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Past Interns

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:


SDI 2013 Summer Interns

GregforWebGreg Gauthier, Summer 2013 LFTL Forest Systems Cultural Services Intern: Posoh, my name is Gregory Gauthier; I was raised on the Menominee Reservation my entire life. I am currently interning with the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) and State University of New York (SUNY) as the Forest Cultural Services intern. I am presently an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh majoring in Computer Sciences.  Being raised by my grandparents and father, I have been able to learn some of the cultural aspects of the Menominee and also been able to share what I have learned with others. And yet I am still learning from them. My educational journey has brought me to many places, introduced me to many different fields of work, and also gave me the opportunity to meet variety of influential people. I know in my heart, I want to come back and help, not only my tribe, but with other communities around the world. I have the aspirations of a future leader.  Learning and listening is the key to success, you never stop learning and listening

BrendaforWeb1Brenda Miller, Summer 2013 LFTL Forest Systems Student Researcher: Hello my name is Brenda Miller.  I am a sophomore at College of Menominee Nation and I am pursuing my Associates of Arts and Sciences degree in Sustainable Development.  I am a Learning From The Land Forest Research intern at the Sustainable Development Institute.  I am enjoying it very much and I’m learning a tremendous amount of valuable knowledge that will stay with me forever and help me obtain a successful career.  I am learning of the many important aspects of forestry and critical techniques it takes to manage an immense forest, such as the Menominee forest.  I have learned of the relevance between Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Scientific Ecological Knowledge and the importance to combine the two to create a cutting edge and a completely different perspective on the forest ecosystems.  I have also gained a numerous amount of other beneficial knowledge such as, how to identify plant species, the life histories of species worldwide, climate change and how it effects forest ecosystems, mitigation, fire management, how to cut down a tree, forest adaptation, invasive species and diseases, and among many others. My internship is very exciting because, I not only learn of the many important components of forestry,  I go out into the forest and implement the aspects I have learned. Recently, my fellow interns and I have completed a two week forest restoration project on an oak wilt gap. We combined Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Scientific Ecological Knowledge to design a restoration plan where climate and disease adaptability and traditional plants and animals were all emphasized. The best part was our plan is the first of its kind in the region. We presented our silviculture prescription to our Forestry Department and they greatly approved of it. We are looking forward to our hard work being implemented in the near future and seeing our oak wilt gap successfully thriving in our desired future condition.  It was a proud moment for all of us and I am very appreciative to have been chosen for this internship.

sheldonforWebSheldon Waupochick, Summer 2013 LFTL Forest Systems Student Researche: Sheldon Waupochick attends the College of Menominee Nation where he is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.  In his free time, Sheldon likes to hunt white-tailed deer in the fall; and catch bass or trout in the warmer seasons.   In addition to hunting and fishing, Sheldon enjoys playing baseball or other active sports.   After completing two full-time semesters at CMN and a Sustainable Development Internship, Sheldon will be starting his sophomore year in the fall of 2013.  Sheldon has the chance to transfer to Haskell Indian Nations University in the fall which is located in Lawrence, Kansas.   Very enlightened by the aspect of sustainability, Sheldon is ready to apply what he has learned so far through the rest of his educational journey.

WandaSummersWanda Summers, Summer 2013 LFTL Forest Systems Student Researcher:  Posoh, my name is Wanda Summers; I was born in Shawano, WI, in 1991.  My childhood consisted of poison ivy, mosquito bites and tons of wood ticks.  I wasn’t your typical dolled up little girl. I was in fact a short-haired and adventurous little girl, who was not shy of frogs, insects and other animals that I easily could catch with my hands.  My stomping ground is the beautiful Menominee forest, where I am also an enrolled member of the Menominee Tribe.  I would like to thank my father for everything he has showed me and for encouraging my adventurous personality.  Everything I know about Land of the Menominee, I learned from him.  My intentions are to pass the knowledge I gain onto my children and encourage them to do the same.   The Great Spirit has given me the wonderful gift of life and to be able to give life.  I am here to make a difference and I intend on doing so with my college education and opportunities.  I am enrolled at the College of Menominee Nation, where I am studying biological & physical sciences.  My education goals are to finish up here at the college and go into the Marine Biology field, where I want to help endangered species.  I am currently working with S.D.I as an LFTL intern and it is a great learning experience. I want to help sustain the earth to help maintain the culture and environmental significance for our future generations to come. I love the wonderful opportunities I am given and would like to thank everyone at S.D.I.  “Everything on the Earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission.  This is the Indian theory of existence.” –Christal Quintasket (1888-1936), Salish

KennyforWebKenny Latender, Summer 2013 Climate Change Research Intern: Hello my name is Kenny LaTender I’m currently a student at the College of Menominee Nation where I will be attempting to earn an associate’s degree in Natural Resources. I have been working with the Sustainable development Institute as an intern focusing on climate change. I have enjoyed working in the institute because they are teaching me an abundant amount of information on the Natural resources that inhibit the region. I have learned about the new forming threats that are inhibiting the region cased by climate change. We have discussed the methods foresters are exploring to try and cease these threats for destroying the forests and other natural systems in their areas.

