Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative Contributes to President Biden’s Civilian Climate Corps

Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative Contributes to President Biden’s Civilian Climate Corps

February 22, 20212 min read

With the signing of an executive order on January 27, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden took the first step in establishing a Civilian Climate Corps. Southern Utah University’s Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative (IIC) is ready to assist the Biden-Harris Administration by providing work opportunities, engaging Americans in addressing climate change, and building community resilience.

The executive order directs the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior to develop a strategy to mobilize the next generation of conservation workers to restore public lands and waters, increase access to outdoor recreation, improve community resilience, and more broadly address climate change.

Working with other like-minded local organizations such as the Utah Conservation Corp and the Canyon Country Conservation Corp, SUU’s IIC is excited to continue contributing to this new initiative that will not only address climate change, but also address racial inequity by providing opportunities for young people of color in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and decades of environmental injustice.

Even with the obstacles presented by COVID-19 the IIC was able to contribute 95,589 hours over the course of last year. By creating a COVID Community Conservation Crew the IIC was able to address projects that were delayed due to COVID protocols, as well as those that became more urgent because of the unusual circumstances. Duties of the COVID Community Conservation Crew included tending to community gardens, painting fire zone curbs, and removing litter around Cedar City. Additionally, this group spent much of their time restoring and patrolling the heavily impacted local trails which have seen a significant increase in usage from a population pursuing socially distant outdoor recreational opportunities.

As the Executive Director of Outdoor Pathways at SUU, Dr. Briget Eastep enjoys creating outdoor educational experiences for students interested in careers in public lands, outdoor education and tourism. When Dr. Eastep started at SUU in 2006, she immediately created the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative, which places more than 200 interns into federal and state land agencies annually. Dr. Eastep partners with the parks and local communities broadening opportunities for service projects, additional internships and experiential education.

Dr. Eastep’s work focuses on outdoor education, leadership, and partnerships within parks, recreation, and tourism. She is familiar with the media and available for an interview. Simply visit her profile.

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