Many students begin internships with little to no understanding of sustainability. However, students find that through their experience with the Sustainable Development Institute, they incorporate sustainable aspects into career choices, whether they are majoring in Natural Resources, Education, Nursing, or other fields. Here is a list of some of SDI’s past interns and what projects they implemented with our department:
Past SDI Interns
Summer 2017 cohort
My name is Allison Bailey and I am one of the Phenology interns with the Sustainable Development Institute. I am 26 years old and currently enrolled at the College of Menominee Nation, working toward my associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. This internship was recommended to me by a few people who thought I would be interested in it. When I read the internship description, I was fascinated and decided to apply.
I’ve always had a deep passion for environmental studies. I enjoy working in the garden, going for hikes in the woods, and participating in nature friendly activities. I also enjoy learning about renewable ways to reduce the amount of waste, energy, and resources that contribute to environmental hazards.
2018, 2019 cohorts
Brandon Boyd is double majoring in Liberal Studies and Natural Resources at the College of the Menominee Nation. His projected graduation date is May 2018 and he plans to continue his education in natural resources, emphasizing forestry.
Brandon is an enrolled Menominee member who was born and raised in the Menominee forest and has completed two internships through the Sustainable Development Institute as an ecological data collector and a climate change researcher. Brandon has four sisters, two brothers, one eight-year-old son and many nieces and nephews.
Trinaty Caldwell is student in the Sustainablility Leadership Cohort program. She currently attends Shawano Community High School as a rising senior. She is a member of the Menominee Tribe and has also resided on the Menominee Reservation for most of her life.
Her interest in the SLC program not only comes from the possibilities of hands-on learning, but also from her family’s work in sustainability. This year, with the program’s focus on food sovereignty, she is enjoying the opportunities to learn and explore the different concepts of managing food.
Wendy Dorman is a zoologist and ornithologist with an MS in biology from Winthrop University. She is currently working on a second MS in Geographic Information Science at Eastern Michigan University. During her internship Wendy hopes to learn how to utilize GIS technology to shed light on connections between climate change and population dynamics in native species. Her masters research focuses on the growth and distribution of the Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid in relation to soil type and hydrology. In her free time she enjoys hiking with her dog Atreyu, reading science fiction, and bird watching.
Hello, my name is Jason Edler. I have always had a big piece of my heart reserved for the outdoors and will be going into my fourth year as a student and the University of Wisconsin Madison. I have declared as a biology major and hope to be able to attend some form of grad school in the near future. When taking Sustainable Development at the College of Menominee Nation after high school hours as a teenager, I realized I desired to work towards a more sustainable world. Last year I was fortunate enough to be thrown into the Forest Ecology Summer Institute where I then recognized that I would hope to attain an internship at the College of Menominee Nation. I am extremely excited to learn and see what this summer has in store for me. I appreciate this opportunity and am eager to further my educational experience as a POSOH intern.
My name is Citralina Haruo. I am in my first semester of school here at CMN Green Bay. I am working toward a double major in Nursing and Sustainable Development. All my classes are currently on the Green Bay campus. I am also an Agriculture Researcher Intern at the Sustainable Development Institute on the Keshena CMN Campus. Currently there are two big projects that I am assisting in. One is the SDI Starter Plants project and the other is the CMN Gardens. The Agriculture Researcher internship is allowing me to become familiar with the linguistics collaborations and efforts of Climate Scientist and Tribal peoples across the nation (especially the Menominee Nation). I am also learning a lot about cultivating organic gardens and preserving the seeds of produce grown in order to become self sustaining. My ultimate goal is to work in the sustainability field; in specific observing, and researching the affects of climate change on agriculture and what affects those changes have the health of people globally. I would like to work specifically with indigenous people around the world and so my internship is half a foot in the door.
2016, 2018 Cohorts
Hi my name is Denise Kasprzak. I am a student here at the College of Menominee Nation and am in my third year. I started out with doing a business administration, liberal arts, and now I found my passion for natural resources, which seems to be working for me. I have had a Sustainable Development, and environmental class which opened my view in this particular career. I have done a work study program with the Sustainable Development Institute which put more incentive towards this degree I am seeking now. I have done a photography workshop, pollination workshop, and had the opportunity to join “Learning from the Land workshop. I now have the pleasure of working in the seeds program as an intern, and as a lead person with a gentleman whom I find very interesting and quite knowledgeable in the field of the forest here on this reservation. He knows a lot of the plants and trees, which are something that I want also to learn and study. Our environment means a lot to us people here on this reservation. I want to help keep it alive and healthy for future generations as well as this generation now in its growth, to help keep it strong, healthy, and full of life that we all can live off and live with.
