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Safeguarding Natural Heritage

Safeguarding Natural Heritage

Every year since 2007, APHIS has collaborated with Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), and other Native American Serving Institutions, to deliver Safeguarding Natural Heritage (SNH), a 2-week summer outreach program that helps students ages 14-17 explore careers in plant and animal science, wildlife management, and agribusiness.  Students participate in hands-on labs, workshops, discussion groups, field trips, and character- and team-building activities led by Tribal elders, practitioners, and professionals, university professors, and U.S. Government scientists while living on a college campus.

Sample activities include: studying the life cycles and habits of insects (entomologists); inspect and regulate certain genetically engineered organisms (biotechnologists); examining cells and tissues under a microscope to identify diseases (plant pathologists); working to conserve and manage wild animals and their habitats (wildlife biologists); carrying out animal health programs (veterinarians); learning about on the humane care and treatment of animals (veterinarians and animal care inspectors); and studying the business aspects of protecting plants and animals (agribusiness). 

Students chosen to participate in SNH pay only the cost of transportation to and from the college/university campus.  All other costs—including tuition, room and board, and laboratory supplies—will be covered by APHIS. 

In 2019, APHIS’ SNH partners will include the College of Menominee Nation, Diné College, Navajo Technical University, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College.  To learn more about possible opportunities at these specific institutions, please use the contact information provided below.  For general information about SNH, please contact APHIS National Tribal Liaison Terry Clark at (301) 440-4388 or, or Assistant National Tribal Liaison Carl Etsitty at (970) 494-7573 or

Participating SNH Schools, 2019:

  • College of Menominee Nation, N172 Highway 47/55, P.O. Box 1179, Keshena, WI 54135
    Contact: Brian Kowalkowski at (715) 799-5600, ext. 3007 or
  • Diné College, P.O. Box C01, Tsaile, AZ 86556   
    Contact: Benita Litson at (928) 724-6940 or 
  • Navajo Technical University, Lower Point Road, NM State Highway 371 & NN9,
    P.O. Box 849, Crownpoint, NM 87313
    Contact: Germaine Daye at (505) 786-4150 or
  • University of North Carolina at Pembroke, P.O. Box 1510, Pembroke, NC 28372   
    Contact: Lawrence T. Locklear at (910) 775-4579 or

  • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, 2101 14th Street, Cloquet, MN 55720
    Contact: Courtney Kowalczak at (218) 879-0862 or




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