Leaders of Haskell Indian Nations University and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region Seven signed an agreement Wednesday that will promote more interaction among Haskell students and faculty with EPA staff.
Both agencies share a goal of preparing students for future careers in environmental and scientific fields, the agreement says.
Karl Brooks, the EPA district’s regional administrator, worked as a Kansas University professor before taking his position with the EPA. He said he hoped that the agreement would lead to more cooperation in three main areas:
• Opportunities that would lead to more Haskell students applying for summer internships with the agency and pursuing full-time jobs there. The district currently employs six Haskell graduates as full-time employees, Brooks said.
• More chances for Haskell faculty to drive research forward with the help of EPA staff members. Haskell faculty are interested in a lot of the same areas of research as the EPA, Brooks said, including water, land use and other issues.
“Putting them in touch with our people is going to benefit our people and the Haskell faculty,” he said.
• Promoting an education that will allow students to return to their tribes with knowledge of environmental issues facing them. Brooks said that such students can help tribes address environmental issues by serving on governmental bodies such as tribal councils.
The agreement also calls for Haskell to be made aware of joint research opportunities.
EPA staff members could also get consideration for adjunct faculty positions at the school, according to the agreement.
Faculty members would also receive assistance from the EPA staff in preparing grant applications, as long as it does not provide Haskell with an unfair advantage over other agencies competing for grants.
“EPA Region Seven has been and continues to be a strong supporter of Haskell,” said Haskell President Chris Redman at a ceremony on campus Wednesday.