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  • Maurina L. Aranda - Building Capacity to Use Science for Sovereignty in Native Coastal Communities

  • Friday, January 29, 2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST
    Purdue University

    To both address and understand the challenges surrounding river and coastal ecosystems important to tribal communities, and to take an active role in helping bridge the gap of knowledge between Non-native scientists and Native American/Alaska Native (NA/AN) communities. NA/AN communities possess Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) that has led to the sustainability of many ecological resources that have sustained these communities since time immemorial. However, the emerging climate crisis and increased anthropogenic activities have begun to threaten and deplete these resources. To address these concerns, the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields have begun to collaborate with NA/AN communities in an effort to monitor, manage, and protect natural resources. To date, there is a fundamental disconnect between the STEM sciences and TEK with regard to ways of knowing and how to use knowledge gained. The goal of this project is to identify key differences in 1) how those from NA/AN communities define both STEM and TEK using both STEM or TEK terminologies, 2) the challenges faced in coupling STEM and TEK taking into consideration cultural competency, and 3) work to overcome these challenges in both the STEM disciplines and tribal communities. It is hoped that identifying the barriers in combining these two fields will allow research collaborations to occur, bridging together education, science, and societal needs of these NA/AN coastal communities.

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