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Internship Elevated with Conservation Nation & EPI Yellowstone

In this guest blog, Callie Hauser shares about her experience as a Yellowstone field intern. Thanks to the hard work of the EPI Yellowstone Team, in partnership with Yellowstone National Park and Conservation Nation, Callie got a world-class education and research experience!


Growing up, I always wanted to go north.

Whether it be for a trip or a future job opportunity, going north always seemed like a dream that I would not be able to reach until I was much older. Then, in came Ecology Project International (EPI)!

I was ecstatic when I came across the Yellowstone Field Intern position with EPI. As I have been looking into career opportunities, outdoor education has become more interesting to me in addition to large mammal biology. Currently, I'm a senior at New Mexico State University pursuing a degree in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Ecology.

The EPI internship ticked all of my boxes: I could live in Montana and Wyoming, learn about being an outdoor educator, and explore what National Park biologists can do for large mammal species.

I started my internship as an outdoor educator on three different field-based EPI courses. I got to learn about lesson planning, different teaching styles from other instructors, and building close-knit communities in a short period of time. Being an intern with EPI allowed me to work on my presenting, public speaking, and group managing skills, all of which I will carry with me throughout my life.

A teaching moment that stands out to me was when one of my groups of students was participating in a “Quest for Knowledge,” or QFK. During QFKs, a small group of students choose a topic in ecology to teach to other students, whether it be through a fun game, a dance, or a play. One group decided to teach about different native and invasive plant species in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. A student pulled me aside and asked what she could teach about Cheatgrass, an invasive species. I briefly explained to her how Cheatgrass alters fire ecology on grasslands. During the presentation, the student I worked with explained in great detail how detrimental Cheatgrass could be to grassland and sagebrush ecosystems. I leaped with joy watching her educate her peers!

During the second half of my internship, I got to work directly with the bison team at Yellowstone National Park. I learned what field technicians do at National Parks and worked closely with biologists.

Gaining experience with animal husbandry by working at the bison quarantine facility, assisting with vegetation surveys and grazing research, and finding VHF collars from deceased mule deer was a fascinating, real-world experience unlike anything I'd seen before.

Working with biologists, especially on the bison team, showed me that more than just biology goes into the management of certain species and that it can become complicated when there are so many stakeholders at play.

Interning with EPI and the National Park Service opened so many opportunities for me to grow and I will forever be thankful that I was able to have this experience!

Thank you so much to our partners at Conservation Nation for funding this incredible internship! If you'd like to help EPI create more opportunities like this one, please email Sierra at for ways to engage!


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