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Tribal Earth Science and Technology Education

National Center for Earth Surface Dynamics
This project is a large scale project designed to explore the factors that influence landscape processes as they relate to physical, geological, and ecological aspects of the earth’s surface. The project works with other collaborators to establish research projects related to wild rice, watershed and landscape interactions, and biogeochemical cycling in ecosystems. Research in this project has the goal of developing a better understanding of ecosystem processes and recovery and restoration of human-impacted ecosystems in northeastern Minnesota, including the St. Louis River basin.

Included in this project is a component in which Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College established summer math and science camps for sixth through twelfth grade students. These camps have the ultimate goal of attracting American Indian students to first, attend college, and second, consider college majors and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

 The project is funded through the National Science Foundation and includes educational partnerships with the University of Minnesota, University of California-Berkeley, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Science Museum of Minnesota. This project is funded through 2010.

National Science Foundation T-CUP
This project was developed as a result of a technology and science planning process that Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College initiated in 2000. The planning effort involved a large number of college and community stakeholders and provided the underlying concepts for the proposal as well as the outline for specific curriculum programs and hardware/software infrastructure needs. The research agenda was centered on ongoing research efforts at the college in environmental science, soil mapping, computational science, and information technology. It was designed to provide students with experience in research, experience with the collaborative research environment, and experiential activities related to what they are studying.

The grant also proposed to build a partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Laboratory for Computational Science and Engineering, both to provide help with constructing a high performance infrastructure as well as a research agenda that would involve students in computational science, physics and other STEM-related areas. The project focused on curriculum development and implementation activities designed to build on the enhanced research projects and initiate new STEM degrees. Research with Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College’s target student population indicated that these degrees and one-year certificate programs would increase the number of American Indian students majoring in STEM-related programs. This project was completed in 2006.

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