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USGS Office of Tribal Relations

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SISNAR Internship Program

The Student Interns in Support of Native American Relations (SISNAR) program provides student interns work opportunities on current USGS projects directly related to, and preferably on, Native American tribal lands, assisting Tribes with natural resource research issues including water, hazards, fish and wildlife, and climate change. These mutually beneficial projects also serve to build upon or create new relationships with Native American Tribes. Through an internal competitive process, the USGS Office of Tribal Relations tribal liaison team solicits internal proposals and selects USGS projects that most benefit the Tribe on whose land the research is being conducted (each Tribe must provide written support for the internship) and that will provide meaningful internship experiences that educate students about management of tribal natural resources.

2017 SISNAR Awardees

  1. James Cain
    • New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
    • Las Cruces NM
    • Responses of Elk, Mule Deer and Black Bear to Wildfire and Landscape-scale Forest Restoration in the Jemez Mountains, NM
    • Pueblo of Jemez, NM
  2. Rod Caldwell
    • Wyoming Montana Water Science Center
    • Helena, MT
    • Water Mission Area
    • Hydrologic Assessment with an Emphasis of Water Quality within the Lame Deer Watershed, Northern Cheyenne Reservation, Montana
    • Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Lame Deer, MT
  3. Jonathan Glenn
    • Geology, Mineral, Energy and Geophysics Science Center
    • Menlo Park, CA
    • Energy and Minerals Mission Area
    • Umatilla Indian Reservation Geothermal Resources Assessment
    • Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Pendleton, OR
  4. Tabitha Graves
    • Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)
    • West Glacier, MT
    • Ecosystems/Northwest Region
    • Baseline data for Expected Reintroduction of Bison
    • Blackfeet Tribe, Browning, MT
  5. Jeffrey Falke
    • AK Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
    • Fairbanks, AK
    • Ecosystems/Alaska Region
    • Chena River Juvenile Chinook Salmon Large Wood Habitat Mapping
    • Tanana Chiefs Conference, Fairbanks, AK
  6. Ken Tiffan
    • Western Fisheries Research Center/Columbia River Research Lab
    • Cook, WA
    • Ecosystems/Northwest Region
    • White Salmon River Salmonid Recolonization Assessment Post Dam Removal, White Salmon River, WA
    • Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Toppenish, WA
  7. Erin Whorton
    • Washington Water Science Center
    • Takoma, WA
    • Water/Northwest Region
    • Quantifying Glacier Volume Change on Glacier Peak, Washington
    • Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, Darrington, 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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