I am a Menominee Tribal Member. I was born here and resided here for the first five years of my life. Relocated to Wheeling IL., and returned to WI in 1998. Made my way back to this reservation in 2000 and reside in Keshena with my husband and youngest son. I have one son who resided in Albuquerque, NM with his wife and two wonderful grandchildren. I have four siblings who reside in the western part of the United States, and one brother who lives close to home but always on the road due to his career.
This is my home, and want to keep it safe and well preserved for now and future generations to come.
“Posoh! Aneq! Omaeqnomenew mesek Anishinaabe netawem. Kesiqwen ‘skew wekiyan. Netotem makana. Awaesahsaehsah newiswen.
Hello! My name is Thomas R. Kenote. I am Menominee Nation tribal member and I am also Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe. My family is the turtle clan. I am from Lamotte Lake on the Menominee reservation just outside of Keshena. I am a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; I am studying Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in multicultural education. I am one of the POSOH Sustainability Education Assistants at SDI for the summer of 2015. I am excited about this opportunity to actively engage in a different model of Sustainability Education but more importantly to contribute to the bioregionalism of the Wolf River watershed. I feel this internship is a great way for educators to gain perspective on a model of education that is crucial to the times ahead via climate change. I am looking forward to learning from the Sustainable Leadership Cohort of students as well as contributing to SDI’s model of Sustainability education. Nahaw eneq. Posoh!”
My name is Keith Kinepoway Jr. I am currently enrolled at the College of Menominee Nation pursuing a degree in Sustainable Development. Over the course of this summer I will be doing the Learning From The Land (LFTL) internship as a student worker I will be working with MTE learning about invasive species.
I am a junior at the College of Menominee Nation. I am double majoring in Biological and Physical Sciences and Pre-environmental engineering and technology. I will graduate in the fall of 2016. I plan to transfer to University of Wisconsin Madison to study bio-medical engineering. In the spring and summer of 2014 I was a POSOH intern and this semester I was fortunate enough to be a student worker with POSOH and also helping with the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. I am very excited to be working at SDI this semester.
Hello, my name is Andrew Levsen and I am an Ecological Data Collection intern with SDI. I am currently a senior at UW Platteville with a major in Reclamation, Environment, and Conservation. I have been fascinated with ecology and involved in agriculture my entire life. My goal for this internship is to become familiar with the Menominee method of sustainability as well as to learn more about the interactions between plants in a natural and minimally disturbed landscape. My hope is that I will be able to apply this knowledge in my future to restore highly degraded land to a state that is as similar as possible to the natural appearance and function of the Menominee forest.
Hello my name is Briana Levsen and I am a summer intern working with the “Learning from the Land” internship also known as LFTL. I am currently a junior at UW Platteville located in the southwest area of Wisconsin. I am majoring in both Zoology and Ecology and in the future plan on having a career doing research on wildlife animals in their natural environment. The LFTL internship will allow me to learn ways to do outside research without disturbing the land around. I am looking forward in gaining skills and knowledge that I can pass along to others and to use in my future career, goals and plans.
Cat Majer (nee Munson)
2016, 2018 Cohorts
Cat Majer is an enrolled member of the Menominee Nation and is in her second year at College of Menominee Nation with Natural Resources as her major. She had also completed a year at College of Lake County in Illinois studying Horticulture before moving her family back to her hometown of Gresham, Wisconsin in July of 2015. Cathy has served 20 years in the Navy and is an active member of the Menominee Veterans. She had also worked as a government service civilian in the Command Fitness Leader office for 7 years and still enjoys running as her main exercise activity. She recently completed a marathon plus a few extra miles due to a route miscalculation so it was over 30 miles.
