Giving Local Experts New Tools

Category: Climate

Dr. Dan Wildcat (of Haskell University) and Bull Bennett (of Kiksapa consulting) have been building their relationship with tribal colleges for years. Having worked on environmental issues for the past 20 years Dan Wildcat has built a large network of scientists, potential mentors and students. Bull Bennett has been a mentor for years to both students and faculty in areas of GIS, writing, and science research. The two prioritize putting students at the center of their research by emphasizing personal growth, continued learning, and investment in their topic.

Dan and Bull are constantly learning about new reservations and cultures 

As directors of the Summer Research Experience for Undergrads program, they are not afraid to challenge the students during three weeks of intensive learning. In return, both Dan and Bull are constantly learning about new reservations and cultures. The outcome, as they so proudly put it, is that they are beginning to see many of these students going onto graduate schools and entering science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

 

 

The Power of Externships

Externships are generally hands-on, short-term experiences, similar in nature to internships but with more practical applications and career-oriented goals. An externship will generally last for 8-weeks during the Summer period; 6 weeks are used to learn about climate change in the lab, and 2 weeks are used to conduct research in the field addressing climate-related issues according to the student’s interest.

 

Remembering E-x-t-e-r-n-s-h-i-p

E-xperience of a lifetime for students from tribal colleges across the country to gather and learn new technologies to address local issues.

X-amples of these projects include: “Identifying a Decrease in Agriculture on the Navajo Nation over past 22 years” and “Analyzing medicinal plant stress from climate anomalies”.

T-ools the students learn include Global Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and, map design to name a few.

E-veryone works on a project that is relevant to their community making their impact even greater.

R-esearching, learning, and, networking with other students for 3 weeks at Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas then continuing research from home for the remainder of the summer.

N-ASA Tribal Colleges and Research Universities Project is one of the many partnerships forged between Kiksapa Consulting and Haskells Indian Nations University.

Students bring their expertise on local affairs to meet the challenges they are given.

H-oping to increase dialogues with reservations in order to improve mutual understanding and productivity.

I-nvesting in the students and their communities has made this program successful for nearly a decade.

P-roducing change agents ready to improve their communities and tackle climate change.

 

raj pandya editor