Van Kooten photo

Pella native Ethan Van Kooten will be spending his summer outdoors, helping to preserve and restore Iowa's natural beauty through a unique internship program.

The Pella Chronicle

Pella native Ethan Van Kooten will be spending his summer outdoors, helping to preserve and restore Iowa’s natural beauty through a unique internship program.

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) selected Van Kooten and three other students from Iowa colleges as land stewardship interns in the blufflands region of Iowa for the summer of 2014. INHF looks for college students who possess a passion for conservation and a desire to learn hands-on techniques for preserving Iowa’s natural resources.

Van Kooten is a graduate of Pella Christian High School. He studies Environmental Studies at Central College and expects to graduate in May 2015.

“I applied for this internship because I grew up loving nature,” said Van Kooten. “I always knew that I wanted to do something environmental, and this internship is giving me a chance to achieve it.”

INHF chooses its land stewardship interns based on their dedication to conservation and their devotion to restoring the state’s natural places.

“Each summer we hire a group of talented and passionate college students to be part of INHF’s land stewardship internship program,” said Erin Van Waus, INHF land stewardship director. “The interns help INHF achieve its goal of restoring rare and special native habitats throughout Iowa, and the enthusiasm and expertise each intern brings to the position is priceless. The internship program allows INHF to increase our capacity to do high-quality restoration while offering the students a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience.”

Van Kooten’s internship is sponsored by the R.J. McElroy Trust of Waterloo in honor of Bob Buckmaster, who was INHF’s first board chair and a close friend of McElroy.

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