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USGS Office of Tribal Relations

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SISNAR Internship Program

The USGS initiated a small internship program in Fiscal Year 2006 for students to work in the summers. The name of the internship program, "Student Interns in Support of Native American Relations" (SISNAR), explains its purpose—to build Tribal self-governing capacity by training future Tribal leaders. Through an internal competitive process, the USGS Tribal Liaison team solicits proposals for intern support from USGS scientists for USGS projects that are on Tribal lands. Awarded SISNAR funds allow for student interns to work on USGS projects.

2015 SISNAR Awardees

  1. Elliot Barnhart
    1. WY-MT WSC, Helena, MT
    2. Water Mission Area
    3. Differentiating mercury inputs and biogeochemical cycling in Bighorn Lake, Bighorn Canyon National Recreational Area
    4. Crow Nation (Apsaalooke), Crow Agency, MT
  2. Faith Fitzpatrick
    1. WI WSC, Middleton, WI
    2. Water Mission Area
    3. Bad River watershed assessments
    4. Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Odanah, WI
  3. Tabitha Graves
    1. Northern Rocky Mountain Science Ctr (NOROCK)
    2. West Glacier, MT
    3. Ecosystems
    4. Huckleberry monitoring on the Flathead Reservation
    5. Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), Pablo, MT
  4. JoAnn Holloway
    1. Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center, Denver, CO
    2. Minerals and Environmental Health Mission Area
    3. Trace metal mobility in the Yellow Pine mining district, Idaho
    4. Nez Perce Tribe, McCall, ID
  5. Jason Masoner
    1. OK WSC, Oklahoma City, OK
    2. Water Mission Area
    3. Investigation of hydrogeology and water availability in the Osage Nation of Oklahoma
    4. Osage Nation, Pawhuska, OK
  6. Joel Schmutz
    1. Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, AK
    2. AK Region Area
    3. Identifying demographic constraints for Emperor Geese a Bering Sea endemic of conservation concern for villages on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta
    4. Village of Chevak and the Qissunamiut tribal government, Chevak, AK
  7. Ryan Toohey
    1. Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, AK
    2. Climate and Land Use Mission Area
    3. Indigenous Observation Network: water quality, permafrost, and climate health
    4. Arctic Village Council, Arctic Village, AK
  8. Christian Torgersen
    1. Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Corvallis, OR
    2. Ecosystems Mission Area
    3. Using Beaver to Restore Ecosystem Functions in the Skykomish Watershed
    4. Tulalip Tribes, Tulalip, WA
  9. Isa Woo and Susan De La Cruz
    1. Western Ecological Research Center, Sacramento, CA
    2. Pacific Region Area
    3. Quantifying invertebrate foodweb resources for juvenile Chinook within the Nisqually River Delta
    4. Nisqually Indian Tribe, Olympia, WA


The USGS provides technical training in geospatial information, hydrology, wildlife diseases, and other topics, depending on available needs and resources. The USGS has also developed and held a Tribal Relations Training course for its employees to facilitate positive interactions with Tribes.

Additional information on training activities.

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