MT-WY TLC endorse Field Environmental Biology Program for Native American students offered by University of Notre Dame with CSKT
The Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council has endorsed a program designed to help to prepare Native American students for advanced studies in environmental biology, so they can better manage biological resources on their lands.
The program is currently accepting applications for the two-year summer program. The deadline to apply is November 4.
The purpose of this program is to promote an understanding of field-oriented environmental biology and how field research is conducted.
The program also promotes understanding of Native American attitudes towards the environment in non-Native American students interested in the environment, so they can incorporate these cultural insights into better management. These goals are achieved through interactions with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal cultural preservation and natural resource departments, the Lac du Flambeau natural resource department, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission and through dialogue and collaboration between students enrolled in the program.
To be eligible, students must be of Native American descent with a minimum of Sophomore standing in an accredited college. Students must be planning to obtain a 4-year degree in the environmental sciences and admission at ND is based on past academic performance and statement of purpose.
The program spans two academic years; the first year, (late May-late July) students will spend the summer at a Northwoods site in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The first-year UNDERC-East site encompasses more than 7500 acres with abundant wildlife (including wolves, black bear, deer, and fisher) and includes 30 lakes, several streams, wetlands, and northern forests that have been protected for nearly a century in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The summer course at UNDERC-East includes modules on bird/mammal ecology, amphibian and reptile ecology, insect ecology, aquatic ecology and forest ecology. Furthermore, each student is expected to design and complete an independent field research project under the direction and assistance of a faculty member or graduate student. Project topics have ranged from fish and small mammal ecology to forest ecology and local Native American plant use.
The second-year UNDERC-West site (June - mid August). The UNDERC- West site encompasses more than a million acres with abundant wildlife (including bison, elk, mountain lion, and grizzly bear) and includes grasslands, mountain forests, streams and lakes here on the Flathead Reservation and associated tribal lands. Modules for West include a geologic and environmental history survey during the trip west, grassland ecology, mountain ecology, avian ecology and Native American ecology. Again, an independent research project is conducted by each student in collaboration with a faculty advisor and when necessary, the CSKT Department of Natural Resources. Project topics have ranged from fish and wildlife habitat relationships to invasive plants.
Application deadline is Friday, November 4, 2011 and notification of acceptance will be provided by Friday, December 2, 2011. Applicants are expected to be present for the duration of coursework.