MelissaMelissa Wilber, Tribal Water Resources Intern: Posoh–taq-aes-wesyan Melissa Wilber. I am an enrolled member of the Menominee Tribe and have been raised on and off the reservation throughout my life. I am currently finishing up my degree in Sustainable Development and transferring to University of Green Bay in the fall to finish with BA in Design Arts. I would like to use the knowledge I gain in sustainability and the skills I learn in my design arts program to create fun and interesting multimedia pieces to help the youth and my community gain a better understanding of environmental issues affecting people today and future generations to come.I am very honored and grateful to be an intern for the Sustainable Development Institute, serving as a Tribal Water Resources Intern this summer. I am collaborating with the UW-Extension system and SDI doing research regarding further engagement of tribal communities in MI, WI and MN planning water resource issues. I am excited and grateful for the College of Menominee for creating fun opportunities for students like me to develop a skill set for the future. Wae-wae-non

Mww-2Miriam Waupoose, Summer 2014 MTP Forest Systems Cultural Services Intern: Miriam Waupoose is the Forest Systems Cultural Service intern at the College of Menominee Nation-Sustainable Development Institute. She is currently a sophomore at Madison College in Madison, WI. She is planning on transferring to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to finish her bachelor’s degree in Forest Ecology. After that she plans to continue her education by getting an Environmental Law degree.  She plans on going into these fields of study to help protect her land for future generations as her Menominee ancestors did for her people.  In Miriam’s Forest Systems Cultural Service internship, she is going to use the knowledge she receives to help others understand the importance of the relationships that biological, physical, cultural, and social dynamics have with a forest system.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABrennan Waupoose, Summer 2013 MTP Ecological Data Collection Intern: Hi, my name is Brennan Waupoose. I am a Biological & Physical Science major at College of Menominee Nation. I am currently a member of a three person team of Ecological Data Collectors at the Sustainable Development Institute. Our team will be installing and surveying a 100 meter x 100 meter plot on the Menominee forest which will be used by the Smithsonian Institute to monitor forest productivity based on climate change.

I plan to transfer to University of Wisconsin-Platteville to finish a Bachelor’s in Biology with an Emphasis in Ecology. I also plan to attend Graduate school to study Forest Ecology with hopes of returning to the Menominee Nation to continue the sustainable management of our forestland.

SosaehSosaeh Connahvichnah, Summer 2013 MTP Ecological Data Collection Intern: My name is Sosaeh Connahvichnah and I am an enrolled Menominee. I lived on the reservation my whole life and do not plan on moving. I am currently attending Lawrence University in Appleton WI and will be starting my second year in August. I plan on obtaining a four year degree in biology and hope to come back to the reservation to work.

This summer I will be working for SDI under the internship title, Ecological Data Collection. For this internship we are outlining a plot in the forest. Within the plot we will be counting, measuring, and tagging all trees. We are doing this so we are able to see how the trees are growing. I am grateful for this opportunity and am looking forward to learning a lot this summer.

KeithKeith Ladwig, Summer 2013 MTP Ecological Data Collection Intern: Hello, my name is Keith Ladwig. I was raised near Gillett, WI my entire life. I interned at the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) as an Ecological Data Collection intern. This past spring I graduated from the College of Menominee Nation (CMN) with an Associate’s Degree in Natural Resources. This fall I will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to get a Bachelor’s degree. Being raised in a rural area farm I learned from my parents to love the outdoors. While attending CMN I learned to respect the land and everything it may contain. I would like to be a manager of something someday. Whether its forestry, resources, or fish & wildlife I would like to manage something. Just to be helping in natural resources would be great.

