ANSEP students prepared for college and careers with paid STEM internships in Alaska and across the U.S.

From oil and gas companies to federal agencies, ANSEP strategic partners offered unmatched educational and professional opportunities for Alaskans this summer.

This summer, 21 students from across Alaska participated in the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program’s Summer Bridge opportunity, which places recent high school graduates in paid science, engineering or business internships with ANSEP strategic partners. Over the course of 10 weeks, students prepared for college and future STEM careers by getting hands-on, professional experience.

These internships took students across Alaska and beyond. With Santos, Anchorage’s Sally Yu worked on a pipeline cost modeling project and Wasilla’s Ezra Gilmore assisted with a geographic information system mapping project. Through his internship with ConocoPhillips, Dillingham’s Kristian Nudlash graphed daily fish counts in the Nushagak and Naknek Rivers, and traveled to Wainwright and Atqasuk with the ConocoPhillips Village Outreach Department to discuss the Willow Project.

In Anchorage, Bethel’s Haley Sundown interned with the United States Geological Survey’s Alaska Volcano Observatory. She performed routine laboratory assignments related to volcanic ash deposits, maintained databases and used a USGS scanning electron microscope to image volcanic ash samples and identify minerals.

In Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, Emily Charles of Anchorage interned with the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska on a weir at McClees Lake sampling and collecting data on returning salmon. In Southeast Alaska, an internship with the National Park Service gave Palmer’s Lena Edwards and Bethel’s Jordan Wheeler the chance to participate in an archaeological dig on an eroding river bank in Klondike Gold Rush National Park. They conducted archaeological surveys, excavated archaeological features and implemented best practices in field and laboratory procedures.

On the other side of the state, an internship with the Tanana Chiefs Conference took Wasilla’s Josiah Dowdy to Alaska’s Interior where he studied the abundance and run timing of adult salmon in Henshaw Creek.

This summer, the largest group of ANSEP students in the 24-year history of Summer Bridge traveled to Washington D.C. Manokotak’s Celine Alakayak and Wasilla’s Glenda Root interned with the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, as part of ANSEP’s 15-year partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, completing projects related to corporate development and funding; human resources; and diversity, equity and inclusion.

On Capitol Hill, Bethel’s Charlee Korthius interned with Sen. Lisa Murkowski assisting legislative staff and learning the various aspects of working in the U.S. Senate. Then, Charlee joined Anchorage’s Riss Delara for an internship with Bristol Bay Native Association/Fisheries Research Institute in Aleknagik. Charlee collected data on factors influencing sockeye salmon production while Riss gathered data on stream flow and temperature, zooplankton, and smolt and juvenile fish. Riss spent the other half of her Summer Bridge internship with Defenders of Wildlife. She created educational materials and activities for ANSEP Middle School students about the impact of litter on polar bears.

Students who completed paid Summer Bridge internships with ANSEP’s strategic partners this year represent 10 different Alaska communities and five different Alaska Native Regional Corporations.

Anchorage

● Malia Batchelder, University of Rhode Island

● Emily Charles, Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska (Calista Corporation)

● Caralynn Charles-Smith, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (Calista Corporation)

● Riss DeLara, Bristol Bay Native Association and Defenders of Wildlife

● Alandra Jones, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (Calista Corporation)

● Jessica Martinez, ANSEP and Alaska Department of Fish & Game (Calista Corporation)

● Sally Yu, Santos

Bethel

● Charlee Korthuis, Bristol Bay Native Association and the Office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski

(Calista Corporation)

● Haley Sundown, U.S. Geological Survey (Calista Corporation)

● Jordan Wheeler, National Park Service

Chugiak

● Isaiah Faso-Fomoso, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Dillingham

● Kristian Nudlash-Barger, ConocoPhillips (Bristol Bay Native Corporation)

Eagle River

● Gabe Abdelnoor, University of Rhode Island

Fairbanks

● Ezra Hunt, ConocoPhillips (Calista Corporation)

Manokotak

● Celine Alakayak, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Bristol Bay Native Corporation)

Palmer

● Lena Edwards, National Park Service

Wasilla

● Josiah Dowdy, Tanana Chiefs Conference

● Ezra Gilmore, Santos (Cook Inlet Region, Inc.)

● Glenda Root, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Cook Inlet Region, Inc.)

Unalakleet

● Victoria Fisher, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (Bering Straits Native

Corporation)

“Summer Bridge provides unparalleled professional and educational experiences for recent high school graduates in Alaska,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Schroeder.

“These students are gaining invaluable experience in office settings and on a university campus while sharpening their skills and building valuable professional and peer-to-peer connections.

The opportunity to send students to work with our partners in D.C. this summer is just a preview of the endless opportunities that lie ahead for ANSEP students.”

In addition to preparing academically, socially and professionally for college, students who successfully complete Summer Bridge are eligible for scholarship funding to attend the University of Alaska this fall. Many students have already earned free credits toward a bachelor degree through previous coursework completed in ANSEP’s Acceleration Academy component.

Through scholarship funding and components like Acceleration Academy potentially saving families three full years of college costs, ANSEP helps students save tens of thousands of dollars on higher education.

Elementary, middle and high school students across Alaska as well as current university students who are interested in participating in ANSEP can learn more and apply at www.ANSEP.net.

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