Adel native Tonya Dunsmoor and Waukee native Alexandra Gustafson will be spending their summer outdoors, helping to preserve and restore Iowa’s natural beauty through a unique internship program.

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) selected Dunsmoor, Gustafson and eight other students from Iowa colleges as statewide land stewardship interns 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 areas.

Dunsmoor is a graduate of Adel–DeSoto–Minburn High School. She is majoring in forestry at Iowa State University and expects to graduate in December 2014.

"I applied for this internship to get well-rounded," said Dunsmoor. "I have an urban route for my forestry degree so this internship gave me a chance to learn more about conservation and help me become more well-rounded on the topic."

Gustafson is a graduate of Waukee High School. She recently graduated and earned her degree in Environmental Science and Political Science at Iowa State University.

"I applied for this internship because I am very interested in conservation," said Gustafson. "I really like INHF’s mission, and I thought it would be a great thing to be a part of."

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."

Dunsmoor’s internship is sponsored by the Sarve Family.

Gustafson’s internship is sponsored by the Rose Mary Schwent Internship program, which allows Schwent’s love for the sciences to be passed along to future generations of Iowa students.