She has been actively experiencing her Menominee ancestral heritage through various activities on-campus and on the reservation such as traditional style wild rice processing. She joined her first college club, SEEDS (Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability) and is also in the Master Gardener Volunteer Program which both coincidentally intertwine with her new choice of study, Natural Resources, as well as internship, NECSC Climate Change Researcher. Cathy knows that climate change is definitely occurring and affects all living organisms on our beautiful planet Earth, which, by the way, is our one and only life support system.
Shekoli and Posoh! Nathan Martin is a Menominee and Oneida and considers those lands his home. Today he resides in Phoenix, Arizona, where he lives with his wife and is pursuing a MS in Sustainable Solutions a the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. He is very interested in studying what climate change will mean to our North American Indian cultures and hopes to contribute to the continued resiliency and prosperity of our tribes. He also hopes to learn more about the Menominee history and culture to better know his family history and himself.
Sonja Meintsma is an MPA candidate at Indiana University’s SPEA, studying sustainability and policy analysis. She is a member of the Service Corps program at IU, where she works with Girls Inc. of Monroe County. Before graduate school, Sonja served in Peace Corps Zambia as an Environment and Food Security Extension Agent. She is working with SDI this summer as an Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps Fellow to work towards improving the College’s climate neutrality. She will investigate different options of reducing carbon emissions by examining the CMN’s current GHG inventory and opportunities through carbon credits, forest carbon sequestration, energy efficiency, and renewable energies.
My name is Maria Moreno and I am a senior at Menominee Indian High School. I wanted to be part of SLC because I heard it was a great program from my peers. I’m in Gardening Club at my school and most of the members were planning on joining the program so I decided to apply too.
So far, I really enjoy being in SLC because it’s a great experience and I love working in the garden with the other SLC members. I also liked taking part in the research project on soil amendments. I plan on joining next summer too and I hope more students will join also because SLC is a really great program.
Eric Levi Nacotee
Eric Levi Nacotee, an enrolled descendant of the Menominee Nation, is currently the SCRIM Climate Change Researcher at the Sustainable Development institute of the College of Menominee Nation. This is Eric’s third internship since starting his goal to obtain a degree in Natural Resource. Eric is set to graduate in the fall of 2016 and then transfer to UW-Stevens Point to obtain his bachelor degree. After that he plans to return to the Menominee Reservation to either work in forestry or wildlife. Eric has been a part of some projects including helping putting together the Northeast Indigenous climate resilience network web page. He was also a part of helping put together the community turtle garden. Eric is very grateful to have been given the opportunity to work and learn at SDI an hopes the great things happening here continue on.
Samy Nelson, Agricultural Researcher Intern
My name is Samy Nelson, and I’m an Agricultural Researcher Intern at SDI. I attend the College of Menominee Nation where I am studying Computer Science. I take classes at the campus in
Green Bay, where I was born and raised. I also am working towards degrees in Business and Marketing. I am very happy with the college and with SDI, whom I’ve worked with on projects before. I have experience with gardening, marketing, crafting, and graphic design and I am able to use those skills in this internship which is really exciting for me. When I was younger I knew a lot and had learned a lot about sustainability and I kind of got away from that when I got older so I am excited to get back into it and start learning about it again.
Kasey Paiser is a descendant of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. She is currently a POSOH intern for the Sustainable Development Institute as a mentor for the Sustainability Leadership Cohort. Kasey is a student of the College of Menominee Nation working towards her degree in Early Childhood Education. She plans to graduate in Spring 2017. Kasey loves to work with all age groups and is excited to work with the high school students this summer.
2018, 2019 Cohorts
Luke Perez is the lead field technician for the collaborative phenology project between the College of the Menominee Nation and the University of Minnesota. Luke, along with two other attached interns, will be seeking to establish a baseline dataset of plant flowering and fruiting on the Menominee Indian Reservation. This data will eventually be used assess and understand the effects of ongoing climate change, specifically its impacts on Menominee tribal forests.
Luke is an enrolled member of the Menominee Indian tribe of Wisconsin. He is currently seeking his Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.
2016, 2017, 2018 Cohorts
Dolly Potts is an enrolled Prairie Band Potawatomi from Kansas. She has lived on the Menominee Reservation for twelve years. She graduated this spring from the College of Menominee Nation with an Liberal Studies Associate Degree in Humanities.
