Le Tendre with forest service mentor Kelsi Potetti.

Intern Brittany Le Tendre with USDA Forest Service mentor Kelsi Potetetti. Le Tendre now works as a recreation technician on the Pike-San Isabel National Forests.

What: The Rocky Mountain Land Management Internship, a two-year paid internship with Colorado Mountain College and the USDA Forest Service 

Who can apply:

CMC students studying biology, geology, natural resource management, outdoor recreation leadership, ski area operations or other related fields

– those who apply to CMC for a bachelor’s degree program

– those who currently hold a bachelor’s degree (or higher) with at least 24 successfully completed science courses

Once enrolled at CMC, interns need to pursue a bachelor’s degree in sustainability studies or a certificate in public lands management.

Where: CMC Steamboat Springs (Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests) or CMC Leadville or CMC Spring Valley – Glenwood Springs (White River National Forest)

Application deadline: March 15, 2021

More information: Dr. Nathan Stewart, 970-870-4562, Rocky Mountain Land Management Internship program director.