Interns look out from Loess Hills in western Iowa
Anna Beal Interns Interns look out from Loess Hills in western Iowa © Maggie Keller/TNC

Stories in Iowa

Intern Program Turns 30

Impact of Anna Beal Internship Reaches Far and Wide

Comradery built the culture of our crew. We learned to value the skills everyone brought to the table.

Associate Dir. of Conservation & Land of the Swamp White Oak Programs

2018 marks the 30th year The Nature Conservancy in Iowa has invited undergraduates of Iowa universities to participate in the Anna Beal Internship Program. Founded in 1974, The Anna Beal Trust is the primary funding source for the summer intern program. Benefactors of the Trust, Ed and Anna Beal, were farmers from Black Hawk County. Throughout the 11-week program, interns will have a unique opportunity to learn basic land stewardship and ecological management while working closely with conservation professionals at The Conservancy and other organizations. Over the last 30 years, hundreds of students have been exposed to tried and true management tools and techniques honed by The Conservancy’s staff members, influencing them in their potential future careers in conservation.

In addition to field experience, the summer crews often experience an lasting sense of comradery. Oftentimes, they can be found pitching tents near their work site and cooking together around a campfire. Life and survival skills are required both in and out of the field. Alumni of the program have gone on to build careers in conservation. Former interns have held positions at The Nature Conservancy in more than 5 states as well as other conservation organizations such as Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, National Park Service, Department of Natural Resources and more. The incredible impact of the Anna Beal Internship Program is far reaching throughout the conservation world and beyond.