This is her third internship with SDI; this year as an Agricultural Research Assistant. This will be the second year, she will be assisting with the planting of Bear Island Flint corn research plot using soil amendments found in ancient Menominee garden beds. Another component she will be sharing traditional knowledge insuring food sovereignty and sustainability. One of her greatest interests in SDI is incorporating native input into the sustainability and diversity aspect of planning. She hopes that these teachings become a part of Sustainable Development for the future.
Read more about Dolly’s research here: Dolly’s blog posts
Hi, my name is Anthony Sanapaw. I am 20 years old. I went to school at Gresham Communtiy School. I am currently a student at the College of Menominee Nation enrolled in the Natural Resources program. I am an ecological data collection intern this summer for the Sustainable Devoplment Institute. I love to be outdoors because I can go hunting, fishing, and camping. I pretty much like anything that deals with being outdoors. I am an enrolled member of the Menominee Nation but I am also a direct decendant of the Strockbridge Munsee Mohican Tribe.
2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Cohorts
Adam Schulz is a first line descendant of the Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohican Indians. He lives in Shawano, WI with his three daughters and wife. Adam has been pursuing his degree at College of Menominee Nation for the last eight semesters. He has two Associates degree’s from CMN. One in Natural Resources. He was awarded an Associates in Business Administration with an emphasis on management in May 2018.
Adam is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at CMN. His career objective is to work in a natural resources capacity as a manager for either the Stockbridge-Munsee, or another tribal government.
This spring and summer, he will be doing a third internship with SDI. Rebecca Edler will serve as his mentor while interning as an Agricultural Research Assistant for a second year. He has traveled and gave presentations at several venues on behalf of SDI. He has attended many seminars held by both the College and the Sustainable Development Institute. Adam looks forward to this opportunity to add valuable traditional knowledge to my learning journey.
Read more about Adam’s journey here: Adam’s blog posts
2018, 2019 Cohorts
Jacob Schwitzer is a first decendant of the Menominee Tribe and lived on the Menominee Reservation for 10 years before moving to Shawano. He is currently attending UW Stout to pursue his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Game Design and Development.
This summer, Jacob will be working on the Visualizing Forest Futures project. The project will use Virtual Reality to show the many ways how the Menominee forest can change due to climate change. He is looking forward to seeing how the immersive nature of VR will influence the project.
Matthew Schwitzer is a rising junior at Shawano Community High School where his favorite subjects are history and English. He plays percussion for the school band and lectors at St. Michael’s Catholic Church. After high school, Matthew will attend college to major in journalism or international relations or something of the like.
He has two brothers, twins Nicholas and Jacob, who are attending UW-Stout, having just finished their freshman year. This summer marks Matthew’s second year in the Sustainability Leadership Cohort (SLC) at SDI where the SLC will be filming a short documentary, writing a research paper, and tending to the gardens.
2018, 2019 Cohorts
Nicholas Schwitzer is a Visualizing Forest Futures Intern for the Sustainable Development Institute. He is also a former member of SDI’s Sustainable Leadership Cohort from the summers of 2013-2016. A member of the Menominee tribe of Wisconsin, Nicholas was raised on the Reservation but moved to Shawano before starting middle school. He is currently attending University of Wisconsin: Stout to get a degree in Entertainment Design with a concentration in Comics and Sequential Arts. He is looking forward to the ViFF project as he thinks it will be interesting to use virtual reality technology to help explain the effects of climate change on the forest.
Charlene Tourtillott was raised on the Menominee Indian reservation located in Wisconsin. A graduate of Menominee Indian High School, Charlene moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to attend Institute of American Indian Arts for her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Indigenous Liberal Studies.
Charlene is the Climate Resiliency Research intern and will also serve as a mentor for the Sustainability Leadership Cohort. She is passionate about learning how the arts could raise awareness on climate change and research, fishing and reading.
Posoh, I have been a student at the College of Menominee Nation since I was a sophomore in high school. The extra credits I earned allowed me to not only graduate a year early, but I was also able to fulfill my goal of enlisting in the Marine Corps in 2008. I was discharged in 2013 and since then I have been back in school furthering my knowledge in the elementary and early childhood education field, I plan on someday being a Menominee language teacher. I am currently a sustainability planner intern for the Sustainable Development Institute, where I will be learning more about the Place-based Opportunities for Sustainable Outcomes and High hopes project. Furthermore, I am excited to develop a better understanding, gain some very useful knowledge, and learn the skills needed to utilize and teach sustainable education strategies.