Tashina Williams, Summer 2013 Marketing Research Assistant:

POSOH Sustainability Education Assistant

 Ella Keenan

Laundi Keepseagle

Cherie Thunder

LloydforWebLloyd Frieson, Food Sovereignty Education Intern 2012-2013: Lloyd Frieson is a CMN student working as garden assistant to the Sustainable Development Institute. He is currently ordering seeds for spring planting and recently visited New Orleans in February 2013 as part of a CMN Student opportunity.
“Hello, my name is Lloyd Frieson, aka Boobie. I was born in Chicago, IL in 1970 and was raised in Mobile, AL from 1976 until 2004. In 2004 I moved to the Menominee Reservation to get away from the humid heat and mostly this is my mother’s home. I began gardening at the age of twelve years old and have been doing it since. My father’s father was the one who introduced gardening into my life. He would come by every Saturday morning and it was expected that the grand children help in the family garden. I did not want to go work the garden the first year but my father was pretty strict about following the orders of your elders. After awhile the plants began to sprout and bloom and something inside of me lit up spiritually.
Receiving this internship is a great opportunity to try different methods of gardening and finding out new information on growing crops. One of my projects I am now working on is maximizing the least amount of area to raise crops. I have made a twenty foot strip by one foot wide and have planted corn, squash, beans and peas. Soon I will introduce some sunflower plants and some herbs into that same area utilizing the total area for foods. My ambitions will be that this area of 20’x1’ will create a wall of vegetation. I am also working on another project that will involve the hig
h school students and clearing out the CMN design by the water tower. I will also be traveling to the Oneida farm and gathering information on how they are sustaining their crop yield. As I understand I am to work while I am there to get some hands on experience which will be great. These are considered valuable teachings and I will treat them as such. The Creator has gifted me this opportunity to be the best I can be. I will also like to talk to some elders on how gardening was back in the earlier times and document those meetings for reference. I would like to thank the SDI board for giving me this opportunity to grow in a field that I am really passionate about.”

Laundi Keepseagle – Education and Outreach Planner Fall 2012

Laundi presents the collaborative problem solving process that includes multiple perspectives

Laundi presents the collaborative problem solving process that includes multiple perspectives

Laundi was a valuable asset to the Sustainable Development Institute and co-organized a Sustainable Art and Eco-Fashion show. She also assisted with education initiatives and outreach projects.









Deidre Wolfe (center)

Deidre Wolfe – Outreach Event Planner Fall 2012 

Deidre Wolfe was a great SDI teammember and co-coordinated the Sustainable Art and Eco-Fashion Show. She is a member of the Lac Courte Orellies Ojibwe Nation. Deidre has an associates’ degrees in pre-nursing and biological sciences from College of Menominee Nation (CMN) and is currently working on a bachelor’s degree in education. Her goals and intentions for her educational journey are to provide the best life I can for my family and to work for a Native American tribe. Her teaching goal is to help inspire Native American children to reach their full potentials and continue on into higher education. Deidre is also working  to incorporate her love of sciences into teaching and open up children’s eyes to the possibilities, creativity, exploration and opportunities that science brings.


Henry Dodge: Community Youth Education Summer 2012 Henry

Henry Dodge is Menominee and has a passion for helping and education Menominee youth. Here is what Henry had to say August 2012: “All of my education has been done here on the reservation.  My first day of daycare was here on the reservation.  My first day of Head Start was here on the reservation, and all of my grade schooling has been done here on the reservation.  I am very proud to have all of my schooling done here on my reservation.  Before I came to college, I worked in the woods as a logger for eight long years.  Working in the woods is not fun.  It is hard work, and if you don’t work you don’t get paid. I liked to get paid, so I work long hours in the woods.  I would work ten to twelve hours days every day.  I had to carry a big saw with me everywhere I went, and in order to run the saw I needed gas and oil.  I had to carry that with me too.  I soon became tired of this work, and I knew I had to find a new job or do something new with my life, so I did.  I knew my reservation had a college, so I might as well start school and see where it would take me. School only did good things for me.  I am now working for the college, and doing what I like to do now, not doing what I have to.
 I attend the College Of Menominee Nation and am going on my third semester.  I have one semester left, then I will have my first college degree.  I am going to school for sustainable development, but I would like to work with our community more, especially with our youth here on the reservation.  I want to show them what they can do if they try hard and stay out of trouble.  I want them to go to school and get good grades. I have an internship with the sustainable development, which allows me to work with the community, both adults and children. I coordinate summer youth activities such as baseball games, walking clubs, cleaning up the reservation, and more.  I also teach concepts having to do with sustainable development.  Recently, we learned how many trees we breathe in a year, and how much oxygen does a tree give off.  These are just some of the fun educational things we do, and I look forward to doing more with the youth in my position here.”

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