2018, 2019 Cohorts
Posoh, my name is Marissa Vele and I am the Sustainability Leadership Cohort Education Mentor for the 2018 program year. I live in Wittenberg with my husband-Curtis, daughter-Leikyn, and my dog named Aries. I hold an Associate’s Degree in Business Management from NTC. Currently, I am working towards my Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood/Middle Education and I am in my third semester at CMN.
My plan is to teach within the area and give back to my community. In the meantime, I work as a special education paraprofessional at the Shawano Middle School. I enjoy working with a variety of different students and helping them succeed. I look forward to this internship because I can gain more experience working with students and gain more knowledge about SDI and what they do. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to the many experiences that I will have.
Read more about Marissa’s experiences at SDI here: Marissa’s blog posts
Lorenzo Warrington, an enrolled member of the Menominee Nation, is the Campus Sustainability Research Intern at the College of Menominee Nations (CMN) Sustainable Development Institute. His purpose in this internship is to report data on greenhouse gases emitted from campus for CMN’s Climate Action Plan which is designed to reduce the effects of Climate Change to reach CMN’s goal of becoming a climate neutral campus.
His dream is to become a Civil Engineer and help develop and sustain renewable energy for the Menominee community. Lorenzo studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for one semester and is now conducting an internship at CMN for two semesters. Lorenzo will return in the fall of 2017 to UW-Madison with hopes to graduate with a Civil Engineering degree with a minor in Environmental Engineering in 2019.
Posoh, I’m Miranda Washinawatok. I am enrolled Menominee and lived on the Menominee Reservation until 2011. I then moved to Shawano and have resided since. I am a Class of 2017 Graduate of Shawano Community High School. While at SCHS, I was often recommended to apply and look into extracurricular programs; the Sustainability Leadership Cohort I found would suit me best.
I enjoy being able to work in the garden, learn the ways of ancient Menominee, as well as promote sustainability in the community.
For the academic school year of 2017-2018, I will be attending the University of Maine at Presque Isle where I will study Environmental Science with a concentration in Natural Resources. At UMPI I’ll also take part on the women’s volleyball team.
Posoh, (Hello) my name is Kathleen, I live on the Menominee Reservation and am enrolled at the College of Menominee Nation full time working toward a degree in Liberal Studies. I have four sons and four grandsons and love animals. I grew up on the Menominee Reservation. I went to boarding schools as a child and had the opportunity to make many friends across Indian country.
These friends are a great part of my life and I enjoy every opportunity to keep in contact with my fellow classmates. My grandmother, Mildred Kaquatosh, raised me the traditional way with our native tongue spoken in the home daily. She went on later in life to teach the Menominee Language in the schools and tell of the legends. She is my role model in pursuing my education and I would like to give back to my community as my grandmother did.
My name is Joseph Waukechon and I am beyond psyched to be a part of this Internship, particularly next week when we go to the Whispering Pines Retreat. I am part of the Digital Media internship, and excited to start. Filmmaking has always been a huge part of my life, an interest I’ve pursued since childhood, recounting the wonder I felt while on family trips to the movies. I have also created two animated short films, one of which premiered at the Wildwood Film Festival this year, the other slated to appear this Fourth of July in London. I hope this passion will carry forward the efficiency of this group, and help make this internship all that it can be.
2018, 2019 Cohort
Curtis Wilhelmi is an enrolled member of the Menominee Tribe who is currently in his third semester at CMN. He is working towards his Associates Degree in Liberal Studies Social Science with plans to transfer to a four-year university to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. Curtis will be working on the Visualizing Forest Futures (VIFF) internship project with Penn State University and will be conducting forest ecology research to examine how virtual reality can be used to examine possible impacts of climate change on forest systems and elicit values about forest change.
Hello, my name is Qwida-Ze Young. I am an enrolled member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi . I am a student at College of Menominee Nation in the sustainable residential building program. This summer I was accepted into the Sustainable Development Institute internship program as an Ecological Data Collection Intern. Things I enjoy outside of school are being outdoors, fishing, hanging with friends and family, hearing belly laughs, sharing stories, and sitting by a fire.
Adam Lemieux (2018 Cohort)